The last time you cleaned out your bathroom closet, were you surprised by how many dental products you came across? Chances are pretty high that you completely forgot they were there. Now, most of the toothpaste and mouthwash has reached their expiration dates. You’ve even found unused toothbrushes and dental floss from all your previous dental visits.
The real question is, are these dental products safe to use, even past the expiration date? Your dentist in Sapulpa can answer that, so don’t pitch them just yet!
A Note on the “Manufactured By Date”
According to the FDA, dental care products do not require an expiration date. However, manufacturers still want to give consumers a point of reference of when a product was purchased, especially since some products lose effectiveness over time. With that being said, it takes a long time for oral care products to become so expired that they can’t be used at all.
Let’s go over the most common products you may find in your bathroom closet that get lost over time.
When you forget to buy toothpaste and your current tube runs out, you may find yourself asking whether the travel-sized bottle you got last year is still good. According to your dentist in Sapulpa, toothpaste is still safe to use up until two years after the expiration date on the label. Once past this date, the flavor and, more importantly, fluoride will begin to fade. This will cause it to be less effective.
If you’re in a bind, using expired toothpaste is better than not brushing at all. However, don’t let it become your dedicated bottle. For maximum defense against gum disease and tooth decay, make the effort to buy a fresh bottle the next chance you get.
The great thing about having spare toothbrushes is they never expire or lose effectiveness over time. Of course, if they are out of their packaging and gathered a large amount of dust, you’ll want to exercise caution or consider saving it for cleaning grout instead of teeth. If it still in the packaging, it will last forever. Keep it as a backup for travel use or when it’s time to replace your current one, which should be done every three months or when the bristles begin to severely fray.
Similar to toothbrushes, floss can last forever, regardless of when it was purchased. The only exception is when it’s flavored. Flavored floss will eventually become tasteless about one year past its manufacture date.
When mouthwash uses an antiseptic like alcohol, it’s likely to last a long time past the manufacture date, even two to three years. Of course, even mouthwash made with alcohol is mostly made up of water, meaning eventually it will begin to dissolve. Once it’s three years past the date, toss it to avoid accidentally ingesting bacterial growth.
There’s quite a lot of life in dental care products because companies want you to use them! For more tips on making products last or for recommendations, schedule an appointment with your family dentist in Sapulpa!
About the Author
Dr. Parnam Mohanna has worked in the dental field since he was 16 years old. After earning his DDS degree, he continued his education in many different topics, including dental implants, root canal therapy, extractions, and sedation techniques. To learn more about his practice, contact him through his website.