Remember the days when plain old Colgate was just about the only available option when it came to toothpaste? That feels like an age ago, doesn’t it? These days you can choose from your classic varieties, or amp it up to whitening toothpaste, or if you’d prefer you can go for all-natural pastes. The list of flavours has also increased significantly. No longer limited to variants of mint, you can now get a mouthful of rose or watermelon toothpaste if that’s your vibe.
The latest trend in toothpaste, however, is the toothpaste tablet. If you’re new to this allow me to introduce you properly.
What are toothpaste tablets?
A completely new take on the standard toothpaste, well… paste. Tablets are individual pill-looking looking serves of toothpaste formula. They’re a dehydrated version of your standard oral health staple and to use one, all you need to do is pop it into your mouth and add water. It will then form a paste and you can brush away.
Why are they necessary?
Well, a few reasons actually. The first one is that by transforming toothpaste into a pill form, you no longer need the standard tube. And as The Guardian reports, that’s a huge plus for the globe, environmentally-speaking.
Dr Sahar Farzadnia from the independent eco-labelling program, Good Environmental Choice Australia told the outlet that “Conventional toothpaste tubes aren’t easy to recycle”. Dr Farzadnia explained that being made up of plastics and metals, these tubes are tricky to recycle, so often they end up in landfill.
If you nab yourself a jar of toothpaste tablets in a glass jar (or some other recyclable material), you’re not only making the recycling option way more accessible, you can even consider refilling the jar with top-ups.
But do toothpaste tablets work?
As Shape magazine has shared, the makeup of traditional toothpaste and tablets are fairly similar. But there can be some notable differences. Most significant would be the omission of fluoride in a number of tablet toothpaste options.
According to the Australian Dental Association website, tooth decay is largely avoided these days because of the use of fluoride. It writes:
“Fluoride is not an artificial compound or some sort of medication, but rather a naturally-occurring mineral that’s found in rocks and soil, vegetables and grains, as well as in fresh and salt water. The fluoride found in the environment however is not sufficient on its own to protect your teeth, which is why small supplemental amounts are added to the water supply, as well as into toothpaste, gels and other dental products.”
Using fluoride-free toothpaste would mean that one source of fluoride is being removed from your health routine.
You can find toothpaste tablets with fluoride in them, however. Chew’s is one example you can check out here.
It’s also worth noting that, as The Guardian has reported, there isn’t much scientific data to prove the effectiveness of toothpaste tablets. So be sure to take a good look at the ingredients, and chat with your dentist if you’re concerned.
Want to keep reading about oral health? Check out our write up on how your teeth could be messing up your sleep, here.