Particularly if you are on a long flight, perhaps overnight, then being able to bring your electric toothbrush on a plane in your hand luggage is a must so that you can clean your teeth during the flight to help freshen up (and be kind to adjacent passengers).
The TSA allow an electric toothbrush on a plane in both hand luggage or checked bags. This applies to whatever type of battery they contain, whether rechargeable lithium or NiMH, or standard non-rechargeable batteries. But there are rules regarding the toothpaste you can take in carry on.
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.
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.
Can you take an electric toothbrush in carry on
You can take an electric toothbrush through airport security and onto a plane in your carry on bag.
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 have 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.
#AskTSA: Electric toothbrush in hand luggage
Asking if you can bring an electric toothbrush in hand luggage 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 as 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 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 checked bags, then you may as well pack it in there. If not, it can go in hand luggage.
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?
Can you take an electric toothbrush in checked luggage?
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 even that your toothbrush uses removable lithium batteries then you can only put the toothbrush in your checked baggage if the battery is inserted into the unit. The battery cannot travel separately in checked bags and neither can spare batteries.
Can you bring toothpaste in carry on?
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.
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.
Taking an electric toothbrush in hand luggage 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 your 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.
Do electric toothbrushes have lithium batteries?
A rechargeable electric toothbrush will normally have either an NiMH or a Lithium-ion battery. Most modern models will have lithium rechargeable batteries 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 has you are allowed to bring it with you on a plane in either your hold or your carry on baggage.
Do Oral B toothbrushes have lithium batteries?
Almost all modern Oral B rechargeable toothbrushes have lithium-ion batteries in them. You can check your model out on their website to see what kind of batteries are fitted in it.
Other toiletry airport security questions you may have
As well as whether you can take an electric toothbrush in hand luggage you may also be interested in these: