The expiration date of mouthwash is quite straight-forward. So, if you’ve been wondering how long the product lasts, then you’re in the right place.
Typically, mouthwash is intended to kill bacteria in the mouth without causing damage to the gum tissue or tooth enamel.
Any chemical mixture that is dilute enough to accomplish this successfully must be intrinsically mild in order to be effective.
Despite the fact that mouthwash has a strong flavor, our taste buds, tongue, cheek linings, and gums are all extremely delicate. It takes a certain formulation to kill bacteria without causing damage to the delicate tissue, and this formulation degrades over time. So, does mouthwash go bad, and after how long?
Does Mouthwash Expire?
Yes, mouthwash expires 24 – 36 months after the date of manufacture. Different mouthwash brands contain alcohol or a different astringent. These astringents begin to dissolve to dilute it once the mouthwash has passed its expiration date. As such, expired mouthwash could begin to grow bacteria and become unsafe for use.
How Does Mouthwash Expire?
Every type of mouthwash has a unique way of destroying bacteria, refreshing your breath, and enhancing your oral health. This is often different for each brand.
So, what makes mouthwash go bad?
Mouthwash has a careful balance of formulations that are actually pretty delicate such that if a component of the formula becomes not useful anymore, the mouthwash will be unable to perform the functions for which it was designed. Occasionally, one of the chemicals in the cocktail will completely eliminate the other ingredients and climb up the concentration ladder.
However, despite the fact that mouthwash is primarily composed of water, the chemical formulation is intended to both strengthen your teeth and protect your mouth from bacteria.
In cases when the formula has been changed as a result of the product’s age, you don’t want to put an out of balance formula in your mouth.
You’ve been looking through your cupboards while you’ve been stuck in quarantine and you’ve come upon a bottle of mouthwash that you don’t recall purchasing. It appears to be in good condition and smells good; but, you have no idea when it was manufactured and the “use by” date has passed. Is it safe to use, or should you throw it away and recycle the bottle instead?
Signs That Mouthwash Has Expired?
The following are the signs to tell if a mouthwash has expired.
- Changes in the color of your mouthwash and a peculiar scent show mouthwash has expired.
- An unusual consistency are all indications that it is past its expiration date. Natural mouthwashes, some of which require refrigeration, have significantly shorter shelf life than conventional mouthwashes.
- If you have a mouthwash bottle that does not have a date on it and you are unsure whether or not it is still good, don’t use it.
Is It Safe To Use Expired Mouthwash?
It is not safe to use expired mouthwash because it will be ineffective in cleaning the mouth. Another reason not to use expired mouthwash is that it could cause illness if bacteria have grown on it. Discard it once it has stayed beyond its shelf life.
Is it dangerous to use outdated mouthwash, or is it simply ineffective? First and foremost, if it is no longer useful, there is no need in continuing to use it. Mouthwash that contains alcohol for disinfection purposes may also contain other substances that actually preserve your teeth, so be mindful of this while using mouthwash.
The disinfecting alcohol has the potential to interact with the tooth-protecting compounds, rendering them ineffective. Even worse, the disinfecting ingredients in the bottle may become ineffective, allowing bacteria to flourish.
What Would Happen If You Use Expired Mouthwash?
It’s possible that nothing will happen. It’s possible that you won’t suffer any consequences at all. However, it is unlikely to be of any benefit to you. The notion that mouthwash formulas may last indefinitely is appealing, but it’s crucial to realize that these treatments are intended to be used to protect some rather fragile tissue. There are few liquid suspensions that survive indefinitely, and those that do are not particularly medicinal.
Mouthwash that has expired may include bacteria and disintegrated chemicals, making it unfit for consumption. Furthermore, it may be ineffective in the following situations:
- brushing and flossing your teeth, gums, and mouth
- avoiding tooth decay from occurring
- removing odors from the mouth
Can You Use Expired Mouthwash?
Many people who use mouthwash make use of the small cup that is located at the top of the bottle. If you have a habit of doing this, you have transmitted bacteria from your mouth to the cup. If you then rinse the cup and reattach it to the bottle, you will have successfully added tap water or whatever water you used to the mouthwash container.
If you then put your mouthwash back in the cupboard and happen to forget about it, keep in mind that the bottle has already been exposed to other factors including:
- bacterial remains from your mouth, as well as live bacteria, among other things
- microorganisms in the tap water
- the original mouthwash, which may or may not be in good condition.
The best course of action is to avoid opening the bottle and simply toss it out.