Can You Bring Toothpaste On A Plane?

Every day, millions of travelers take to the skies with their personal belongings, pondering the intricate regulations that govern air travel. Among these regulations, the rules concerning the transportation of toiletries, such as toothpaste, have become particularly pertinent in the post-9/11 world, where security measures have significantly influenced what passengers can pack.

The inclusion of toothpaste on a plane is subject to stipulations that date back to 2006 when the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) introduced the 3-1-1 rule for carry-ons in response to a foiled transatlantic aircraft terrorist plot. The new regulations were specifically designed to limit the amount of liquids, gels, and aerosols an individual could carry onto a flight, reflecting a heightened focus on in-flight security. Since toothpaste falls into the gel category, restrictions on its size and the way it’s packed were put into place to reduce potential threats. Over time, these regulations have become a common part of the air travel experience, with travelers now familiarizing themselves with these guidelines to ensure a hassle-free journey. Today, being aware of the current TSA toothpaste rules is a standard prerequisite for travelers seeking to navigate airport security checkpoints successfully.

can you bring toothpaste on a plane

Can You Take Toothpaste On A Plane?

When traveling by air, passengers often wonder about the restrictions on items they can take on board, especially when it comes to personal care items like toothpaste. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) allows travelers to take toothpaste on a plane in their carry-on luggage, but it must adhere to the 3-1-1 liquids rule. This means the toothpaste must be in a container of 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less, and all containers must fit in a single, clear, quart-sized zip-top bag. Each passenger is limited to one such bag. For those who wish to carry larger amounts, they can pack toothpaste in checked baggage without size restrictions. Understanding these guidelines can help ensure a smooth security checkpoint experience. Continue reading for a more detailed exploration of the rules and tips for traveling with toothpaste and other toiletries.

Carrying Toothpaste on USA Domestic Flights: TSA Guidelines

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has clear regulations regarding the transportation of liquids, gels, creams, and pastes, including toothpaste, on domestic flights within the United States. These regulations are part of TSA’s 3-1-1 liquids rule to ensure the safety and security of all airline passengers.

TSA 3-1-1 Liquids Rule

Passengers are required to follow TSA’s 3-1-1 rule for carry-on bags:

  • 3.4 Ounces or Less: Toothpaste must be in a travel-sized container that is 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item.
  • 1 Quart-Sized Bag: All liquid containers must be placed together in a single, quart-sized, zip-top, clear plastic bag.
  • 1 Bag Per Passenger: Each passenger is allowed only one such bag in their carry-on.

Containers larger than 3.4 ounces not complying with the 3-1-1 rule may be permitted in checked luggage.

Exemptions to the 3-1-1 Rule

There are certain exemptions to this rule:

  • Medically necessary toothpastes or gels prescribed by a physician may exceed the 3.4-ounce limit as long as they are declared to a TSA officer at the checkpoint.
  • Baby toothpaste as part of baby care items may also be exempted if a child is traveling with the passenger.

Declaration of Toothpaste Exceeding Limits

Toothpaste that exceeds the liquid limits due to medical reasons should be declared before the screening process:

  • Inform the TSA officer at the beginning of the screening process.
  • Present the toothpaste separately from the rest of your belongings.
  • Provide any necessary documentation, such as a doctor’s note, if requested.

Recommendations for Packing Toothpaste

To ensure compliance with TSA regulations and a smooth security check process, consider these tips:

  • Opt for travel-sized toothpaste tubes to avoid any potential issues.
  • If you prefer a specific brand or type that’s not available in travel size, transfer an appropriate amount into a travel-sized container.
  • Place your quart-sized bag with toothpaste and other liquids in an easily accessible spot in your carry-on for quick removal during screening.

Additional Information and Resources

More information on the 3-1-1 rule and exemptions can be found on the TSA website:

Travelers can reach out to TSA’s contact center or ask TSA officers at the airport for assistance regarding specific questions about carrying toothpaste on domestic flights.

