TSA Toothpaste Rules & Size Limits: Brush Up On The Latest Restrictions [2022]

Undoubtedly, one of the most common items to bring along on your travels is toothpaste.

While many hotels will supply you with toothpaste it is not always guaranteed and many times you might receive subpar quality toothpaste.

And unless you are flying first class or business class, chances are you won’t be issued toothpaste during your flight.

So in order to keep your teeth fresh and clean, you’ll probably think about bringing toothpaste with you on a plane.

In this article, I will answer the question of whether or not you can bring toothpaste on the plane and what TSA rules and size limits might apply.

I will also give you a refresher on the liquids rule and provide some clarity about the difference between liquid ounces and solid ounces.

Can you bring toothpaste on a plane?

Yes, you are allowed to bring toothpaste through TSA airport security and onto the plane that you are boarding.

However, when bringing toothpaste as a carry-on it will be subject to the 3-1-1 liquids rule and so you’ll have to abide by those size requirements.

These size limits can get a little bit tricky for toothpaste because of the difference between volume and weight that is used on packaging.

But we will clear this up in this article.

Keep reading below for more details on how to bring toothpaste on a plane!

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TSA Toothpaste Rules & Size Limits

Bringing toothpaste as a carry-on

If you are attempting to bring toothpaste as a carry on then you will need to get your toothpaste through a TSA security checkpoint.

This means dealing with the TSA liquids rule.

The TSA Liquids 3-1-1 Rule states that you can only bring liquids in containers no larger than 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) and that all of your liquid containers must fit “comfortably” into one clear, quart-size bag.

(When going through the checkpoint, you’ll have to remove your quart-size bag from your luggage unless you have TSA Pre-Check.)

TSA has a pretty broad definition of what is considered a liquid.

Any types of creams, gels, lotions, etc., are all considered liquids.

Basically anything that is usually poured, scooped, squeezed, slurped, or mashed will be considered a liquid for TSA purposes. 

So TSA will definitely consider your toothpaste a liquid.

(Note: there are some solid tablets you can use to brush your teeth that wouldn’t be subject to the liquids rule, but I am just going to assume that most people are going to use normal toothpaste.)

This means that if you want to bring toothpaste on a plane it needs to be in a 3.4 ounce container and if you have multiple liquid containers they need to fit “comfortably” inside of a quart size bag.

Comfortably just means that the seams are not bursting on your bag. So if you have toothpaste inside of a bag that cannot be zipped shut then that would not pass the standard.

The key thing to note here is that your containers can only be up to 3.4 ounces (100 ml).

The rule does not care about how much substance is inside the container.

So, for example, if you had a six ounce package of toothpaste but it only had one ounce of toothpaste inside it that would still not comply with TSA.

Volume or weight?

The fact that the TSA 3-1-1 rule is focused on liquids and uses milliliters means that they are focused on volume (ml) and not weight (grams).

This gets a bit tricky because a toothpaste package will often list ounces in weight and not volume.

To clear up the confusion, you can use a formula that factors in the density of toothpaste (which should be about 1.3 g/ml).

This would mean that your toothpaste weight in grams (which is usually the measurement shown on the label) would need to be ~130g or less. (130g equals 100 ml for toothpaste.)

But 130g also equals 4.58 (weight) ounces.

This means that you could argue that a filled container with 4.58 ounces of toothpaste or under should be allowed through TSA security. (Packaging can add a little bit of weight.)

Your argument is basically that the toothpaste squeeze bottle is a container of 100 ml of “liquid.”

The problem with that is you would have to bet on a TSA agent: 1) accepting your conversions and 2) appreciating the differences between mass and volume.

When taking all your belongings through a busy security checkpoint, it’s not exactly the ideal time for a lecture on these things….

Therefore, I would recommend for you to treat liquid ounces and weight ounces the same so that you can avoid issues in security.

Related: How Many Ounces Is 100ML? A Special Guide for TSA-Weary Travelers

3.4 ounces Sensodyne

Sometimes you can find a toothpaste brand that sells toothpaste right at 3.4 ounces like the Sensodyne pictured above.

But a standard package of toothpaste (Colgate, Crest, etc.) will be around 4.2 (weight) ounces and a lot of them are even larger.

Here are some standard package sizes for toothpaste brands:

  • Colgate – 4.2oz (119g)
  • Crest – 4.1oz (116g)
  • Sensodyne – 3.4oz (96.4)
  • Aquafresh – 5.6oz (158.7g)
  • Aim – 5.5oz (156g)
  • Arm & Hammer – 6.0oz (170g)

This means that you may not be able to bring a standard package of toothpaste through TSA security unless the agent understands the difference between mass and volume.

