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How long do you keep your toothpaste? For most of us, we will keep that tube around as long they can squeeze just a little more onto the brush. But what about that toothpaste you keep with your luggage or your travel kit? How long can you hang on to that?

On average, a tube of toothpaste lasts for about two years before it needs to be replaced.  The active ingredients in toothpaste include the mild abrasives which help scrub your teeth, flavoring for a pleasant taste, a humectant, which keeps it from running out of the tube or off your brush, and a detergent, which is what makes your toothpaste foam as you brush with it. And of course, most brands of toothpaste contain fluoride, a mineral which strengthens your tooth enamel. Believe it or not, fluoride has a shelf life, and that shelf life is about two years. Along with the effect of the fluoride, aging can cause toothpaste to change in consistency and texture.

Of course, if your toothpaste dries out, it will age before its time. To keep that from happening, you need to replace the cap on your toothpaste when you are done using it every morning and every night. Not only will that help keep your toothpaste fresh, but it will also keep it from getting contaminated by bacteria. It’s a good idea to use toothpaste that has a flip-top cap, since you can’t drop it and risk contamination.

If you would like more information about taking care of your oral health, or about toothpaste, our dentist, Dr. Alexis LaRose will be happy to see you. If you live in the Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, area, call 208-966-6054 today to make an appointment.