Does Mouthwash Expire? | To Which Extent Does it Depend on the Ingredients?

Mouthwash is a liquid that kills germs in your mouth. Some people think that mouthwash will last forever, but it won't. So even if you buy a bottle of mouthwash that says "expiration date unknown," it's still better to use it up before a reasonable expiration date rather than leave it in your medicine cabinet.

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Most mouthwashes expire because they contain alcohol and preservatives. The FDA requires manufacturers to indicate how long the product will stay fresh after opening the bottle. At Dr. Brite, we strive to provide safe solutions for your family. Our products are plant-based and natural. They are toxin-free, and our aim is to improve people's lives.

Determining The Freshness of a Mouthwash Bottle

Like most things, the mouthwash expiry date depends on the type of mouthwash.Dr. Brite's mouthwash is a professional-grade product that comes in various flavors and scents. Patients of all ages can use it, and it is safe for people with braces, implants, and other dental appliances.

a person pouring the mouthwash

In addition, the mouthwash contains sodium bicarbonate, which helps whiten teeth and freshen breath. In addition to these benefits, Dr. Brite's mouthwash manufactured using sodium bicarbonate has a longer shelf life than other products.

Below are a few types of mouthwash with different chemical formulations:

Cosmetic Mouthwash

Cosmetic mouthwashes are the most popular type of mouthwash. Suchtherapeutic mouthwash cleans your teeth, gums, and tongue. The most common active ingredients in these types of mouthwashes include alcohol, glycerin, and salt.

Alcohol-Based Mouthwashes

They contain alcohol as their primary ingredient. Alcohol can be used as a solvent or an antiseptic agent in these products. It is also a sweetener to make the mouthwash morepalatable for consumers.

Glycerin-based Mouthwashes

It contains glycerin as its primary ingredient. Glycerin is a natural sugar found in plants and animals that helps dissolveplaque and tartar buildup on teeth and gum lines that can cause bad breath and tooth decay if left untreated over time.

mouthwash in different colors

But if you're looking for the best way to ensure your mouthwash is fresh, there are a few things to consider for youroral health:

  • Does it contain alcohol? Alcohol evaporates faster than other ingredients, so mouthwash will go bad faster. In addition, some manufacturers add alcohol to their formulas, while others don't. So if your mouthwash contains alcohol, it will be less effective.
  • Does it have citric acid? Citric acid is another ingredient that evaporates quickly and makes your mouthwash less effective over time. If you see citric acid in your product's ingredients list, keep an eye on how much is left before opening the bottle again!
  • Are there any preservatives in the product?Preservatives help prevent bacterial growth in your mouthwash; they also help extend its shelf life by preventing nutrient loss (which would otherwise cause spoilage). Some manufacturers add preservatives such as potassium sorbate or sodium benzoate — these ingredients help prevent bacteria from growing in your mouthwash and extend its shelf life.

Is It Safe to Use Mouthwash After Its Expiration Date?

Mouthwash is typically made from alcohol and other water-soluble ingredients. The alcohol reacts with the water to make the solution more effective at removing stains and bad breath. But alcohol doesn't break down like other ingredients in an open container — so when you buy an expired mouthwash, you never know how long the alcohol will last before it starts going bad.

a person holding a small bottle of mouthwash

If you use mouthwash that's past its expiration date, there are some risks involved.

Some mouthwashes can be dangerous after their expiration date has passed. That's because they may have been stored under ideal conditions — and then exposed to air and light — which can change their chemical makeup and potentially make them unsafe to consume.

The chemicals in expired mouthwash can cause irritation or burns around your mouth and throat if they come in contact with your skin. It could also lead to infection or permanent damage if it gets into your bloodstream.

The chemicals can also produce toxic byproducts during these reactions that could harm your body if they build up over time. These byproducts include hydrogen peroxide and carbolic acid, which are poisonous if ingested orally.

Alternative Ways to Dispose of Expired Mouthwash?

Mouthwash is a great product when you feel like you need a quick clean. However, it can be unsafe to use, as some brands contain potentially harmful ingredients to your health.

a man holding a bottle of mouthwash

Here are a few ways to dispose of expired mouthwash:

  • Repel insects and bugs. Mix one part ofmouthwash with two parts of water to create a plant spray that repels insects. Use one-half cup of water for every half cup of mouthwash, then blend or process the mixture until it is smooth. Before applying this mixture to your plants or lawns, let it settle for 30 minutes.
  • Use mouthwash as a toilet bowl cleaner. First, fill up your toilet bowl with water, then add three tablespoons of mouthwash per four cups (1 liter) of water (or one capful). Leave this mixture in place for 20 minutes to killharmful bacteria before flushing away any remaining residue left behind by old toothpaste or other bathroom items.
  • Removing stains from windows and mirrors. Dampening a towel with a capful of mouthwash to clean mirrors and windows. You may want to mix a small amount of mouthwash with water before using it on your windows or mirrors. If you wipe the glass with plain water, it will help prevent streaking and streak marks.

a person cleaning the mirror


Can I Use Listerine Mouthwash after the Expiration Date?

Yes, but it's not recommended. The active ingredient in Listerine is chlorhexidine, which is a disinfectant. It kills bacteria and viruses but also destroys the cells lining your mouth, which means that it can't be used for prolonged periods. In addition, the active ingredient inListerine has an expiration date stamped on the bottle. You should throw out any bottles with an expired date within four months of the expiration date.

Is It Bad to Use Expired Mouthwash?

Yes, expired or spoiled mouthwashes can causeserious damage to your teeth and gums. In many cases, cavities can develop if you use expired toothpaste. If you're concerned about whether or not your toothpaste is safe for consumption, ensure there are no signs of mold on the container or the label says "expired."

Can You Mix Fresh and Expired Mouthwash Together?

The answer depends on what type of mouthwash you are using. Some brands have ingredients that react with each other over time and cause odors and discoloration. It's not something we recommend doing, but if you want to try mixing different brands, we recommend using only one brand at a time so that your mixture does not change color or smell weird.

How Can You Tell If Mouthwash Has Expired?

If you look at the expiration date on the bottle, you can see how long it has been since its manufacture. When a product is made, it will have an expiration date of two years or less. After that, it will have a "use-by" date that tells you when to throw it away. So, if your mouthwash has more than two years left, it is probably still good and ready for use. Also, smelling it will tell you if the bottle is still fresh or expired. 

a female dentist standing in her office

Consult a Dentist

There may be unpleasant side effects from using expired mouthwash. Only mouthwash formulas with alcohol or specific additional chemicals can result in some of these negative effects.

However, according to Dr. Brite, using prescription mouthwash is often not hazardous to your health. You have the choice to either use mouthwash as part of a good oral hygiene regimen or not. It just comes down to personal preference.

You should consult a dentist if you experiencepersistent bad breath, are worried about plaque accumulation and gum disease, or are simply interested in improving your dental health.

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