Since your dentist in Montville is a member of the American Dental Association, he uses their regulations to determine what the best toothpaste is for protection against tooth decay and gum disease. Additionally, he wanted to answer questions patients may have about toothpaste and other dental products.
The next time you’re picking out toothpaste at the grocery store or going through your bathroom closet and discover toothpaste, keep these tips in mind. You’ll save money and pick the best toothpaste for your oral health by doing so.
Can Toothpaste Expire?
The FDA technically doesn’t require expiration dates for oral care products. However, manufacturers will still put “best by” dates to indicate when the product is most effective. Keep this in mind the next time you clean your bathroom closet and find unopened bottles of toothpaste.
Generally, toothpaste that is a few days, weeks, and even months past the “best by” date is safe to use. If you find yourself out of your preferred toothpaste and don’t have any options at that moment, it’s much better to use a toothpaste that’s past the date than to skip brushing entirely.
With that being said, the flavor and, more importantly, the fluoride inside toothpaste can lose effectiveness once it’s been two years past the labeled date. Fluoride is necessary to prevent decay and gum disease, so toss it once two years have passed.
What About Other Dental Products?
If you find other oral care products in your closet or cabinet you forgot about, such as mouthwash, floss, and toothbrushes, here’s what your dentist in Montville says you should do for each:
- Mouthwash – Mouthwash typically contains an antiseptic like alcohol, helping it maintain its shelf life. However, it still has a high water percentage. Once it’s been 2-3 years past its labeled date, the antiseptic can start to dissolve, increasing the chances of bacterial growth. If this is the case, toss it.
- Floss – Luckily, floss never expires. You only should consider tossing it if you purchased the flavored variety. Like toothpaste, this can start to fade after about two years, so toss it if you prefer it to be flavored. Just make sure you replace it promptly.
- Toothbrushes – As long as it’s unused, toothbrushes will always be usable. In fact, having extra brushes is ideal since you should be replacing them every three months anyway.
What Toothpaste Does the ADA Recommend?
As long as the toothpaste you’re purchasing meets the following criteria, it’s accepted by the ADA. Here are the key points:
- It must contain fluoride.
- Its flavoring agents cannot contain sugar or contribute to tooth decay in any way.
- It has provided scientific evidence that demonstrates its safety and efficacy.
Toothpaste can still be ADA-accepted if it includes other active ingredients that help other conditions. For example, it can also lessen tooth sensitivity, reduce gingivitis and tartar build-up, whiten teeth, prevent enamel erosion, and reduce bad breath. As long as the previously criteria are met, it’s ADA- approved and therefore approved by your dentist.
Have more questions about toothpaste? You can get them answered when you visit your family dentist in Montville today! We hope to see you soon.
About the Author
Dr. Samir Rana earned his dental degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. He’s a member of the ADA, the Academy of General Dentistry, and is very passionate about expanding his dental knowledge by attending seminars around the world. To learn more about his practice, contact him at (973) 633-5666 or visit his website.