If you are on a long flight, particularly if flying overnight, then you may want to brush your teeth to freshen up before arriving at your destination. You are permitted to take your toothbrush with you but can you bring toothpaste too and if so, how much?
Toothpaste is considered a liquid by the TSA so it is subject to the liquids rules if taking it through the TSA security checkpoint. This means a tube of toothpaste cannot be larger than 3.4 ounces (100 ml) otherwise it will be confiscated. It can be packed in your checked bag without restriction.
In the rest of this article, you will find all the rules and everything you need to know relating to taking toothpaste on a plane and some ideas for ways to ensure you take the size you want.
- 1 Can you take toothpaste through airport security
- 2 Can you bring toothpaste in your carry on?
- 3 Can you use toothpaste while on board?
- 4 Can you bring toothpaste in your checked baggage?
- 5 Can you bring mouthwash on a plane?
- 6 Can you bring dental floss on a plane?
- 7 Conclusion
- 8 Toothpaste FAQs and travel tips
Can you take toothpaste through airport security
Although you are permitted to take toothpaste through the TSA checkpoint, according to the TSA rules, all forms of toothpaste whether liquids, gels or paste are considered to be liquids. This means that:
- The toothpaste tube must be no larger than 3.4 ounce (100 ml) in size.
- It is the size of the container that is important so you cannot take a large toothpaste tube that only has less than 3.4 ounce of toothpaste in it.
- It must be placed in your transparent, resealable, one quart size bag together with any other small liquids and toiletries.
- The quart sized liquid bag must be placed separately in a bin at checkpoint before going through the x-ray machine.
- Only one quart sized liquid bag is permitted per passenger
You can take solid toothpaste or toothpaste tablets in any quantity through the checkpoint.
You can also bring a standard or an electric toothbrush with you too.
The TSA offers a very good service called AskTSA on both Twitter and Facebook where you can ask a specific question about whether you can take something through the security checkpoint and they will respond quickly.
This is an example response to a passenger’s question regarding carrying toothpaste on a plane:
Can you take larger prescription toothpaste through security?
You are permitted to take a container of toothpaste that is larger than 3.4 oz through the TSA security checkpoint if you have been prescribed the toothpaste by a dentist or doctor. This applies if it is in the form of pastes, liquids and gels.
Place the toothpaste inside a separate tray and inform the security agent that you have it and show them a copy of the prescription.
See the TSA instructions below:
Can larger frozen toothpaste be taken through security?
Incredibly you can take a tube of toothpaste larger than 3.4 oz through the security checkpoint if it is completely frozen! This is rather a bizarre idea but it would allow you to get around the liquids security rule.
If the toothpaste had melted at all during the screening process then it would be confiscated since it must be completely frozen. If you have a large delay getting through security that may cause you a problem.
It seems like lots of trouble to go to me but I guess, as the response from @AskTSA below shows, it is something that some passengers may consider:
Can you bring toothpaste in your carry on?
As you will already know from reading the section above, you cannot take a tube of toothpaste larger than 3.4 oz (100 ml) through security.
But you can actually take a larger container of toothpaste on a plane in your carry on bag without having to buy a travel size tube.
This can be achieved if you purchase it in one of the stores at the airport after passing through the TSA checkpoint.
Can you use toothpaste while on board?
You can use any toothpaste while you are on board that you are permitted to take with you.
That is good news for you and perhaps your fellow travelers around you, particularly when you are on a long overnight flight and perhaps need to go straight to a meeting when you arrive.
Can you bring toothpaste in your checked baggage?
You will not encounter any problems when packing toothpaste inside your checked bags as, although it is considered a liquid in TSA regulations, the liquid rules only apply to taking toothpaste through airport security and on a plane in your carry on. The restrictions do not apply to liquids in checked baggage.
You can therefore pack any size tube of your favorite toothpaste in your luggage to use while you are away.
Can you bring mouthwash on a plane?
According to the TSA, mouthwash is permitted in your carry on bag but as it is a liquid (obviously) it is subject to the same liquids rule so must be no larger than 3.4 ozs and be placed in your liquids bag.
Larger size mouthwash can be packed in your checked baggage.
Can you bring dental floss on a plane?
Dental floss can be taken on a plane in either your carry on luggage or your checked luggage without restriction. The same applies to dental picks and other small items to help clean your teeth.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) does not allow any containers of toothpaste larger than 3.4 ounce (100 ml) of liquid or gel per item that are carried through the security checkpoint.
Passengers are allowed to bring toothpaste in their carry-on bag if they are in containers that hold 3.4 ounces or less per item. You will not have a problem packing larger amounts of toothpaste in a checked bag to use on your trip.
Toothpaste FAQs and travel tips
What size toothpaste can you carry on an airplane?
In your carry on baggage toothpaste cannot be larger than 3.4 oz but in checked bags there is no restriction on the size that you can pack.
Why is toothpaste not allowed on airplanes?
This is a common misconception as toothpaste is allowed on a plane. It is only not allowed in carry on bags if the toothpaste container is larger than 3.4 ounces.
Can I bring 3.5 oz toothpaste on a plane?
Yes you can bring a tube of toothpaste on a plane that is 3.5 ounces or larger but you can only pack it in your checked bag.
I have been traveling around the world by air since the early 70s and living overseas too. I worked for British Airways for a number of years and I am also a private pilot.