Are we living in the year 2049? What is a toothpaste tablet? Tablet toothpaste is the latest addition to the oral care family. And no, it is not like you swallow it; toothpaste tablet makes your teeth clean. In a nutshell, tablet toothpaste is like regular toothpaste, but you should chew it to activate it. However, there is more than meets the eye.
In this article, we will give you a quick introduction and some useful information about this supposedly eco-friendly toothpaste and how to use it effectively. So, let’s get into it.
What is a toothpaste tablet?
A toothpaste tablet, also referred to as a chewable toothpaste tablet, is a toothpaste in the form of a tablet that is bite size and you can chew. A plastic-free alternative to the regular tubes of toothpaste you use. These little toothpaste tabs usually come in reusable glass jars or a compostable pouch. When you chew a toothpaste tablet, you release the active ingredients that will help clean your teeth and have fresh breath. After chewing the toothpaste tablet, it will work pretty much the same as traditional toothpaste.
When did the tablet toothpaste first appear and why?
The United States patents and trademark office (USPTO) first published the patent for toothpaste in tablet form in 2012. With the rise of the zero waste movement, this little invention has gained a lot of popularity. That was about the first appearance of tablet toothpaste, but why was it invented?
The main answer is the environment. Even with a recyclable toothpaste tube, many environmental activists were trying to find a solution to reduce plastic waste and find a better alternative to tubes. This has led to many companies making eco-friendly & plastic-free toothpaste tabs.
The elephant in the bathroom: Does tablet toothpaste actually work?
Yes, the tablet toothpaste does work. Especially the newer versions which have additional popular ingredients such as fluoride and hydroxyapatite. And they work the same way as normal toothpaste in tubes does. Just the way you can activate those tabs with clean ingredients is different. Instead of just putting a dab of toothpaste on your toothbrush you get a tablet, chew it and go on with your brushing.
So far, we have told you about what tablet toothpaste is but we have not gotten into the question “How does tablet toothpaste work?”. Let’s get into it.
How to use a toothpaste tablet?
As easy as pie! By simply following these simple steps you can use toothpaste tabs.
Step 1: Put the tablet in your mouth
Step 2: Place the tablet between your teeth and crush it
Step 3: Chew the toothpaste tab until it makes a brushable paste with your saliva
Step 4: Using your toothbrush brush your teeth
The only extra part is placing the tablet between your teeth and chewing the toothpaste tab, which can be different from using a regular tube of toothpaste.
Do dentists recommend tablet toothpaste?
What could make dentists not recommend toothpaste tablet is if it does not contain fluoride or hydroxyapatite. These two ingredients are responsible for keeping your teeth healthy and preventing tooth decay.
Scientists have done studies on the effects of the fluoride content of normal toothpaste and these toothpaste tablets and the results are in. The higher the fluoride content the fewer cavities are present on the chewing surfaces and other surfaces of teeth.
So if you are planning to switch to toothpaste bits make sure it contains fluoride or hydroxyapatite, otherwise, no, dentists do not recommend them.
Are there any risks of using chewable toothpaste tablets?
Not really. The only risk factor related to using chewable toothpaste tablets is they might not be effective in preventing tooth decay. This is if the toothpaste bits you use only contain xylitol. Xylitol can protect your teeth to some extent but it is not as effective as fluoride or hydroxyapatite.
Pros and cons of toothpaste tablets
Everything has a downside and toothpaste tablets are no exception either. So let’s put these bite-size tables under investigation and see how they are superior or not to conventional toothpaste.
Pros of toothpaste tablets
Cons of toothpaste tablets
Convenient for traveling
Low risk of cross-contamination
Unproven long-term benefits
Knowing how much to use
Availability in different markets
Less mess, more convenience: The pros of tablet toothpaste
If you are curious to know more about the pros of tablet toothpaste before buying them keep on reading. We will explain them one by one to you. Here are the pros of toothpaste tablets
If you love our planet, this is for you!
The first thing that is tightly associated with toothpaste tablets is the fact that they claim to be environmentally and eco-friendly. So, if you want to ditch the traditional toothpaste tubes and are looking for zero waste and eco-friendly toothpaste you can get yourself a jar of toothpaste tablets.
If you enjoy traveling, this is for you!
When you compare these tablet-sized kinds of toothpaste to a regular aluminum tube of toothpaste you can understand how convenient they are for traveling. You can put a few of them in your pill organizer or simply put them in your carry-on bag. No fuss at the airport security!
If you want fewer chemicals, this is for you!
Normal toothpaste contains water and not only is there a need for stabilizers but also preservatives to keep the toothpaste from going bad. But one of the benefits of toothpaste tabs is that they are dry pressed together so there is no need for preservatives or stabilizers as such. And the companies that make them claim that these tabs are mostly made out of natural ingredients.
If you want fewer bacteria, this is for you!
Imagine a tube of toothpaste. You take off the cap and there is all that dried-up leftover toothpaste. Not only that who else uses that toothpaste? Your wet toothbrush can pick up the bacteria that has been left on the tube from the previous user. Honestly, it is not as gross as we have made it look, but it is something to consider! So, with toothpaste in tablet form, the risk of cross-contamination is almost zero to none.
If you want to know the right amount, this is for you!
How much toothpaste do you squeeze on your toothbrush? If you are putting a fat glob on your toothbrush you are likely using too much. But with tablet toothpaste, you do not really need to think about that. One tablet per brushing session would be enough. It is less wasteful and that also makes it an eco-friendly toothpaste.
Dark side of tablet toothpaste: The cons revealed
We have given you all the good stuff, let us show you the dark side now. Here are the cons of toothpaste tablets!
Bite-size but costly
The average price of normal toothpaste is anywhere from $2 to $6 per tube. If you compare it to bite-type toothpaste which usually comes in a 4-month supply, a month’s supply can cost $7 to $10. It might not seem a lot but in the long term, it can affect your expenses.
A bit rough
Some dental care professionals believe that the abrasiveness of toothpaste tablets is a bit much for your teeth. This means that using tablet toothpaste, in the long run, can erode your teeth’ enamel more. A weak tooth enamel makes you more susceptible to tooth decay and cavities. But there has only been one study done on this topic and the conclusion did not show a significant difference. So whether toothpaste tablets are too abrasive or not is still up for discussion and requires more studies.
Don’t choke on it!
Yes, it is a possibility, but not a fun one though. This is not specific to one age group or the toothpaste tablet brands. Of course, chewable toothpaste tablets are not suitable for children but that does not mean there is no risk of choking for adults as well.
The truth is benefits of toothpaste tablets have not yet been completely studied. Especially when it comes to long-term use. Yes, there is a reduction in plastic waste but how does it benefit your oral hygiene? This is a question that scientists are still trying to answer.
Not Mr. Worldwide
Unlike other dental products such as fluoride toothpaste, these eco-friendly toothpaste tablets might not be available in every part of the world. You can even find charcoal toothpaste almost everywhere nowadays but not charcoal toothpaste tablets. So being able to get them whenever you need them can be an issue.
What are the best toothpaste tablets?
We can list the brand names here and call it a day, right? No, we are providing you with useful information so you can find the best brand yourself where ever you are. So we are teaching you fishing!
What should you look for when trying to buy the best toothpaste tablets?
First and foremost, fluoride! Tablets with fluoride are your best option. Your teeth need fluoride for cavity prevention. So if a toothpaste tablet has fluoride as part of its chemical ingredients dentists will approve using it. Now there are more tablet toothpaste with fluoride available in the market.
The next thing to check for is the toothpaste tablet should not include any abrasive ingredients. One of these ingredients is charcoal. Even though charcoal has been associated with whitening properties it is an abrasive. So the charcoal in toothpaste may do more damage than good. So, if you are looking to get a toothpaste tablet steer clear of charcoal tablet toothpaste.
Lastly, make sure dentists approve the toothpaste tablets that you are buying. You can always reach out to your dentist or dental hygienist to ask for recommendations.
Which one is better: tablet with fluoride vs not fluoride
We are starting to sound like a broken record! Fluoride all the way. Dental professionals only recommend using fluoride toothpaste whether in soft paste form or tablet form. Even though fluoride is a naturally occurring compound but high amounts of fluoride can cause toxicity. That is why some fans of toothpaste tabs go fluoride free. But in the long run to benefit from fluoride for cavity prevention definitely opt for tablets with fluoride in them.
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