Does toothpaste expire?
Found an old tube of toothpaste under the bathroom sink? Or perhaps you’re midbrush when you notice your tube’s expiration date. No need to fret.
Toothpaste does expire. But is it necessarily dangerous? No.
Since most toothpastes include the active ingredients like fluoride, “the enamel defending drug”, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and American Dental Association (ADA) require expiration dates on the tube and packaging.
Can you use expired toothpaste?
The short answer is yes. However, while it’s not dangerous to use expired toothpaste, it is not recommended.
Studies have found that fluoride degrades significantly after two years, becoming less effective at preventing cavities and supporting the shiny white part of your tooth called the enamel. This can cause costly dental problems, since enamel can not be restored or grown back.
Expired toothpastes also may contain growing bacteria or fungi if left uncapped or improperly handed.
⭐️ Toothy Tip: Out of toothpaste and need something in a pinch? Try one of our 5 natural toothpaste alternative recipes!
Signs that your toothpaste is expired
Since different types of toothpaste vary in ingredients, their shelf lives also vary. For example, several children’s toothpastes don’t contain fluoride and may not even have a printed expiration date. If your toothpaste packaging doesn’t have a printed shelf life, it’s recommended to discontinue its use after two years or as soon as you experience any of the following signs:
- Expiration date is past due
- Paste is dried out
- Ingredients are starting to separate
- Flavor tastes off / funny
Creative ways to use expired toothpaste
Donating or continuing to use expired toothpaste isn’t the best idea, however don’t throw the tube out just yet. Listed below are a couple of useful ways you can recycle expired toothpaste around the home.
- Remove crayon from the wall
- Remove gunk residue from your iron or hair straighteners
- Clean the bathroom sink
- Polish mental
- Buff your fingernails
- Polish leather shoes (if there are no bleaching ingredients)
- Treat insect bites/ treat superficial burns (if eucalyptus oil in toothpaste)