Oral and dental hygiene are built on 2 main pillars, these are brushing and flossing.
So naturally, we should all strive to learn as much as we can about what goes in the oral health products that we use for them, and particularly if any product of these can adversely affect our health.
Improve Oral Hygiene with a Water Flosser
You can reach all your teeth using a water flosser. You’ll be able to reach your molars without excessive effort or having to open your mouth extra wide. View our best Waterpik reviews.
This raises a very particular question which is the main topic of this segment:
“Can tooth floss expire?”
well in short .. no it cannot since it is essentially a small intertwined piece of string (like your clothes) so it can never expire in the medicinal sense of the word, but that’s not the whole story.
So first, we must know what “expiration” means.
Expiration means the end of the shelf life of a product (shelf life is the period of storage of a product).
So when any product reaches the end of its storage life, that means it is no longer viable to use without risk to your health.
Expiration dates are typically set for organic products, chemicals, food products, and basically any other product that enters your body.
So What About Floss?
Traditional flossing string (or its variations such as floss-picks or interdental brushes) are all non-organic materials.
They are mere pieces of string or nylon put together in a way that helps you clean between your teeth, and therefore could never really “go bad”.
So how long does floss last? Practically forever!
Knowing all that, why do dental floss packs have an expiration date written on them?
There are 2 points to consider when answering that question.
- Yes, it is true that flossing materials are inorganic which means they do not have a shelf life for storage, but in time, they lose their strength and structural integrity, which are fancy words to say that they are more likely to break and tear when the expiration date on the pack is reached.
So they are not hazardous to your health per se, but their ability to do their jobs is highly compromised.
- Flossing materials are not just strings. Some of the more modern “all-natural” products do not contain any chemical or organic ingredients, but the vast majority contains at least one active ingredient.
Chemicals like wax that helps the string glide between the teeth or Fluoride that coats the surface of the teeth for their protection do have an expiration date.
So Is It Okay to Use Expired Dental Floss?
You have to check the product that you purchased.
If it is a natural product with no built-in chemicals, then by all means go ahead and use it for years, but only make sure that you use it with caution so that if it breaks or tears, it doesn’t cause your gums or teeth any injuries.
This brings us to another important question within the same category.
What about toothpaste? Does toothpaste have an expiration date?
Toothpaste is a whole different story than flossing material.
It is a paste, meaning it is all organic material, and it also contains a variety of active chemical ingredients such as Fluoride, Chlorohexidine, and more.
So yes of course toothpaste expires. In fact, it is quite dangerous to use after its time has come.
This is because the active ingredients in most kinds of toothpaste are quite hazardous on their own, let alone when they are expired.
In addition, it is very likely that you swallow even a tiny amount of the paste while you brush your teeth (unlike floss which you can’t really swallow) and that could pose a threat not only to the teeth and gums but to your digestive system as well.
So make extra sure that you check the expiry date on the tube of toothpaste before you use it;
However, if you take good care of your oral health, meaning you are a regular brusher and flosser, it is highly unlikely that your toothpaste will ever reach expiration since most products have a shelf life of over 2 years.
So if you ever faced a situation where you find an expired tube of toothpaste, you need to check your oral hygiene regimen and take better care of your oral health
so here is what you need to know about your oral health products:
Does Dental Floss Ever Go Bad?
No, floss never expires, but it gets weaker over time and less effective in cleaning between the teeth.
But watch out. if it has one active ingredient or more, then tread carefully. Call the company’s customer service to learn more.
yes, it can go bad, and it’s a big no-no to use an expired product.
1. How long can you use toothpaste after the expiration date?
Expiration dates on a toothpaste tube are not an exact science. Most people say that it is safe to use toothpaste up to 6 months after the expiry date is reached.
2. What happens when you use expired toothpaste?
The water percentage in the toothpaste is greatly reduced, so it gets more clunky and lumpy, meaning it won’t spread as much as it used to so and it becomes less effective in cleaning.
Not only that, but the chemicals inside the paste are now past their safe storage period, so unexpected chemical reactions could happen inside your mouth, on your teeth, and even inside your body.
Therefore it could be quite dangerous to use past the product expiration dates.
Have You Ever Tried a Water Flosser?
String floss can be a pain and cause unsightly gum bleeding. A water flosser is more effective in removing plaque and also easy to use. Making it a perfect oral health addition for the family. View our best water flosser buyers guide here.