International Air Transport Association (IATA) Guidelines

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) sets forth guidelines for passengers traveling with liquids, aerosols, and gels in their carry-on luggage. These guidelines are widely known as the Liquids Rule, which applies to toothpaste as well. According to IATA, passengers are allowed to carry liquids in containers that hold no more than 100 milliliters (3.4 ounces) each. These containers must be placed in a transparent, resealable plastic bag, with a total capacity of no more than one liter (approximately one quart). Only one such bag is permitted per passenger, and it must be presented separately for inspection at the airport security checkpoint.

  • Containers must hold no more than 100 milliliters (3.4 ounces).
  • All containers should fit comfortably in one transparent, resealable plastic bag.
  • Only one plastic bag is allowed per passenger.
  • The bag’s total capacity should not exceed one liter (one quart).
  • The bag must be presented separately during security screening.

For more information, refer to the IATA guidelines on the IATA website.

Country Specific Regulations

While the IATA provides general guidelines, individual countries may have specific regulations regarding the transportation of toothpaste and other similar items on flights. It is crucial for travelers to be aware of these rules to avoid any inconvenience during their journey.

United Kingdom

The UK follows the standard EU liquid restrictions, which align with the IATA guidelines. For detailed information, visit the UK government website.


European countries typically adhere to the EU’s common rules for carrying liquids in hand luggage. Check the European Commission’s mobility and transport page for updates.


Transport Canada outlines the regulations for liquids, including toothpaste, on their official website.


The Australian Government’s Department of Home Affairs provides guidance on security measures for in-flight items on their website.

New Zealand

The Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand details the security rules for liquids at their website.


Asian countries may have varying regulations. Passengers should check with the specific country’s civil aviation authority for the most accurate information.


The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore provides its guidelines on the CAAS website.

10 Airline-Specific Regulations for Flying with Toothpaste

Each airline may have its own set of rules and restrictions when it comes to flying with toothpaste and other toiletries. It is important for passengers to review their airline’s specific regulations before packing their carry-on luggage.

American Airlines

Delta Air Lines

United Airlines

Southwest Airlines

British Airways


Air Canada


Air New Zealand

Singapore Airlines

Packing Toothpaste in Carry-On Luggage

When packing toothpaste in your carry-on luggage, it’s essential to adhere to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) guidelines on liquids. These stipulations are part of the 3-1-1 liquid rule, which dictates:

  • Toothpaste must be in a container of 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item.
  • All liquids, including toothpaste, must fit comfortably in one quart-sized, resealable bag.
  • Each passenger is limited to one plastic bag of liquids.

Pack your toothpaste by following these steps:

  1. Choose a travel-sized toothpaste tube that complies with TSA’s size restrictions.
  2. Place the toothpaste inside a quart-sized zip-top plastic bag along with any other liquids.
  3. Expel any excess air from the bag before sealing to minimize the risk of it opening or bursting in flight.
  4. DURING security checks, remove the bag from your carry-on for screening.

taking toothpaste through airport security

Packing Toothpaste in Hold Luggage

In your checked (hold) luggage, there is more flexibility with size and quantity of toothpaste. However, it’s still best to pack it properly to prevent spillage and waste. Consider these tips:

  • It’s advisable to use a large toothpaste tube if you’ll be away for an extended period or traveling with family, as there are no TSA restrictions on volume for checked baggage.
  • Although not required, placing the toothpaste in a sealed bag can provide an extra layer of protection against leaks.

To ensure cleanliness and avoid any messes, follow these steps:

  1. Select a toothpaste tube with a secure cap to prevent accidental openings.
  2. Wrap the toothpaste in a plastic wrap or place it inside a small leak-proof bag, squeezing excess air out before sealing.
  3. For added security, place the bagged toothpaste into a compartment or pocket of your suitcase that is separate from clothing and other items susceptible to damage.
  4. Consider cushioning the toothpaste tube amidst soft items of clothing to protect it from the pressures and impacts of travel.

Regardless of whether your toothpaste is in carry-on or hold luggage, it’s prudent to prepare for the pressure changes in flight that could lead to unexpected leaks or spills, hence the emphasis on resealable bags and secure packing methods.

