Brushing our teeth is crucial to our oral hygiene, but does toothpaste expire and what are the implications of using expired toothpaste?
Toothpaste does expire, but the expiration date is required primarily for the effectiveness of the ingredients found in each individual tube, typically with a shelf life of two years from the date of manufacture. Both the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and the ADA (American Dental Association), require toothpaste products to have a set date of expiration so we know when it becomes less effective in ensuring we get a proper clean. This is primarily aimed at toothpastes containing fluoride, since it is the primary ingredient in preventing cavities and strengthening weakened enamel.
Not long after Dr. Peabody’s invention, sodium lauryl sulfate replaced soap to provide a smooth texture and deliver the foamy action we associate with toothpaste. Decades later, in 1892, Dr. Washington Sheffield began putting toothpaste in a tube rather than a jar, leading to the tubes and packaging we all know today.
Can you use expired toothpaste? The simple answer is yes. Expired toothpaste doesn’t harm you but it does lessen in its ability to prevent cavities and tooth decay. To ensure you get all the benefits of brushing, it’s best to use toothpaste that hasn’t reached its expiration date.
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