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Should you add toothpaste tablets to your shopping list?

Toothpaste tablets have gained popularity over recent years. Essentially, they are a toothpaste formula that’s made without water and pressed into a disc-like form. But how do toothpaste tablets work? Simply pop a tablet into your mouth, chew it up, and let your saliva (or a sip of water) turn it into a paste. You can either brush that paste onto your teeth with a wet toothbrush or, if one isn’t available, you can use your tongue or finger in a pinch.

Most of these breath mint-looking tablets use all-natural ingredients (and skip the parabens and sodium benzoate in regular toothpaste). They are designed to keep your teeth clean, freshen your breath, and be convenient enough that you can brush after every meal, which is something every dentist recommends for optimal smile maintenance.

plastic in landfill
Tom Fisk/Shutterstock

Benefits

There are many benefits to using toothpaste tablets. For one, they are a low-waste product that can be packaged in recyclable glass or paper containers, which means harmful plastic tubes don’t end up in a landfill. In fact, Americans throw out 400 million tubes annually, according to Recycling International. They are also water-free, so they become easier to ship, which equals a lower carbon footprint.

These tablets are also pre-portioned, so you’ll always get just the right amount to clean your teeth. This is great news for people who want to brush their teeth after every meal but may be traveling (the tablets do make it through airport security) or don’t have a toothbrush and toothpaste at the ready after they eat. These tablets are small, easy to conceal in a purse or even a pants pocket, and are less messy than using regular toothpaste.

toothpaste on brush
Reshot

Disadvantages

Toothpaste tablets are convenient, but they don’t make it as easy as regular tubed toothpaste at getting onto every tooth, especially if you aren’t using a toothbrush to distribute. Also, if you have trouble producing saliva, chewable tablets may feel dry or grainy or be difficult to spit out, and they also may not distribute onto every tooth.

Also, most chewable tablets on the market don’t contain any fluoride. The American Dental Association recommends that people use toothpaste with fluoride to help prevent tooth decay and cavities and strengthen tooth enamel. They are also considerably more expensive than your good old-fashioned tube of Crest (which will set you back around $3), but anything we can do to save the planet is priceless.

Tablet options

There are many toothpaste tablets on the market to choose from, and most of it comes down to personal choice and taste. Bite-One is one of the most popular brands for toothpaste tablets (they call them bits). They also sell mouthwash tablets, refillable floss, and plastic-free toothbrushes — all environmentally friendly. Bite-One is $30 for a four-month subscription.

ByHumankind is another brand of toothpaste tablets. They contain fluoride and are FDA-approved. Similar to Bite-One, they also sell low-waste personal care products on a subscription model. Their tablets sell for $15 for a one-month subscription and $12 for a refill.

Hello is an option for those who live a vegan-friendly lifestyle, and it’s never tested on animals. It’s also free of dyes, preservatives, and artificial sweeteners. According to their description, Hello “tastes like rainbows and sunshine (aka bubble gum!), works brilliantly, sparkles like a dream,” so that’s cool. Their tablets sell for $8.99 for a one-month supply.

In summary, toothpaste tablets are a great alternative to tube-based toothpaste if you’re looking to become more eco-friendly. In fact, they are one of a growing number of products to ditch aluminum and plastic in favor of biodegradable packaging and ingredients. They’re also easy and convenient, and if you travel for work or pleasure on the regular, they can be a lifesaver after a long flight.

Of course, you do need to pay more. If you’re on a tight budget right now, it may be best to skip the tablets in place of a toothpaste brand that’s as eco-friendly as possible, but they are most definitely worth the investment when you have the funds available. If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can find a number of toothpaste tablet options that qualify for free shipping, and you can sign up for the subscription via Amazon as well.

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