Travel Essentials Similar to Toothpaste

When packing for a flight, alongside toothpaste, consider including a travel-sized mouthwash and dental floss to maintain oral hygiene. Miniature bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and body wash are also crucial for personal care. Don’t forget a compact deodorant, a small hand sanitizer, and facial wipes to stay fresh during your journey. For skincare, pack travel-sized moisturizer, sunscreen, and lip balm to protect against varying climates. Lastly, include a razor if you plan to shave and a small hairbrush or comb to keep your hair tidy. Remember that all liquids, gels, and aerosols must adhere to the airline’s restrictions, typically limited to 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) per container and all fitting within a single, clear, quart-sized bag.

FAQ’s About Can You Bring Toothpaste On A Plane?

When it comes to air travel, knowing what you can and cannot bring in your carry-on and checked luggage is crucial for a hassle-free experience. Toothpaste is an everyday essential, and many travelers often query whether it’s permissible on flights. In this section, we’ll explore some of the most frequently asked questions about traveling with toothpaste so you can pack with confidence and maintain your dental hygiene routine no matter where you go.

Is toothpaste considered a liquid by airport security?

Yes, toothpaste is categorized as a liquid or gel by airport security and is subject to the same restrictions that apply to other liquids in your carry-on luggage.

How much toothpaste can I bring in my carry-on bag on a plane?

You can bring toothpaste in containers of 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item, and these must be placed in a clear, quart-sized, zip-top plastic bag along with your other liquids.

Can I take full-size toothpaste tubes on a plane?

Full-size toothpaste tubes exceeding 3.4 ounces can only be brought in checked luggage. If you attempt to bring a larger tube in your carry-on, it may be confiscated at the security checkpoint.

Is there a limit to the number of toothpaste tubes I can bring in my quart-sized bag?

The limit is not on the number of tubes, but on the capacity of the quart-sized bag. All liquid items, including toothpaste, must fit comfortably within this bag.

Do I need to declare toothpaste at airport security?

No, you do not need to declare toothpaste when passing through airport security, as long as it adheres to the liquids rule for carry-ons.

Can I bring toothpaste in my checked baggage without restrictions?

In checked baggage, there are generally no restrictions on the amount of toothpaste you can pack. However, it’s always best to check with your specific airline for any unique guidelines.

Will toothpaste in my carry-on need to be screened separately?

Yes, your quart-sized bag of liquids, including toothpaste, will need to be placed in a bin separately from your carry-on bag for X-ray screening.

What happens if my toothpaste is over the allowed limit in my carry-on?

If your toothpaste exceeds the allowed limit, it may be confiscated by airport security. You may choose to check it in with your luggage or dispose of it before passing through security.

Are toothpaste tablets an alternative to avoid liquid restrictions?

Yes, toothpaste tablets are solid and do not fall under the liquids restriction, making them a convenient alternative for carry-on luggage.

Can I bring specialized toothpaste, such as whitening or prescription toothpaste, on a plane?

Yes, you can bring specialized toothpaste, but it must comply with the standard liquid restrictions in your carry-on, or you can place it in your checked luggage without issue.

Packing It All Up

Toothpaste, as a common travel necessity, is indeed permitted on airplanes, but it’s subject to certain restrictions. The key takeaway is that when carrying toothpaste in your carry-on luggage, it must comply with the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA’s) liquids rule. This means the toothpaste tube should not exceed 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) and must fit within a single, clear, quart-sized bag along with your other liquids, aerosols, gels, creams, and pastes to facilitate screening at security checkpoints. Passengers must remember to ensure their toothpaste tube’s size meets these requirements, or it might be confiscated.

For check-in baggage, there are no strict limitations regarding the amount of toothpaste one can pack. However, travelers should consider the potential for leakage when packing toothpaste in checked luggage to avoid any mess. It’s recommended to seal the toothpaste tube within a plastic bag or use travel-sized containers to prevent spills. In conclusion, by adhering to the TSA’s guidelines for carry-on luggage and taking practical packing measures for checked baggage, travelers can seamlessly bring along toothpaste, maintaining personal dental hygiene during their flights without any hiccups.