If you find a forgotten tube of toothpaste in your bathroom closet, make sure to check the expiration date before you use it. Like most health products, toothpaste does expire after a certain time. While your paste won't be harmful if you use it past this date, it may not work as well, leaving your teeth vulnerable to cavities and other problems.
Toothpaste Expiration Dates
Toothpaste typically has a shelf life of two years, and the reason for this expiration date is for the fluoride. After two years, fluoride can change in flavor and color, and it may not be as effective. Other active ingredients include a detergent, a moisturizer, a sweeting agent, and an abrasive, but those ingredients don't run the same risk of expiration.
Using Expired Toothpaste
While it isn't dangerous to use expired toothpaste, it may not actually help your teeth. When you use old toothpaste, you won't be guaranteed a quality product that prevents cavities by effectively cleaning the teeth. In addition to less-effective fluoride, expired toothpaste may be dried out, contain ingredients that have separated, and offer an inconsistent texture. In the worst-case scenario, it might also contain growing fungi or bacteria.
Keep Your Toothpaste Fresh
To get the most out of your brushing experience, take steps to keep your toothpaste fresh. Always put the cap back onto the tube when you finish using it, and keep the edges clean. Store your toothpaste in a cabinet so that it is not exposed to bacteria from your bathroom.
Remember that brushing your teeth is a major step for good oral health, and another is keeping up with your regular dental appointments and cleanings. If it is time for your next exam, please call us today to set up your appointment. You'll even leave with a new tube of toothpaste!
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