Does Mouthwash Expire – Facts You Need To Know
You just discovered mouthwash you haven't used in months, and you can't seem to find an expiration date. Is this still ok? Does mouthwash expire? The absence of an expiration date doesn't mean it won't expire. That's why we're going to look into a mouthwash's regular lifespan and the ingredients that affect it.
Basic Facts: How Long Does Mouthwash Last
Not all mouthwashes are the same. The ingredients found in mouthwash affect its lifespan.
So, does mouthwash expire? Yes.
As a general rule, mouthwashes last two years from its manufacturing date, but some may last longer depending on key ingredients that we will look into.
Here are a few other things to remember:
- All mouthwashes expire, whether an expiration date is present or not.
- An expiration date on mouthwash means testing was done to work out its safety and effectivity.
- If your mouthwash does not have an expiration date, mark the date of purchase and observe changes in smell or appearance.
- Discard mouthwashes that have changes in texture, color, or smell.
- Can mouthwash expire and still be used? An expired mouthwash may lead to bacteria build up and other oral health problems.
Mouthwash Ingredients And How They Affect Expiration
“Does mouthwash expire? To answer the question, we will look into some of its key ingredients:
Mouthwashes with alcohol have ethanol, which kills bacteria. Here are other things you need to know about ethanol:
- prevents plaque and gingivitis
- preserves the mouthwash longer, sometimes up to three years after its manufacturing date
Mouthwashes with antimicrobials contain a key ingredient called chlorhexidine. Here are some things you need to know about antimicrobials:
- reduce plaque and gingivitis
- dissolve and break down over time
- degrading chlorhexidine is said to be harmful
Parabens or preservatives
This preservative is in most mouthwashes. Here are a few things you need to know about parabens:
- prevent mold and bacteria growth
- help the mouthwash last for years beyond the expiration date
- can be absorbed by the skin and cause hormonal changes linked to cancer
Mouthwash made of natural ingredients has no preservatives, which is why it is important to mark the mouthwash with its purchase date and watch for any changes in its properties.
- Mouthwashes with parabens and alcohol may last beyond their expiry dates, but to avoid unnecessary risk, we recommend you discard any mouthwash beyond its expiration date.
- Antimicrobial ingredients in mouthwashes have the tendency to break down due to high water content. For cases like these, expiration dates must be observed.
A mouthwash is meant to be in something as sensitive as the mouth, which is why we have to be cautious about its use. More than wanting to know if mouthwash expire, we need to stay on the safe side. The risks linked in using an expired mouthwash is too significant to ignore, so why gamble? The next thing to do is to discard your old mouthwash and buy a new one.