Everything You Need to Know about Toothpaste Tablets
From zero waste deodorant to reusable makeup remover pads, your medicine cabinet has hopefully seen a sustainable makeover recently. But what about that traditional plastic tube of toothpaste? It may be one of the last to arrive, but this essential hygiene product also has an eco-friendly swap that can be added to your product line-up.
Conscious consumers are shifting to sustainable products that are both safe for their bodies and the environment. As plastic pollution continues to grow, sustainable products and practices are important for consumers in their buying decisions. For these reasons, toothpaste tablets are gaining popularity and may just become the new way to brush your teeth.
In this post, I will cover everything you need to know about toothpaste tablets to help you decide if it’s worth switching to this green alternative. If the idea of zero waste makes you smile, keep reading!
What are toothpaste tablets?
Toothpaste tablets are basically like normal toothpaste in small, bite-sized form. While tablets contain almost all the same ingredients as regular tube toothpaste, most brands are missing a big one - fluoride. This is probably the biggest downside to the otherwise innovative product. Fluoride is known to remove plaque, prevent gum disease and tooth decay. Without it, some dental experts are questioning the effectiveness of toothpaste tablets. Further research will be required but as the first eco-friendly oral solution, the future looks bright!
Traditional toothpaste tubes are made of some of the hardest materials to recycle like plastic and aluminum. In fact, an overwhelming 1 billion tubes make their way to landfills every year, taking a very long time to biodegrade. Who knew brushing teeth could be so wasteful? Tablets however are typically packaged in reusable jars or compostable packets, making it a much better choice than conventional toothpaste packaging.
In addition to the environmental benefits, toothpaste tablets are also super portable for travel and camping – or if you’re simply working with a small bathroom space!
How do you brush your teeth with toothpaste tablets?
Pop a tablet in your mouth and bite down. While the texture of a toothpaste tablet isn’t quite the same as a gel, you’ll get a fizzy and foaming sensation in your mouth – that’s your cue to start brushing. From this point, simply brush your teeth, as usual, spit, rinse, and crack a smile in the mirror. Easy and painless!
You can also use toothpaste tablets when you need a refresher. If you’ve had coffee or red wine, just pop one in your mouth for a quick clean – it’s an easy way to reduce unwanted stains and freshen your breath at the same time.
While we’re on the topic of teeth (and saving the planet), make sure you invest in a bamboo toothbrush to brush responsibly. This 5-pack is an amazing deal and includes five colors! It’s important to note that you have to remove the brush bristles to compost.
Are toothpaste tablets ADA approved?
Toothpaste tablets are gaining traction among eco-conscious consumers, but are they truly safe to use? You can rest assured that they are safe - but according to the American Dental Association, their effectiveness isn’t quite proven yet.
The main reason fluoride is not an active ingredient in most toothpaste tablets is because it remains illegal in the United States. Organizations like the ADA have not yet approved toothpaste tablets due to a lack of clinical data. While the environmental benefits of the product are clear, more research is needed.
Fluoride in toothpaste also needs to be tested on animals – a harsh reality that most conscious consumers are against. If you’re unsure about making the switch, I encourage you to research this topic further or talk to your dentist.
Can I make my own toothpaste tablets?
It’s possible to make your own toothpaste tablets with a few simple ingredients. Maybe you want to start slow before going all-in on zero waste toothpaste. Or maybe you want to test the effectiveness of toothpaste tablets for yourself before making a purchase. If you have the time and motivation, give this DIY version a try:
2 tablespoons Calcium carbonate
1 tablespoon Bentonite clay
1-2 tablespoons aloe vera
1 teaspoon baking soda
30 drops of Stevia
10-20 of peppermint oil (or oil of your choice)
A small glass jar
How to make:
1. Preheat your oven to the lowest setting possible.
2. Combine the Calcium carbonate, Bentonite clay and baking soda.
3. Add 30 drops of Stevia and 10-20 drops of essential oil.
4. Add the aloe vera until the desired consistency is reached. It should be like a gel!
5. Place the mixture in a zip-lock bag and close. Snip a small corner of the bag for piping.
6. Pipe small drops onto a lined baking sheet and place in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour (check on them every 15 minutes or so!)
7. Once complete, allow cooling for 10 minutes before placing in an air-tight container.
Are toothpaste tablets good for the environment?
Yes! Since toothpaste tablets come in plastic-free packaging, they are not harmful to the environment. Tablets are also water-free and can be made with few or even no preservatives. They are also easier to ship, making their carbon footprint much lower in comparison to toothpaste tubes.
Which toothpaste tablets should I try?
So you’re on board to give toothpaste tablets a try, awesome! You’re also in luck because I have a list of 10 eco-friendly toothpaste options for Canadians that you can read here.
For my US readers, Huppy is a new brand worth checking out. Their tooth tabs are all-natural and come in colorful, compostable packaging – even the shipping label and mailer box! Huppy is on a mission to support a circular economy while giving back to environmental initiatives. They are not shipping to Canada just yet.
Like all sustainable lifestyle changes, using toothpaste tablets can take a while to get used to. But knowing you are making a positive impact for planet makes it a little bit easier.
Have you considered making the switch to a zero waste toothpaste option? Let me know in the comments below!