Most products these days are perishable. Even bottles of water have expiration dates on them due to the plastic bottles that they are packaged in. This brings up an interesting question in the world of oral care: Does toothpaste expire? The short answer is “yes,” but there is a much longer explanation to accompany it. Let’s take a look at the reasons why toothpaste expires so you can understand this product a little better.
Why Does Toothpaste Expire?
Toothpaste expires because the fluoride in it loses its potency. Over time, the toothpaste loses its ability to hold onto tooth enamel, which means that it can’t do the job it is set out to do. On top of that, the ingredients that make the toothpaste taste good will eventually lose their potency, so you may end up with not-so-great tasting toothpaste. This won’t do much to motivate you to brush your teeth.
What Will Happen If I Use Expired Toothpaste?
Using expired toothpaste will not cause you any harm. This is not like milk where it eventually turns sour. Using outdated toothpaste simply means that you won’t get the same benefits from the toothpaste as you would from new toothpaste. You don’t have to worry about monitoring the expiration date heavily. The only reason to really check into it is if you find toothpaste that has been sitting in storage for a while.
When Does Toothpaste Expire?
Most toothpaste products have a shelf life of about two years, depending on how strong their ingredients are. If you are unsure how old a certain tube of toothpaste is, you can always check the expiration date on the bottom edge of the toothpaste, where the tubing material has been pinched together. If this information is no longer available, just take a guess as to how old the toothpaste is. If you think it has been sitting around for a couple years, it may be best just to get a new tube. It’s not terribly expensive, and it will ensure that you are getting the cleanest mouth possible. See our toothpaste selection guide to help you decide which toothpaste is right for you.
Other Ways To Use Expired Toothpaste
If you don’t want to throw away your expired toothpaste, try using it in the following applications:
- Remove crayon marks and furniture scuffs from walls
- Sooth superficial burns on the skin
- Clean the gunk off a clothing iron
- Polish your leather shoes (be careful not to use bleaching toothpaste)
Make the most of your expired toothpaste, and your money will be put to good use.