When you’re traveling, it’s important to limit the size of your personal care toiletries. Otherwise, you risk having them confiscated and thrown out by airport security. If you’ve ever lost a water bottle you just paid $10 for at the airport, then you understand the struggle! However, these rules apply to both liquids and gels – and that includes toothpaste.

Yes, you can bring toothpaste on a plane, but how much depends on if you’re checking or carrying on a bag. There are some rules you need to follow if you plan on bringing it in a carry-on bag.

What are the Size Limits on Toothpaste?

There are size limitations on any liquid or gel items in your carry-on luggage, and these rules apply to toothpaste. Your toothpaste must be less than 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters. Additionally, all of your liquid and gel items must fit in a 1-quart bag.

You will need to remove this bag from your luggage unless you have TSA pre-check or other special security clearance, though you’ll want to check local laws as regulations can change from state to state and country to country.

You could, in theory, bring a larger bottle of toothpaste if it were partially used; however, you run the risk of it getting confiscated and thrown out.

What to do if your Toothpaste is Confiscated?

Unfortunately, there’s not much that you can do if your toothpaste is confiscated by airport security. You will need to repurchase the toothpaste either at the airport or later once you arrive at your destination.

Some hotels may comp you for personal care items if you ask for them to be sent to your room, while others offer convenient lobby shops should you forget some of your personal care or most used items at home.

These rules exist for a reason, and the airport security officer is only adhering to a protocol to help protect the health and safety of other passengers. While it may be frustrating to lose your personal items, be kind and patient to the officers. They don’t make the rules.

Do These Rules Apply to Checked Luggage?

No, you do not have the same size restrictions on your toothpaste if you are putting it in your checked luggage. They only care about what is in your carry-on luggage as that is easily accessible on the plane and could be a security risk.

Take care as you pack liquid and gel items in your carry-on luggage, as it can spill onto your items while in transit. Even if you aren’t required to place your items in plastic bags, it may be helpful to ensure nothing gets ruined or damaged.

So Can I Bring Toothpaste on a Plane?

Yes, you can bring toothpaste on a plane, but how much depends on if you’re checking your bag or putting it in a carry-on. If you are carrying on, then you need to adhere to the 3-1-1 rule, which essentially is 3.4 ounces for one passenger in a one-quart bag.

All of your liquid or gel items must fit in this bag. Otherwise, you need to check the items. There are no limitations to the number of liquids or gels that you can put in your checked luggage.

If you do not adhere to these rules, your items may get confiscated by airport security, and you’ll need to repurchase the items when you get to your final destination. It’s not the end of the world – but it can add up if you routinely have to replenish, so it’s best to stick to the rules than risk losing your personal toiletry items.