Does Toothpaste Expire? Here’s What You Need To Know Before You Brush

Does Toothpaste Expire? Here’s What You Need To Know Before You Brush

Do you look after your pearly whites? Brushing your teeth and flossing is vital to keep them looking (and feeling) amazing. However, people often overlook checking the expiration date on their toothpaste, which is a mistake. If you've left the paste for quite some time — maybe you found it in an old drawer — you might think twice before using it. To have healthy teeth, you must be savvy with your dental hygiene.

The truth is kind of gross. Ignoring the expiry details can cause problems such as cavities, tooth decay, gum disease, and halitosis. You want to avoid that at all costs. In the following guide, we will look at topics such as detecting whether your toothpaste is out of date, its expiration duration, and its disadvantages.

Is there an expiration date for toothpaste?

Yes! While you may never have checked it out, toothpaste has an expiration date. With most brands, including Colgate toothpaste, it's on the packaging. You should be sure to check it out before brushing your teeth. That's because the effectiveness of active ingredients like fluoride may diminish (become less effective!)  as time passes.

It doesn't end there. If you are using a whitening toothpaste, it may change even further. Once it passes the expiry date, its texture and flavour may change. That's not going to be much fun when brushing your teeth. Plus, as time passes, the strength of these chemicals will naturally lessen, leading to a decrease in the toothpaste's whitening capabilities. 

What is the expiration date for toothpaste?

It's not a "one size fits all" answer. For example, toothpaste products can have varying expiration dates depending on their manufacturer and formulation. Usually, you can find the expiration date on the box or the narrow end of the tube. However, most brands, such as Crest, Colgate, and Sensodyne toothpaste, have a shelf life of approximately two to three years.

When you buy some new toothpaste, you can quickly look at its expiration date. Most of the time — as long as you brush your teeth twice a day — you will use the toothpaste before it expires. However, some people like to buy things in bulk. Don't make the mistake of thinking that toothpaste has an ultra-long shelf life. Buying a load of these products and storing them away is fine if you use them within a couple of years.

Signs that your toothpaste has passed its expiration date

Can't find the expiration date on the packaging? Don't panic. There are other ways to figure out whether your toothpaste has expired. Here are some of the signs:

1. Texture changes

When toothpaste has passed its expiration date, it undergoes changes in texture that you may notice. For example, the paste may become lumpy, difficult to apply, or dry. Expired toothpaste can also separate into liquid and solid parts. As a result, you may notice streaks or clumpy textures, accompanied by pooling of liquid either at the top or bottom of the tube. You may not want to use the toothpaste if you see these changes.

2. Changes in colour and smell

Brace yourself. Toothpaste can change colour over time, appearing darker or taking on a yellowish or brownish tint. In addition, expired toothpaste can develop unpleasant smells. If you notice a change in the original fragrance of the toothpaste, it may not be super fresh.

Once you notice changes in the paste's smell and colour, you might want to throw it in the bin. It's not worth using toothpaste that is past its best.

3. It doesn't work

As mentioned, toothpaste ingredients lose efficacy over time, and expired products fail to deliver desired dental hygiene benefits. If your product, such as the toothpaste tablets, doesn't clean your teeth as well as before, they may have expired. You will notice that they don't work as well as they did before now. Throw them out pronto.

What does expired toothpaste taste like?

That's a tricky question. Since many toothpaste brands and formulas are available, describing exactly how an expired product may taste or feel compared to fresh toothpaste is difficult. However, you may notice that it simply tastes "different" from before.

Some people say expired toothpaste often has a bitter or metallic taste. This change in flavour may be due to the breakdown of certain chemicals within the toothpaste over time and exposure to moisture and air. With time, old toothpaste may dry out, form lumps, or clump together as its moisture content evaporates. It leads to a loss of its smooth texture. That can mean it's hard to get the toothpaste out of the tube when needed.

Is expired toothpaste bad for your general health?

Toothpaste doesn't go bad like food products. So, using expired toothpaste isn't likely to harm your general health. However, paying attention to the expiry date is essential since it tells you how useful the product is. In addition, the active components in toothpaste, like fluoride and antibacterial compounds, may lose their strength after expiration.

Expired toothpaste is not generally considered toxic or harmful. However, the manufacturer's labelled expiration date signifies that the product retains its maximum freshness until that point. Therefore, expired toothpaste loses its effectiveness in cavity prevention, enamel protection, and other dental health benefits.

If you use expired toothpaste, there is a greater risk of bacterial infection, which may cause oral problems or other related health issues. For instance, your gums may become irritated, and some people could experience allergic reactions due to expired toothpaste containing unstable or degraded ingredients.

While using expired toothpaste won't necessarily harm you, it's still something you should avoid. The whole reason you brush your teeth is to keep them clean and bacteria-free. However, when toothpaste is old, the active ingredients may not work. That means you won't get the oral health benefits you expect from using it. When in doubt, it's worth investing in a new tube of toothpaste. You should always make your dental hygiene a top priority, after all!


Did we miss something in our guide? Don't worry — we have the answers you've sought here. Here are some frequently asked questions about toothpaste and its expiry date.

What is the shelf life of toothpaste?

Toothpaste generally lasts for 12-18 months after being manufactured. Therefore, you should find the expiry date on most toothpaste tubes. However, various elements, including composition, storage circumstances, and brand specificity, might affect the expiry date of toothpaste.

How can you keep toothpaste fresh?

Properly storing toothpaste is vital to extending its shelf life and quality. You should keep it in a cool, dry location; direct sunlight, heat, and humidity can affect the paste's consistency and effectiveness. Sealing the toothpaste tube correctly after each use is also essential to prevent contamination or drying out.

What happens when toothpaste goes bad?

Toothpaste's flavour, texture, and effectiveness tend to change after a significant period. In addition, the active chemicals, such as fluoride and antibacterial substances, lose their effectiveness over time resulting in diminished dental health benefits. For that reason, you should avoid using expired toothpaste at all costs.

Can I use 2-year expired toothpaste?

Expired toothpaste may not hurt you, but that doesn't mean it's a wise decision. When toothpaste expires, its ingredients may not be as effective as they once were. That means that they may not give your teeth the best possible clean. Consider throwing it away and investing in a new tube of toothpaste now.

What happens if you don't brush your teeth for 10 years?

Brushing your teeth is a core part of your dental hygiene. You may be at risk of severe oral health problems if you don't brush your teeth. In addition, both your teeth and gums may see the effects of you failing to keep them clean. Generally, you should brush your teeth at least twice a day. You also need to floss and use mouthwash too.

How long can a human go without brushing teeth?

You should always make brushing your teeth a priority. The American Dental Association (ADA) advises brushing your teeth at least twice daily. While you may find it hard to fit that into your schedule, you must look after your teeth.

Do you have any more questions? Leave a comment below!

Joanne A


Expert in finding beautiful solutions for small and rented spaces. Would happily spend the rest of my life shopping for homewares and watching Disney movies - I only wish I had Cinderella's army of mice to help me clean!

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