Being able to bring an electric toothbrush on a plane in your hand luggage is a must, particularly if you are on a long flight, perhaps overnight, so that you can clean your teeth during the flight to help freshen up your oral hygiene (and be kind to adjacent passengers).
Even if you normally use an electric toothbrush you could of course just take a manual toothbrush with you, or even buy one at your destination. But if you are like me and feel that you can only clean your teeth properly with your electric toothbrush then you will want to take it with you.
If you are going on a short break and only taking hand luggage with you then it is obviously important to be able to clean your teeth while you are away. But can you take an electric toothbrush on a plane in your carry on or checked bag?
The Quick Answer: TSA rules allow electric toothbrushes through security and on a plane in carry on bags no matter what type of battery they contain. If they contain lithium-ion batteries the TSA state that they should only be carried in carry on baggage.
Below you can see the full rules and also the rules regarding toothpaste too.
- 1 Can you take electric toothbrush in hand luggage?
- 2 Are electric toothbrushes allowed in checked baggage?
- 3 Can you take a toothbrush and toothpaste in hand luggage?
- 4 Do electric toothbrushes have lithium batteries?
- 5 Do Oral B toothbrushes have lithium batteries?
- 6 Conclusion
- 7 Other toiletry airport security questions you may have
Can you take electric toothbrush in hand luggage?
You can bring an electric toothbrush through airport security and onto a plane in your carry on luggage.
In fact, the Transportation Security Administration website is a little confusing as they state:
“Devices containing lithium metal or lithium ion batteries should be carried in carry-on baggage. Most other consumer devices containing batteries are allowed in carry-on and checked baggage.”TSA Electric Toothbrush Rules
Electric toothbrushes are generally rechargeable and therefore contain a rechargeable battery, more often than not these days, a lithium battery.
Lithium batteries are the ones that airport security has the biggest problem with. This is because of the small possibility of them overheating and catching fire but this is not likely in electric toothbrushes where the battery is encased within the unit and cannot be removed.
The FAA website clarifies this better as it states “when possible”:
“Devices containing lithium metal or lithium ion batteries (laptops, smartphones, tablets, etc.) should be carried in carry-on luggage when possible. When portable electronic devices powered by lithium batteries are in checked baggage, they must be completely powered off and protected to prevent unintentional activation or damage. In electronic devices capable of generating extreme heat, heating elements must be isolated which could cause a fire if activated, by removal of the heating element, battery or other components.”FAA Hazardous Materials
#AskTSA: Electric toothbrush on plane
Asking if you can bring an electric toothbrush in carry on is a frequently asked question on the TSA Twitter service (#asktsa). This is a reply to one of the many who ask:
I have taken my electric toothbrush in hand luggage and also my checked luggage all over the world without a problem. This is because, if the battery is built-in, or removable, but properly inserted, they have little or no chance of shorting, overheating or catching fire so they are not a problem.
Make sure that your toothbrush has some charge in it. This is because you may be asked to switch it on when you go through airport security. If you cannot then there is a small possibility that it may be confiscated. You can also take replaceable battery-operated toothbrushes in your cabin bag too.
You can of course also take the charging unit for your electric toothbrush with you. Since you will not need it during the flight, if you are taking a checked bag, then you may as well pack it in there. If not, it can go in your cabin bag.
Although electric toothbrushes are ok, many other items that contain a rechargeable battery can potentially present a problem at airport security. To find out more you may wish to read – Can you take lithium batteries on a plane?
Are electric toothbrushes allowed in checked baggage?
If you do not want to use your electric toothbrush on a plane during the flight, perhaps because it is just short-haul, then you can go ahead and pack it in your suitcase and check it in to go into the aircraft’s hold.
In the unlikely event that your toothbrush uses a removable lithium battery then you can only put the toothbrush in your checked bag if the battery is inserted into the unit. The battery cannot travel separately in checked bags and neither can spare batteries.
Can you take a toothbrush and toothpaste in hand luggage?
Since toothpaste is treated as a liquid for airport security regulation purposes, you cannot take toothpaste in your carry on unless it is 3.4oz (100ml) or less. It must also go in your clear resealable quart-sized liquids bag when you go through security.
Remember, you cannot take a larger tube of toothpaste with very little toothpaste in it. It is the size of the tube that is important, not the amount of toothpaste it actually contains. A larger tube of toothpaste will be confiscated by a TSA officer.
My post How much toothpaste can you bring on a plane explains the toothpaste rules fully.
Taking an electric toothbrush in your carry on bag is not much good without toothpaste if you are intending to clean your teeth during the flight.
So you have two options:
- Buy a small travel tube of toothpaste that is 3.4oz or less in size
- If there are stores in the departure area of the airport you are flying from (after you pass through security) then you may be able to buy some toothpaste. You can buy any size tube then.
If you traveling with only a carry on bag, and aren’t planning to clean your teeth during the flight, but just want the toothbrush and toothpaste for while you are away, then as well as the above two options you could also just buy a tube when you arrive at your destination.
For the full rules on liquids, and what are considered liquids, under these rules read my complete guide. Maximum liquid permitted in carry on on a plane. TSA 3-1-1 liquids rule.
Do electric toothbrushes have lithium batteries?
Rechargeable electric toothbrushes will normally have either a NiMH or a lithium-ion battery. Most modern models will have a lithium-ion battery encased in them, which cannot be removed.
The whole unit sits on a charger when the battery needs recharging, rather than the battery being removed and charged separately.
Some cheaper electric toothbrushes use disposable replaceable batteries.
Whatever type of battery your electric toothbrush is fitted with you are allowed to bring it with you on a plane in either your carry on baggage or checked bags
Do Oral B toothbrushes have lithium batteries?
Almost all modern Oral B rechargeable toothbrushes will have a lithium-ion battery in them. You can check your rechargeable electric toothbrush model out on the Oral B website to see what kind of batteries are fitted in it.
The same applies to Sonicare toothbrushes.
The TSA allows electric toothbrushes on a plane in carry on bags no matter what type of battery they contain. But if they contain lithium-ion batteries the TSA state that they should only be carried in carry on baggage.
Other toiletry airport security questions you may have
As well as whether you can take an electric toothbrush in your carry on you may also be interested in these: