Posted on 26 January 2023

While most of consider toothpaste the only option for brushing teeth, it is not always convenient, particularly when away from home. 

Toothpaste tablets offer another option that are simple to use when on the go and are also more environmentally friendly. Keeping your teeth clean throughout the day is important for good oral hygiene and for maintaining a healthy smile.

What Are Toothpaste Tablets?

A toothpaste tablet is a dental hygiene product similar to toothpaste. They come in a small pill-like format which you pop in your mouth and gently chew. Your saliva will mix with the chewed tablet to form a paste. You then wet a toothbrush before cleaning your teeth as normal.

It is possible to use these tablets without a toothbrush as they contain abrasives, making them an option to help maintain a healthy smile when you are on the go without access to a toothbrush or water. In this case, you can chew on them similar to a breath mint. While this is a convenient travel option, it will not be as thorough as using a toothbrush.

An Environmentally Friendly Alternative

Tablets can be easier to carry when traveling, taking up less space in a bag or rucksack. As appealing as this is, the major selling point for tablets is their benefit to the environment.

The problem toothpaste manufacturers are trying to address is their product comes in a plastic tube. With consumers increasingly aware of the environmental issues around single-use plastic, they are looking for packaging which is kinder on the environment.

Toothpaste tablets, or tooth tabs as they are also known, are packaged in recyclable glass or tin containers. You can even buy tablets which are packaged in compostable pouches. Regular paste is squeezed from its tube, and manufacturing recyclable packaging to achieve this continues to be a challenge.

The way tablets are packaged also offers the chance to provide refills, allowing you to continue to use the original container over and over again. Any refill pouches containing tablets should be recyclable or compostable.

The fact that tablets rely on saliva to make the paste and that they can be used without water can also be seen as beneficial for the environment. 

Natural Ingredients

Another plus for tablets is they tend to prioritize using natural ingredients, rather than preservatives or parabens. You will also find tablets with lifestyle considerations, including gluten-free and vegan options.

Tablets also include sweeteners and flavorings. These are included to help keep your breath tasting and smelling fresh. This offers similar benefits to mints or gum, helping boost self-confidence in your smile throughout the day.

Are Tablets Better Than Toothpaste?

Tablets contain a lot of similar ingredients to toothpaste. However, there is not enough research available yet to definitively say whether toothpaste tablets are better than toothpaste, or indeed offer the same level of cleaning. 

Using tablets without a toothbrush will not provide such a thorough cleaning of your teeth and gums. Tablets contain abrasives to help clean the teeth and offers a useful alternative when you do not have a toothbrush to hand. However, using a toothbrush helps you clean all around the teeth more effectively. 

As with toothpaste, not all tablets contain fluoride. Fluoride is a natural product which helps to keep your teeth strong. It does this by strengthening the tooth enamel to protect against the cavities that can lead to tooth decay. Again, you can ask for advice from your dentist on the most suitable products for your teeth and gums.

One area where tablets do struggle to compete with paste at present is on cost. This is unfortunate when considering the potential environmental benefits of tablets. However, cost and value will always be a major factor in most people's considerations. 

A four-month’s supply of toothpaste tablets can cost you around $30. In comparison, you will be looking at up to $6 for regular paste for a similar time period. While this may not seem a huge price to pay to benefit the environment for some, for others the tube option will represent a considerable saving.

More Alternatives

While discussing tablets as an option when you’re on the go, it is worthwhile mentioning some other products which also do not require a toothbrush. These include:

  • Sugar-free gum – by chewing gum you stimulate the production of saliva. Saliva is full of enzymes and a natural defense mechanism against oral bacteria. By breaking down bacteria, saliva helps prevent the build-up of the plague that damages our teeth. 
  • Dental flossers – these products are handy for removing food particles trapped between your teeth when you do not have a toothbrush to hand. Trapped food can irritate the gums and increase the risk from gum disease. It can also increase the risk from tooth decay.
  • Rinse with water – simply rinsing your mouth with water is beneficial when you have nothing else to hand. Rinsing with water after you have eaten helps wash away the food particles that lead to bacteria. Regularly sipping water during the day helps keep you hydrated and the oral cavity clean.

Carrying dental products around with you that help keep your mouth clean and fresh when away from home is always sensible. Toothpaste tablets are another dental product which helps you achieve this. The added bonus is that tablets have environmental benefits too. 

You will want to consider your personal requirements and chat to your dentist to help determine the best dental products to maintain a healthy smile. 


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