Instead, to make life easier you may need to purchase the smaller travel packs of toothpaste.

You can find these packages in various grocery stores, drugstores, and also online. Many of these travel size packages are under 1 ounce so you should have plenty of clearance. 

Also, you might consider buying an entire package of TSA-approved toiletries. In one package you can find things like toothpaste, mouthwash, deodorant, razors, combs, etc.. Many of these are gender specific. 

Travel toothpaste in liquids bag

Checked baggage

If you are bringing your toothpaste through in your checked baggage, you don’t have to comply with the liquids rule size requirements.

For example, if you wanted to bring a large pack full of five ounce containers of toothpaste that would be totally fine. 

Tip: If you were bringing toothpaste that has already been opened you might consider bagging that package up so that it does not spill or squirt out. There is nothing worse than trying to get toothpaste out of your garments….

Related: Can You Bring a Waterpik or “Water Flosser” on a Plane?

Smuggling toothpaste?

Many travelers have written about how some toothpaste does not show up on standard x-ray machines.

Because of this, some travelers choose to hide their large toothpaste packages inside their bag and get it through security. 

Personally, I would not do this.

First, TSA is moving to a different type of x-ray scanner that I’m guessing will be able to detect toothpaste.

Second, I think it is just a bad idea to try to smuggle toothpaste when there are so many cheap and easy alternatives.

If you get caught, it is only going to slow down your travels and also slowdown the travels for other people. Plus, you will be without toothpaste. 

So my advice would be to just buy some at the store.

Related: Can You Bring Shampoo (Liquid or Dry) On a Plane?

Toothpaste aisle store

Other items

You can bring your toothbrushes including electric toothbrushes through security without any problems. Floss is allowed as well.

If you are attempting to bring mouthwash through the airport security be sure that it complies with the liquid 3.4 ounce rule.

Just like toothpaste, there are a lot of stores that sell travel-sized mouthwash.

You might also be curious about other toiletry items….

For example, many people wonder whether or not they can bring disposable razors through security. The answer to this question is yes, you are allowed to bring disposable razors through. You can read more about other sharp objects like knives here.

Also, if you are wondering about medication there are specific rules and exceptions that apply. For example, you will not have to comply with the liquids rule when bringing in many medications. To find out more about bringing medications through TSA security and through planes click here.  

Other posts you might be interested in:


Does toothpaste count as a liquid for TSA?

Yes, TSA will consider your toothpaste a liquid and it will be subject to the liquids rule when you bring it on as a carry-on item.

Can I brush my teeth on a plane?

Yes, you can brush your teeth on a plane but be sure to do it in a lavatory.

Final word

As you can see, the rules are pretty clear that you are allowed to bring toothpaste onto a plane through TSA.

However, if you are bringing your toothpaste as a carry on then you will need to comply with the liquids 3-1-1 rule. This is very easy to do considering how easy it is to find toothpaste packages that are under 3.4 ounces. And finally, if you are bringing toothpaste through with your checked baggage you don’t have to worry about the size requirements.

Can You Bring a Waterpik or “Water Flosser” on a Plane? (TSA Rules) [2022]

Just because you are traveling on a plane, that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your personal hygiene. For some people, maintaining a high level of oral hygiene means utilizing a waterpik and water flossing on a regular basis.

But can you bring a waterpik on a plane? And if so, what restrictions apply?

In this article, I’ll cover everything you need to know about the TSA rules for bringing a waterpik on a plane and getting it through airport security.

Can you bring a waterpik on a plane?

Yes, you can bring a waterpik on a plane as a carry-on item or even a checked bag item. However, you need to make sure that you are in compliance with the TSA Liquids Rule.

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Different types of water flossers

Generally speaking, there are four different types of water flossers:

  • Shower Flosser
  • Faucet Flosser
  • Cordless or Battery-Operated
  • Countertop

Since you are probably not bringing a sink or shower with you through airport security, we’ll just focus on the latter two types.

Travel-sized waterpik (Cordless or Battery-Operated)

Water flossers can be quite bulky and so when traveling you probably want to use a travel-size waterpik.

Utilizing a battery powered, cordless waterpik will just make life a lot easier because the device will free up room in your luggage.

The drawback is that many of these don’t provide the same level of pressure that you would get with a countertop water flosser.

They also may not have as many pressure levels or special features like pulsation that can be pretty effective at loosening debris between your teeth.

So you have to decide what matters to you the most: convenience or effectiveness.

Full-sized waterpik (Countertop)

A full-size waterpik is going to be a pretty bulky device but there’s still no reason why you could not bring that through airport security.

People bring much larger devices like PlayStations through security so the size of it should not be a problem.

