In general, toothpaste does expire, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Dental Association (ADA).
Two years is sort of the standard shelf life of a tube of toothpaste. Why an arbitrary number like 2 years? The fancy word for this is efficacy. As ingredients lose their viscosity over time, the efficacy decreases, which is a quality factor the FDA considers when requiring the expiration date on many products. Some active ingredients, like fluoride, change over that two year timespan and simply may not be effective anymore.
WILL EXPIRED TOOTHPASTE MAKE ME SICK?
Old toothpaste won’t necessarily make you sick just because it’s old. It will however, not be as effective as a cleaning product past it’s expiration date.
Traditional toothpaste often relies on active ingredients that have to ‘work’ to do the cleaning and getting things like sugar and food bacteria off your teeth. These ingredients, which can be unsafe, include: triclosan, Potassium nitrate, sodium lauryl sulfate, propylene glycol, PEG-8, PEG-12, PEG-1450, cocamidopropyl betaine, parabens, and pyrophosphates.
This is a good time to tell you that there are toothpastes that don’t use toxic components, such as RADIUS® USDA Organic Toothpaste, that contain ZERO chemicals or artificial additives.
When those things lose their ability to ‘work’ (be active) they aren’t serving a purpose in that toothpaste anymore. The friction of brushing with old toothpaste is better than not brushing at all, in a worst-case scenario.
It’s probably not too often you have to worry about running up against a tube of toothpaste that’s reaching its expiration date. If the average tube contains 3-5 ounces, and you are brushing twice a day, it should run out in around 3 months.
Fluoride is the most common ingredient that degrades over time and warrants the expiration date. And we mentioned some of the others, too. You may be wondering what is in RADIUS® toothpaste, since clearly, it’s not fluoride and chemicals. Here’s a snapshot of all of the ingredients in RADIUS® USDA Organic Mint Aloe Neem Toothpaste:
Water, Glycerin*, Erythritol*, Chamomile Flower Extract*, Guar Gum*, Peppermint Oil*, Aloe Vera Leaf Juice*, Rice Powder*, Coconut Water Concentrate*, Neem Leaf Extract*, Sodium Chloride, Quillaja Saponaria Wood Extract*, Rosemary Leaf Oil*, Tea Tree Leaf Oil*, Grapefruit Peel Oil*, Eucalyptus Leaf/Stem Oil*, Orange Peel Oil*, Neem Seed Oil*, Xanthan Gum
We stand by the expiration dates on toothpaste to ensure the highest quality oral care. We are proud of the natural, organic ingredients we use. We want our customers to get the best clean in the safest manner, so brush up and finish that tube before it expires!