When Does Toothpaste Expire?

Partially squeeze blue collapsible tube of toothpaste with a white corrugated cap against a white background

Do you know when your toothpaste expires? Many people brush their teeth daily without any thought that their toothpaste may be on the brink of expiration. Read further to find out when toothpaste expires and why you shouldn’t throw it out just yet if it is!

Toothpaste Potency

Toothpaste has an active ingredient known as fluoride that loses its efficacy over time. An active ingredient is defined as a pharmaceutical drug that is biologically active. So, it is required by both the American Dental Association (ADA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for toothpaste with fluoride to have an expiration date. Although there are many fluoride-free options, fluoride is an important ingredient because it helps with remineralization of enamel to strengthen teeth and prevent cavities. Toothpaste typically has a shelf life of about two years because of this, during which its active ingredients will be the strongest. Thus, it’s best to use your toothpaste before it expires to ensure optimal cleaning. However, Colgate claims that toothpaste is still good for up to 18 months past the expiration date.

Alternative Uses for Toothpaste

If you just ran to your restroom to check on your tube of toothpaste and it’s expired, don’t fret. Toothpaste has some unusual but helpful other uses around the house. Here are 15 alternative ways you can use your expired toothpaste:

1. Remove scuffs from shoes
2. Clean your sneakers
3. Clean your clothes iron
4. Polish your (diamond) wedding ring
5. Deodorize baby bottles and containers
6. Remove gum from your hair
7. Deep clean your coffee mug
8. Remove crayon marks
9. Prevent foggy mirrors in the restroom
10. Shine the chrome in your bathroom and kitchen
11. Get rid of tough clothing stains
12. Defog your swimming or safety goggles
13. Clear and brighten car headlights
14. Get rid of water stains on wooden surfaces
15. Lift small carpet stains

Have Questions? We Have Answers!

Do you have any additional questions about your toothpaste? Would you like ideas to improve your oral hygiene routine? Or maybe you want to make sure that you haven’t developed a cavity from using expired toothpaste? Don’t hesitate to contact our team at Signature Smiles Dental to schedule your appointment today.

A proper oral care routine includes brushing twice a day, flossing every day, and biannual checkups. Schedule your next visit!

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