If you want to keep your teeth minty fresh and are wondering if you can bring toothpaste on a plane, the answer is yes. You can pack toothpaste in any quantity in your checked baggage, but if placed in your carry-on bags, the tube must be less than or equal to 3.4oz/100 ml.
But do these rules change when traveling domestically compared to internationally, when traveling with prescription vs. non-prescription toothpaste, and do airlines have their own rules and regulations as they sometimes do for certain items like pepper spray and tasers?
Bringing Toothpaste On a Plane – Checked Baggage vs. Carry On Bags
A lot of passengers like to place their toothpaste in their checked baggage, especially for short-haul flights where brushing their teeth is probably going to be unnecessary.
This is because there are no weight regulations that must be followed, and there is no need to purchase a travel-friendly tube of toothpaste every time before flying.
Carry-on Bags (3-1-1 Rule)
TSA have something called the 3-1-1 Rule, which stands for 3 ounces, 1 passenger, 1 quart-sized bag.
In other words, each passenger is allowed to travel with a tube of toothpaste in their carry-on bag just as long as it is no larger than 3.4 ounces (I guess that 3.4-1-1 Rule didn’t have the same ring to it) and is placed in a 1 quart-sized resalable bag.
Brining Prescription vs. Non-Prescription Toothpaste On a Plane
While most passengers will have to make sure that their toothpaste in their carry-on bags doesn’t exceed 3.4oz/100 ml, those who have been prescribed toothpaste can disregard this. If toothpaste is prescribed, a passenger does not have to follow the 3-1-1 Rule.
TSA state that they allow larger amounts of medically necessary liquids and gels “in reasonable quantities”. The only thing to note is that a passenger must declare the item, which includes prescription toothpaste, to TSA officers at the checkpoint for inspection.
The toothpaste should be removed from your carry-on bag to be screened separately from the rest of your belongings.
Do Toothpaste Regulations Vary By Airline?
Whether you are flying with Delta, Southwest, United, JetBlue, American Airlines, or any other airline, TSA rules and regulations are followed by all – i.e. there are no special regulations on toothpaste that vary by airline.
Flying Domestically vs. Internationally
The rule that you are not able to carry any liquids, aerosols or gels that exceed 3.4oz/100 ml is standardized around the world.
Therefore, whether you are flying to and from the USA, Mexico, Canada, the UK, Europe, or any other country or region, the same rules apply when it comes to bringing toothpaste on a plane.
Exceeding TSA Carry-on Size Liquid Regulations
If you attempt to go past airport security with a tube of toothpaste that exceeds 3.4oz/100 ml, you will be stopped, and the toothpaste will be confiscated.
Not to worry, though, because as soon as you get past airport security, there will be shops in the airport where you can buy a tube of toothpaste, so you can even brush your teeth on the plane if you want to.
Is Toothpaste Considered a Liquid?
Many passengers think that TSA only have a rule for liquids, but it is actually liquids as well as gels and aerosols that must not exceed 3.4oz/100 ml.
Therefore, regardless if toothpaste is considered a liquid or not (and we could probably debate the technicalities of this all day), the same rules apply.
What is the Best Brand of Toothpaste for Travel?
There isn’t a brand of toothpaste that is best for travel. If you want to bring toothpaste on a plane, you’ll be pleased to know that practically all the major brands, like Colgate, Crest, Sensodyne etc. all sell travel-friendly sized tubes, so you can sail through airport security without any issue.
So whatever brand of toothpaste you use at home, you should have no problem taking a mini-sized tube with you to and from your destination.
What About Bringing An Electric Toothbrush On a Plane?
You can bring an electric toothbrush on a plane in both your carry on bags and checked baggage, though if your electric toothbrush contains a lithium-ion battery, it is preferable if it is packed in your carry-on baggage.