Why Does Toothpaste Expire?
The answer to why do toothpastes expire is simple: it’s because they are made with chemicals that react with oxygen. When these chemicals come into contact with air, they break down and release acids and other substances that cause them to decay. The most common types of chemicals used in making toothpastes include sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), ammonium laureth sulphate (ALSS) and parabens. These ingredients are found in many brands of toothpaste, including Colgate Total, Crest, Dental Health Plus, Enfamil Natural, Gillette Sensodyne and others.
What Are Parabens?
Parabens are synthetic preservatives that have been linked to cancer. They were first discovered in the early 1980s, but their use was not widespread until 2005 when research showed they could disrupt hormones and interfere with normal hormone function. Since then, there has been concern over how much of these chemicals may be present in our bodies and whether or not they pose any health risks.
How Do Parabens Affect Our Bodies?
Parabens have been shown to mimic estrogen, a female hormone that is vital for normal growth and development. In men, it can affect male fertility, metabolism, and the immune system. In women, it can lead to early puberty, weight gain, adult acne, and fibrocystic disease. Even more concerning is the fact that parabens have been linked to cancer after years of use.
Is There a Link Between Parabens and Cancer?
There have been studies done that suggest a possible link between parabens and cancer. Parabens have been detected in human tumor cells and research has found that they are able to cause genetic mutations, which can lead to cancer. In 2011, it was found that there were higher levels of methylparaben and ethylparaben in patients with cancerous tumors. It’s unclear whether these chemicals cause cancer or whether cancer causes them to be metabolized differently. However, parabens have been found in tumors removed from patients.
Does This Mean We Shouldn’t Use Toothpaste with Parabens?
While the possible health risks of using toothpaste with parabens are unclear, there are a few things you can do to minimize your risk. The first thing you can do is buy toothpaste without parabens. There are a number of brands that offer paraben-free toothpastes, including Camilia, Desert Essence, Jason Natural and Tom’s of Maine. Another option is to make your own toothpaste by mixing baking soda, coconut oil and peppermint oil. These ingredients have been shown not to cause cancer in rats or mice.
Does Toothpaste Go Bad?
You might also be wondering if toothpaste goes bad and if it’s dangerous to use toothpaste that is past its expiration date. Toothpaste doesn’t necessarily go bad, but it can lose some of its effectiveness over time. This is especially true of toothpastes that contain sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS).
Sources & references used in this article:
The antimicrobial potential of 14 natural herbal dentifrices: results of an in vitro diffusion method study by SS Lee, WU Zhang, Y Li – The Journal of the American Dental Association, 2004 – Elsevier
Contact allergens in toothpastes and a review of their hypersensitivity by EL Sainio, L Kanerva – Contact dermatitis, 1995 – Wiley Online Library
Toothbrush with a refillable toothpaste chamber by J Johnson, J Steele – US Patent 6,056,466, 2000 – Google Patents