When you use toothpaste, you usually assume that it still is good or has not yet reached its expiration date. So, what happens if you've noticed the toothpaste you used is old, or is almost ready to expire? The following information can answer your questions.
How Long Is the Shelf Life of Toothpaste?
To be approved by the American Dental Association (ADA), a toothpaste should only be used until its expiration date, which is two years in most cases. If you use an expired toothpaste, it will not harm you, but the ingredients will start losing their effectiveness. In particular, the fluoride will lose its stability and decay-fighting power. Besides fluoride, toothpaste contains an abrasive, a sweetening agent, a humectant, and a detergent in the form of sodium lauryl sulfate. The sodium lauryl sulfate works with the humectant or moisturizer to produce a foamy and smooth taste for tooth cleaning. After two years, the toothpaste's taste and color can change as well.
How to Maintain Toothpaste Freshness
When you use toothpaste, always remember to place the cap on the tube. Make sure no paste can be seen on the edges where it can attract dust particles. Keep the tube in a closed cabinet along with your toothbrush. Don't leave either out, as the paste and toothbrush can pick up bad bacteria. Make sure your toothpaste is stored in a cool space as well. If the paste is stored in a warm area, it can liquify and separate, which will make the dentifrice less effective.
While using an expired tube of toothpaste is not necessarily dangerous, it still is not a good thing, as expired toothpaste loses its effectiveness to prevent cavities and lessen tooth sensitivity. To play it safe, always use an unexpired fresh tube of toothpaste. Also, contact us for a professional cleaning and an exam. Make sure you have yourself covered both at home and by scheduling regular appointments at our office.