Everything that is commercially packed has an ‘Expiry Date,’ and so does Toothpaste. Toothpaste comes with an expiry date, no matter which brand they are from. Every ADA-approved Toothpaste includes an expiration date. However, the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance is only given to Fluoride containing Toothpaste, considering Fluoride is a drug.
But what should you do if you reach for your Toothpaste reaches its expiry date? Ever wondered?
More about Toothpaste’s expiry date
The ‘Expiry Date’ in Toothpaste is mainly due to the presence of Fluoride.
Fluoride is an active ingredient that becomes less effective with time. It degrades at preventing cavities over time. Fluoride supports healthy tooth enamel, keeps teeth shiny white, and helps fight cavities. Therefore, even when Toothpaste goes out of date (or reaches its expiry date), they don’t go bad but only becomes less effective. Toothpaste past expiry dates isn’t just beneficial at all.
Why does Toothpaste Expire?
As per U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), every food and medicinal product must have an expiry date. It is important for consumer safety.
Toothpaste’s expiry date is usually 2 to 2 and a half years from its manufacturing date. It is basically due to the decreasing effectiveness of Fluoride with time. Fluoride is an active ingredient that becomes less effective over time. It may not expire but can separate or grow bacterial if the product isn’t stored rightfully.
Every Toothpaste has its individual expiry date. The expiry date of the Toothpaste is printed on the Toothpaste and its box. The American Dental Association has National Standards for dental practices across the nation. The National Standards also include Toothpaste’s expiration dates.
Is Toothpaste good to use beyond the expiry date?
Toothpaste beyond expiry dates is of no use. Especially since Toothpaste contains Fluoride, when the ingredient remains no longer active, its effectiveness also gets destroyed. Therefore, using Toothpaste beyond its expiry date is of no benefit. Using such a product means you are just cleaning your mouth.
Degraded Fluoride can also lead to bacteria and fungi development. The entire point of using Toothpaste is to use a good quality cleaner for effectively cleaning your teeth and mouth. Though expired Toothpaste is not known for any harm, any disadvantage isn’t guaranteed.
An expired toothpaste may dry out and have an inconsistent texture.
How to Tell if Your Toothpaste Has Gone Bad?
The ‘Expiry Date’ of any toothpaste is typically listed on its tube and box. It is one of the major and important signs of Toothpaste staying fresh and going bad.
Other than ‘Expiration Date,’ another sign of Toothpaste going bad is ‘Separation of Ingredient.’ Separation of Ingredients can sometimes occur even before the product expires. It usually happens due to the shifting of components and dispersing varying degrees of active ingredients in the Toothpaste.
Fluoride and other such ingredients in the Toothpaste must be spread evenly for effectiveness. If the active ingredient isn’t spread evenly, it might also make the Toothpaste lose its effectiveness.
How to keep Toothpaste fresh for a long time?
Sometimes bad practices can make your Toothpaste go bad early before its expiry date. However, with a few tips and tricks, you can keep your Toothpaste fresh for a long, or at least until its expiry date. Here’s how:
- Always keep your Toothpaste stored in cool, dry, and away from sunlight place. Excessive heat and direct sunlight can cause Toothpaste to liquefy and may make its active ingredients separate.
- Always keep your Toothpaste in a closed cabinet. Make sure you close the Toothpaste lid/ cap closed tightly after every use.
- Consider cleaning the old gummy residue of your Toothpaste. The residue on Toothpaste’s cap often leads to germ build-up.
- Toothpaste, including organic ingredients, needs to be replaced frequently. It is either better to finish the tube soon or replace it after a few months. Toothpaste, once opened, sometimes tends to go bad early.
- Always check your Toothpaste’s expiry date and avoid using it once it is past its shelf life.
Things to do with expired Toothpaste
An expired toothpaste doesn’t mean you should throw away the product. No, you do not need to brush with it, either. Instead, if you are left with a tube of expired Toothpaste, put the product to work for various other purposes. For example:
- If you have an expired toothpaste that consists of eucalyptus oil as the primary ingredient, you can use it on burns. Simply dab the Toothpaste on the burnt area, and it will provide instant relief.
Caution: An expired product can cause skin irritation. Consult a professional before using such tips and tricks.
- Simultaneously, Toothpaste with eucalyptus oil also helps in treating insect bites. You can use such products over mosquito or ant bites for instant relief.
- Old expired Toothpaste, which is still in its original formula, can be used for cleaning shoes. Take a soft cloth and apply the Toothpaste onto the scuff mark of your shoe. Rub it in order to remove the mark, and later wipe it with a damp cloth.
Note: Do not use Toothpaste for cleaning your shoe if the product contains any bleaching ingredient.
- Old expired toothpaste comes in handy for removing crayon markings from walls. You can also use it for cleaning your bathroom sink, dirty mirrors, and more such surfaces. It also comes in handy for buffing fingernails.
- Use your old expired Toothpaste to clean the gunk out of the metal objects. You can use it for cleaning hair straighteners and other such products. However, while cleaning any electronics, make sure you do the process when the device isn’t plugged into electricity.
- One of the best use of old expired Toothpaste is for cleaning foggy headlights.
- Clean your tea and coffee mugs with old Toothpaste for that precise whiteness. Toothpaste will perhaps remove the stains.
- Old Toothpaste can also be used for removing watermarks from the furniture. However, when using the same, make sure the Toothpaste doesn’t contain bleach and hasn’t gotten worse.
Brushing your teeth with expired Toothpaste isn’t something you should follow. An expired toothpaste will do no harm, but it will neither benefit you. It is better to throw away your old Toothpaste or bring it for some safe use.
For your teeth’ health, go with a nice, medicated toothpaste. Along with that, limit your sugar intake and focus on flossing frequently. Keep your regular dentist check-ups an essential part of life.