Toothpaste from ages past
September 15, 2008 9:50 PM   Subscribe

Another entertaining product expiration thread! Now with 50% fewer cavities....

So I open this sample tube of toothpaste, one of those little ones the dentist gives you for free. Squeeze a little out onto the toothbrush, it seems a little strange, like it's separated into solid and fluid a little.

I start brushing my teeth, idly turn the tube over, and see printed EXP17NOV95.

So, have at it, folks. Am I gonna die (sooner rather than later)? I'm still feeling fine, 30 minutes later, and my mouth feels almost unnaturally clean and tasty.

(If I get through this, I might even stash a few tubes of toothpaste in the basement with the wine bottles til they're aged to perfection.)
posted by gimonca to Health & Fitness (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
"In general, expired toothpaste doesn't pose a significant health risk (most brands don't even carry expiration dates on their packaging), but older toothpaste may be undesirable because it may be less effective or less pleasant to use due to changes in taste and consistency.
" -from

I don't think aged toothpaste will be the next top-selling health product, but atleast it won't kill you.
posted by rancidchickn at 10:01 PM on September 15, 2008

Yeah, this is probably fine. If there are any dentists out here in MeFi, it may be interesting to post the brand name in question. The only thing that might be of concern for something that old is that maybe some of the ingredients have lost their potency or have chemically altered. I mean, I could see shrugging nonchalantly at 2-3 years past the expiration date, but these things are, um, 13 years past due?

As a side note, bar none the best thing to put on your teeth (or maybe the worst, haven't figured out yet) is this flouride mouthwash rinse you can get in Egypt. It's pool water blue, about the consistency of dishwashing liquid, and when you rinse your mouth with it you can literally feel all of the plaque coming off of your teeth in sheets and sliding right off. After a week or two of use (I was using it to fix my gums issue--in addition to being a source of flouride and a teeth-whitener, it was also an antiseptic) my teeth were scary, scary white. I really regret not buying a bottle or two of it before getting on the plane.
posted by Deathalicious at 10:31 PM on September 15, 2008

I found rancidchickn's comments to be eponysterical, but I don't think that comment has much to do with your decaying teeth.

That said, I have used expired toothpaste before (thanks Dad!) and have yet to die.
posted by OrangeDrink at 12:02 AM on September 16, 2008

My dentist told me a lot of the tartar fighting agents lose effectiveness over time, but otherwise it will do just as good of a job as as the fresh stuff.
posted by jrishel at 7:16 AM on September 16, 2008

I checked my toothpaste but found no expiration date (I guess it was on the box?), but I did see a "questions? comments?" hotline, so maybe you can do their operators a favor and ask them about it, because I can't really see them ever having anything else to do...

I'm curious what the labelled shelf life of a brand new tube would typically be. Because if it's usually several years, then you'd have to consider whether it's feasible that the toothpaste in question was originally given to you back in the '80s. Of course, the only other option would be that it's supposed to say "05" but looks funny, or, less likely, it's a typo.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 9:40 PM on September 16, 2008

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