Does Toothpaste Expire or Go Bad? What You Need to Know!

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Medically reviewed by Othman Lahmaydi, RDH

It may seem like your tube of toothpaste can last forever, but even a seemingly endless tube has an expiration date. So, why does toothpaste expire, and is it dangerous to use yours even when it’s expired?

Toothpaste has minerals like fluorides and other agents such as sweeteners and anti-sensitivity components that break down over time. Due to these ingredients, toothpaste expires and becomes ineffective over time. Store the toothpaste in a cool area to keep it fresh.

If your toothpaste has expired and you don’t want to waste the remaining amount, there are many things you can do with it. We’ll consider some of the options, take a closer look at what makes toothpaste expire, and review how to keep your toothpaste fresh for as long as possible.

Why Does Toothpaste Expire?

Woman applying toothpaste on bamboo toothbrush

Toothpastes contains a wide range of ingredients including fluoride, anti-cavity agents, detergents, sweeteners, and flavors. These substances are meant to protect your teeth against bacteria and keep them healthy and shiny — or just make your toothpaste a bit more palatable. However, they don’t last forever and will break down over time, especially fluoride.

All toothpaste containing fluoride, such as Colgate Cavity Protection Fluoride Toothpaste (on Amazon), has an expiration date. After it’s passed the expiration date, fluoride won’t protect your teeth against cavities and bacteria.

To be sure that you’re getting all the benefits from your toothpaste, check the expiration date before use. You can find the date on the tube, usually at the back. 

Is Expired Toothpaste Safe to Use?

Expired toothpaste isn’t particularly harmful to use. However, you should be using fresh toothpaste if you want to get the benefits. Expired components in the toothpaste won’t help you in any way. Moreover, expired toothpaste may start to smell bad and its consistency may shift, making it harder to brush your teeth with it.

Expired toothpaste isn’t effective against cavities, bacteria, and tooth decay. So, what’s the point of brushing your teeth with expired toothpaste?

If your toothpaste has been opened for a long time, it can also become home to germs and bacteria. So, in the long run, it can be more damaging for your teeth to brush them with expired toothpaste.

Some ingredients expire earlier than others. So, it’s possible that your toothpaste won’t feel expired at first due to the sweeteners and flavors. However, the main ingredients — such as fluoride — will expire at the expiration date. You should check the expiration date before buying toothpaste, and always get a new one when it expires. 

How Can You Keep Toothpaste Fresh?

A tube of toothpaste typically lasts about two years. After this, the toothpaste usually goes bad and becomes ineffective. However, toothpaste can age even before the expiration date if you don’t store it in the right way!

If toothpaste gets too dry, it can lead to weird reactions in the toothpaste, making the components inside separate from each other. 

It would be hard to brush your teeth with such toothpaste. So, let’s find out how you can keep your toothpaste fresh!

Store in Cool Area

Storing the toothpaste in a cool place will keep the ingredients intact. Too much heat can separate the ingredients of the toothpaste making it more liquid-like and hard to use. Heat can make the toothpaste expire before its marked expiration date.

Close the Top

Be careful not to lose the top of the toothpaste, and always close the tube after using it. Opened toothpaste can harbor a lot of bacteria, making the toothpaste damaging to your teeth instead of helpful. If you do happen to lose the cap — or if you prefer a certain top style — you can always try these self-sealing replacement caps (on Amazon).

Keep Toothpaste Away From the Toilet

Storing your toothpaste near the toilet is a bad idea. The germs, stink, and bacteria from the toilet shouldn’t be reaching your toothpaste. It’s better to brush your teeth away from the toilet area and store your toothpaste in a cabinet.

Keeping the toothpaste in a clean cabinet, away from smells and germs will keep the toothpaste clean, safe to use, and fresh. 

Replace After Expiration

Finally, when your toothpaste has reached its expiration date, it’s time to replace it. Always go for a tube that has a far-away expiration date so that you don’t have to replace your toothpaste halfway through using it. 

What Can You Do With Your Expired Toothpaste? 


Expired toothpaste isn’t a waste, and you shouldn’t be throwing it away, especially if there’s a considerable amount left. There are many DIY ideas you can do with expired toothpaste. So, let’s find out how you can make the most use of your expired toothpaste!

Polishing Jewelry

Did you know that you can polish your jewelry with toothpaste? The toothpaste doesn’t have to be fresh for this purpose. If your artificial jewelry has darkened over time, you can make it shiny again with toothpaste.

Take your jewelry piece and put toothpaste on it. Rub the toothpaste with a brush. Clean the jewelry with a wet cloth and rinse it afterward. You will see immediate results.

Sink Cleaning

You can clean your bathroom sink with expired toothpaste. Put the toothpaste on the sink and use a cleaning brush. Scrub the sink vigorously and don’t forget any corners and crevices. Rinse the toothpaste after cleaning.

Fingernail Buffing

Place a small amount of toothpaste on your nails and let it sit for 10 minutes. Scrub with a nail brush and you’ll see brighter, cleaner nails. 

Remove Crayon From Walls

Kids love to draw with crayons on the walls, causing a big mess. Luckily, you can easily clean crayon stains using toothpaste. Apply toothpaste on a brush and scrub the crayon off the walls. Afterward, clean the wall with a wet cloth.

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