If you’re planning on using your water flosser during your flight you probably don’t want to be lugging around a countertop flosser.

Bringing a waterpik through security as a carry-on

Waterpiks have a reservoir that stores water and if you know anything about TSA security rules, you know that there are pretty strict rules about bringing liquids on a plane.

Basically there is something called the TSA Liquids 3-1-1 Rule which states that you can only bring liquids in containers no larger than 3.4 ounces and that all of your liquids must fit “comfortably” into one clear, quart size bag.

This means that if you bring liquid (water) in the reservoir of your waterpik you are most likely violating the liquids rule.

If you have TSA Pre-Check, you will not have to remove your liquids from your carry-on and so sometimes the TSA agents could be more lenient.

With TSA Pre-Check you can also take advantage of several benefits including things like:

  • Shoes can stay on
  • Belt can stay on
  • Light jackets can stay on
  • Laptops allowed to stay in bag

But still, TSA Pre-Check or not, if you are caught bringing liquids in violation of the TSA Liquids Rule you will hold up the security line and be forced to step aside and pour out your liquids.

In some cases, this could lead to a more exhaustive (and uncomfortable) search of your belongings and of your person.

Your waterpik probably will not be confiscated but it will make your dealings at airport security a little bit more stressful and time-consuming.

So the best advice is to empty the water container from your waterpik before going through airport security. This way, your waterpik will NOT be subject to the liquids rule and it will be treated just like any other device.

Since waterpiks are a somewhat lesser known hygiene product it’s possible that after it goes through an x-ray machine an agent may have questions for you like, “What the heck is this thing?”

It will probably be rare but just be prepared to explain what the waterpik is in case you run into a curious agent.

portable waterpik

Bringing a waterpik in checked baggage

If you want to bring a waterpik in your checked baggage, you would be allowed to bring it with liquid inside the reservoir.

However, that’s probably not a great idea because your luggage could get knocked around and you could easily spill water on all of the contents of your luggage.

So it would be a much smarter decision to empty out the reservoir before putting it in your checked baggage.

Note: If you have a portable waterpik that is battery powered you might want to also ensure that you are not putting your water flosser in your checked baggage if it has lithium ion batteries.

Using your water flosser on a plane

If you’re trying to maintain a high level of dental hygiene while on your flight you might think about using your water floss during the flight, especially if you are on a long-haul flight or you were dealing with some type of orthodontic issues after eating.

Using a waterpik on the flight presents a couple of difficulties so it’s a good idea to practice some decency when using it.

The first question you should ask yourself is should you even use it on a plane?

Is it really that important for you to water floss your teeth on the plane or can you simply wait until you arrive at your destination?

Water flossing can get messy (especially when you might be dealing with unexpected turbulence for the close and awkward confines of an airplane lavatory).

That means that you could potentially leave a wet mess in the lavatory that other passengers would not appreciate.

This should be common sense to most but just in case you were wondering: under no circumstances should you use it at your seat!

Even if you devised a way to capture the overflowing water, I can assure you that no passenger would appreciate getting squirted by water coming out of your mouth or even having to witness such a thing.

Depending on the type of flosser that you have, there’s also potential to drench your surroundings with water which is just not something that is a good idea on a plane.

Also, some waterpiks can actually be pretty noisy.

If you do decide to use your waterpik inside the lavatory, you could fill up your water flosser with water from the lavatory’s sink but I would not recommend that.

That water may be clean enough for washing your hands but I would definitely not want that water inside my mouth.

For that reason, you are much better off bringing a water bottle so that you can utilize 100% clean water.

Electric toothbrush

You should have no problem bringing an electric toothbrush through airport security and on to a plane.

Prescription toothpaste

Toothpaste is allowed on the plane but it will be subject to the TSA liquid rules which just means you need to find a package under 3.4 ounces. That’s not hard to do because you can easily find a travel size container of your favorite brand.

In some cases you may have a medical issue that requires prescription toothpaste.

Some of these containers may be larger than 3.4 ounces which means that technically they are in violation of the liquid rule.

However, TSA makes exceptions for medical products and will allow you to bring liquids in higher quantities than 3.4 ounces.

It will help if you have your prescription with you and can articulate that your toothpaste is medically prescribed so as to remind the TSA agent that the liquids rule does not apply to it.

However, TSA does not require you to carry prescriptions on you all the time.

Other hygiene products

We’ve also published articles on bringing some other hygiene products that you might be curious about:

Final word

Bringing a water flosser through airport security and onto a plane is pretty straightforward.

You just need to make sure that you have emptied the reservoir before bringing your device and that you are not storing lithium ion batteries in your checked baggage.

Also, just be very mindful not to make a mess if using the flosser in the lavatory.