|Carry-on Luggage||Checked Luggage|
|Yes, up to 100ml||Yes|
The Transportation Security Administration or TSA has various rules surrounding what you can and cannot bring on a plane. These rules are to ensure the safety of the passengers on each aircraft. One of the questions you might have about these TSA rules involves if you can bring toothpaste on a plane, as you’ll need to have enough for your travels to ensure your stay on your dental health routine.
The TSA states that people can bring toothpaste on a plane, but the amount one can bring will vary surrounding whether the bag is a carry-on or not. The 3-1-1 rule is essential to note when looking at how you can bring toothpaste and other toiletries when traveling.
The General Rule
So, can you bring toothpaste on a plane? The TSA says that you can bring toothpaste if it meets the TSA’s rules. For carry-on bags, you can carry up to 3.4 ounces or 100 mL of toothpaste with you at a time.
There are no limits to how much you can bring in a checked bag that you will not carry onto the plane yourself. Since you will not be in contact with your bag while on the plane or in the airport terminal, you can safely bring as much toothpaste as necessary in this situation.
The TSA also states that the individual TSA officer will have the final say over whether an item will go through a checkpoint. The officer may need to review the container further if there appears to be any concern over the material, so you’ll need to ensure the container is clear and simple.
Understanding the 3-1-1 Rule
The 3-1-1 rule is an essential part of understanding whether you can bring toothpaste on a plane. The rule states that each liquid, gel, or aerosol someone carries must be in a container that is 3.4 ounces or less in size, plus all containers must be placed in one quart-sized plastic bag that a security agent can see through. Each passenger can only bring one of these plastic bags with them.
The 3-1-1 rule is in place for all gels and other similar items, although the TSA can make exceptions. The TSA allows passengers to bring a liquid hand sanitizer bottle of up to 12 ounces in their carry-on bags as of April 2022, for example. But those sanitizer bottles will have to be screened separately from all other items.
Why Are These Rules Intact?
The reason you can only bring so much toothpaste in a carry-on bag is that toothpaste could be utilized for explosive purposes. In 2006, a plot to blow up a plane with peroxide-based liquid explosives was found and eventually thwarted. It was found that the liquids used in the potential bomb could be mixed and prepared while on a plane. Some dyes and powders could also be utilized to color liquids to make them look normal, making it easier for these bomb-making compounds to sneak through airport security without detection.
The x-ray machines at airport security stations cannot identify what type of liquid appears in a container. Therefore, the TSA has issued regulations over how much liquid someone can bring at a time. This regulation is also the same reason why people cannot bring things like water bottles or coffee cups through airport security.
How Can You Get Toothpaste That Is Suitable For a Carry-On?
You can easily find various toothpaste products that can fit your carry-on from many retailers. Toothpaste manufacturers often make travel-size versions of their products in small sizes, with some being less than 2 ounces. Be sure to remove any toothpaste you will carry from any cardboard boxes they are sold in, as it is easier to fit the tube directly in your plastic bag without taking up lots of space. Don’t forget to use collapsable travel toothpaste that is also easy to secure in the bag.
You can find TSA-approved toothpaste containers at various drugstores around the country. You can also order them at a store or vending machine in an airport terminal if you need something at the last minute, although these terminal stores tend to charge more than what a regular drugstore may request for the same product.
Don’t forget when storing your toothpaste and other items that you keep them out during a security screening. The TSA agents at the airport will request you take out your single quart-sized bag to ensure they can review what you are carrying inside it. Any situation where a tube and other items are still in the bag will be identified by an x-ray machine, which will result in screening delays due to the need to review what is inside that bag.
Is It Possible An X-Ray Can Fail To Identify Toothpaste?
One trick some people have tried using for getting toothpaste and other gels on planes is by using packaging containers made with more flexible plastic materials. These include items that may be lighter and may not contain aluminum typically found in some toothpaste tubes.
But even with such tricks like this, it is still easy for x-ray devices to catch toothpaste and other items in these containers. The unusual shape of the container could also be a cause for concern for an x-ray reader, as the person may still ask to look through the bag to identify what is inside this material. Therefore, sticking with smaller containers for your bag is ideal to keep from bearing any possible issues. You must also avoid tampering with the toothpaste tube beforehand to reduce the potential for an officer to worry about whether there’s something else inside the container.
A Final Word
Toothpaste is essential for travel, as you’ll need to maintain proper hygiene while traveling. But airplane security is also important, and TSA agents want to ensure all people who get on these planes do so safely without adding undue risks.
Remember that you can bring toothpaste on a plane if you have a small amount that meets TSA guidelines. Be sure you prepare all your items for your trip well and that you know what to expect when you get to the screening station.