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Can Toothpaste Expire? Here Are the Things You Need To Know

Toothpaste is an important component of oral hygiene, so the major concern for most consumers is when this product will expire. By law, toothpaste manufacturers must display the expiration date on the tube.

Although innovation has led to the invention of great dental products such as hands-free toothbrushes, toothpaste remains crucial in dental health. You may wonder whether toothpaste can expire and, if so, what happens if you use expired toothpaste. At GO SMILE, we tackle questions like these and offer innovative solutions and products for dental issues.

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Can Toothpaste Expire? What Does the Expiration Date Mean?

While toothpaste expires, its expiration does not make it harmful. Rather, it makes it ineffective and thereby less beneficial to the user. Toothpaste contains various ingredients, such as fluoride, which are key to protecting teeth. Once expired, the ingredients start becoming less effective, reducing the ability of the toothpaste to perform some of its essential functions, such as protecting teeth from cavities and decay. Thus, while using expired toothpaste may not be directly harmful, it exposes you to dental problems.

The expiration date on the toothpaste tube aims to ensure acceptable quality. It is a requirement by the American Dental Association (ADA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulate the safety and quality of dental products and food and drugs, respectively.

Average Shelf Life of Toothpaste

Ordinarily, toothpaste starts losing its effectiveness two years from its manufacturing date. However, different types or brands of luxury toothpaste have different shelf lives. So, you need to check the dates indicated on the tube to determine how long the toothpaste would remain effective.

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What Happens When Toothpaste Expires?

Toothpaste is effective and pleasant to use due to ingredients such as fluoride for healthy enamel and fighting cavities; anti-sensitivity agents to minimize teeth sensitivity; peroxide for whiter teeth; detergents and abrasives to remove plaque buildup; thickening agents; antimicrobials; and flavoring. 

Unlike those in fresh toothpaste, the ingredients in expired toothpaste lack the potency to clean teeth and protect them from decay and cavities. While you might be able to clean your teeth, the diminished potency of the toothpaste could expose your teeth to decay and cavities.

Using expired toothpaste may also give you an unpleasant experience due to some of its unappealing qualities: varying texture, less flavor, drying out or hardening, change in color, separated ingredients, presence of growing bacteria and less effective fluoride.

Keeping Toothpaste Fresh

Good oral hygiene includes keeping toothpaste fresh and clean. It is always important to reseal the cap after use to protect the toothpaste from drying out or picking up dirt, dust particles and germs. It is also advisable to store your toothpaste in a cool environment since high temperatures may cause the ingredients to separate, rendering them ineffective.

Maintaining Healthy Teeth

It is good practice to brush your teeth daily using fresh toothpaste. Regularly flossing and using dental products such as GO SMILE’s best teeth-whitening products and Glow on the Go Blue Light Device will keep teeth clean. Regulating the consumption or use of some substances or foods such as alcohol, sugary beverages, cigarettes and snacks between meals can also help to keep teeth clean and healthy.

For ideal dental hygiene, it is a good idea to replace your toothbrush every three to four months. It is also highly recommended that you visit your dentist for regular check-ups to ensure your teeth are in the best possible condition.

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Toothpaste promotes oral hygiene by providing important ingredients that prevent teeth from decaying and protect them from cavities. For the most effective and pleasant brushing experience, avoid using toothpaste beyond its expiration date.