You don’t want anyone in your family to get sick, so you may have a system to keep track of the food in your house. You might write dates on leftovers and put older products toward the front of the fridge so you use them up before you open new packages. But do you do something similar for your dental products? Many of these items have an extremely long shelf life, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should keep them forever.

TOOTHPASTE

Most toothpaste remains effective for two to three years after their manufacture date. After that, however, the flavor will begin to fade, and the fluoride will not stick to your teeth as well as it should. Therefore, brushing your teeth with old toothpaste may just be a waste of time. It could also result in a mouth that isn’t as clean as it should be.

The good news is that using old toothpaste won’t hurt you; there’s nothing dangerous or poisonous about it.

TOOTHBRUSHES

It’s okay to stockpile extra toothbrushes for your guests (let’s face it—they always forget their toothbrush). As long as they remain in their unopened packages, toothbrushes can last just about forever.

However, once you start using a toothbrush, it’s good to toss it after three or four months of use. After that long, the bristles will be frayed, and you won’t get the cleaning power that you deserve. Plus, bacteria tend to accumulate on toothbrushes, and the last thing you want is to be cleaning your smile with something that’s full of icky microbes.

FLOSS

Floss is just waxed string. Therefore, there’s no need to worry that the little package of floss that has been hiding at the back of your bathroom cupboard since the 1990s is harmful. However, if you love for your floss to have a minty burst of flavor, you might want to throw away any that is over a year old because it tends to become tasteless after that long.

MOUTHWASH

Mouthwash generally stays effective and safe for about two to three years. After that, however, the antiseptic ingredient (which is usually alcohol) begins to break down. Not only does this equate to less bacteria-fighting power for your mouth, but it can also lead to contamination for the whole bottle of mouthwash. There is a danger that you could become sick if you use it past its expiration date.

Is it time to clean out your medicine cabinet? Throw away your expired dental products so you can have the cleanest, freshest smile possible. If you have any other questions, contact our dental clinic in Slidell, Fremaux Dental Care.