We gargle with mouthwash and use whitening rinses.
We replace our toothbrush heads regularly, and we always have a backup tube of toothpaste in the closet so that we never run out.
Whether it be our fear of the dentist or our desire to have a brighter, whiter smile in TikTok videos and Instagram stories, many of us prioritize our dental health—and that’s a great thing!
But no matter great our current dental routines may be, there’s a new oral care product that could completely change the way we clean our teeth:
Today we’re talking about what toothpaste tabs are, how they work, and the benefits (and drawbacks) of using them.
Are toothpaste tablets the future of toothpaste?
Let’s find out!
Toothpaste Tablets We Love
What Are Toothpaste Tablets?
Sometimes referred to as tooth tabs, toothpaste tablets are exactly what they sound like:
Toothpaste in tablet form.
Available in fluoride-free and fluoride versions, toothpaste tablets are made from many of the same ingredients you’ll find in traditional toothpaste formulas. The main difference is that they do not include the water content that conventional toothpaste needs to create the creamy or gel-type mixture that squeezes out of a tube.
Traditional squeeze-tube toothpaste is made from various ingredients, including water that creates a squeezable texture and preservatives that prevent it from going bad in a short amount of time. Toothpaste tablets are made from a similar ingredient base, minus the water and preservatives, and those ingredients are combined and pressed into pill-like tablets that you can pop in your mouth and chew.
Like regular toothpaste, toothpaste tablets come in fluoride-free and fluoride versions, as well as whitening versions, to help you achieve that bright white Hollywood smile. Toothpaste tablets are an excellent choice for people who prefer products made with natural ingredients over manmade preservatives.
How Do You Use Toothpaste Tablets?
Now that you know what toothpaste tablets are let’s talk about how to use them to clean your teeth.
Toothpaste tabs still require the use of a wet toothbrush, so don’t ditch your electric toothbrush just yet. They’re also not a substitute for any other oral health products, such as mouthwash and dental floss. Toothpaste tabs are only a replacement for your traditional toothpaste tube.
To brush with a toothpaste tab, chew the dry tablet in your mouth and your saliva will mix with it to transform it from a dry pill into a brushable paste. (If you can’t produce enough saliva, you can also take a swig of water to break the tablet down).
Once the table has a paste-like texture, wet your toothbrush and start brushing as you normally would.
When you’re done, rinse and spit and continue your oral care routine as usual by flossing, swishing with mouthwash, or rinsing with a whitening wash. Toothpaste tabs tend to have somewhat of a gritty feel, so it might take some extra rinsing to make your teeth and gums feel smooth.
Full disclosure: the first time you brush with a toothpaste tablet, it will seem strange. But don’t worry—after a few brushes, you’ll get used to it!
The Benefits of Toothpaste Tablets
So what is it about toothpaste tablets that could actually make them a replacement for toothpaste as we know it? Here are a few benefits of toothpaste tabs that make them such a good choice.
In the U.S. alone, more than 400 million toothpaste tubes are thrown into the trash yearly. And do you know where they end up?
Most toothpaste is packaged in plastic tubes made from various plastic and aluminum components that don’t get recycled. While some toothpaste brands, such as Colgate, have started creating recyclable packaging, there are still far too many toothpaste tubes made without sustainability in mind.
People looking for zero-waste products love toothpaste tablets because they’re usually stored in reusable glass jars and recyclable tin containers. Many brands also use compostable packaging in shipping.
Here’s the point:
If more people used toothpaste tablets, there would be millions less plastic toothpaste tubes dumped into our landfills each year.
Perfect for Travel
Have you ever packed a tube of toothpaste in a travel bag only to have it squish open en route? Even with the cap screwed on tight, gel toothpaste tubes are easy to pierce – which can make a big old mess in your overnight bag or toiletry kit.
With toothpaste tablets, you never have to worry about leaks or spills.
Toothpaste tablets are also perfect if you love to go camping or embark on overnight hiking trips. Just toss a few in your backpack, and as long as you have some fresh water to rinse with, you can brush your teeth anywhere, any time!
Many toothpaste tablet brands use all-natural ingredients and don’t include the typical preservatives contained in traditional gel toothpaste. This makes toothpaste tabs a perfect choice for anyone concerned that artificial ingredients might exist in their oral care products.
And if you have dietary restrictions, rest assured, as there are many gluten-free and vegan-friendly tooth tabs to choose from!
The Drawbacks of Using Toothpaste Tablets
Toothpaste tablets are certainly convenient, but they’re not for everyone. For example, people suffering from a dry mouth that can’t produce much saliva can find them difficult to chew.
They’re also not safe for young children, as they could be a choking hazard.
The other thing you might not love about toothpaste tablets is that you can’t store them on your bathroom sink next to your toothbrush.
Toothpaste tablets need to be stored at the right temperature and in a moisture-free area, so if you think a bottle of tablets will replace the tube on your bathroom vanity, think again. Check the label and read the manufacturer’s instructions to make sure you store them in the right conditions.
The 7 Best Toothpaste Tablets to Try Now
Ready to give toothpaste tablets a try?
Dr. David Chen, a dentist at 1311 Jackson Ave Dental in Long Island City, NY, suggests looking for toothpaste tablets that contain ingredients that help reverse cavities. “Choose a tablet that either contains fluoride or nano-hydroxyapatite because both of those ingredients have the potential to reverse cavities,” he advised. “The rest of the ingredients and packaging such as vegan, sodium lauryl sulfate free, plastic or glass are of secondary importance.”
So, whether you’re searching for products with sustainable packaging, all-natural ingredients or on-the-go alternatives to packing a tube of toothpaste in your travel bag, here are seven of the best toothpaste tablets to try now:
Most toothpaste tablets aren’t made by the big-name toothpaste brands we’ve all grown up with. So if you want to try tablets from a brand you already know and trust, check out the Colgate Co. On-the-Go Anticavity Toothpaste Tabs.
Vegan and gluten-free, these tabs are packaged in a reusable and recyclable glass jar, though it does have a plastic lid, so it’s not entirely sustainable. They have a tasty minty flavor and, unlike some other toothpaste tabs, are super easy to chew and crush in your mouth.
These toothpaste tabs contain fluoride, so if you’re looking to prevent cavities, these are a great option.
Enjoy a minty fresh feeling with the Good Organics Fluoride Free Mint Natural Toothpaste Tablets. This toothpaste alternative includes a host of natural ingredients to help remove plaque, whiten your teeth, and give you minty fresh breath.
These peppermint-flavored tablets include xylitol, which is a natural sugar alcohol that works to prevent cavities. They’re also cruelty-free and made without parabens or SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate), a foaming surfactant that can irritate sensitive teeth.
Available with and without fluoride in your choice of mint or cinnamon flavors, Unpaste Toothpaste Tabs are perfect for brushing at home or on the go.
Formulated to fight plaque and tartar buildup, Unpaste toothpaste tablets are gluten-free, vegan and free of plastics of all kinds. They contain no preservatives, SLS or artificial colors, and they tend to be a bit less abrasive than some other tooth tabs.
For those concerned about sustainability, don’t worry—these tabs come in a compostable package made purely from paper and corn starch.
With a fresh mint flavor and a pleasant foaming consistency, Bite Toothpaste Bitsin Fresh Mint are made with nano-hydroxyapatite, a fluoride alternative to help prevent cavities and tooth decay.
These bits are vegan and come in reusable and refillable glass jars, so when it’s time to replenish your supply, you can receive your refills in biodegradable paper or cardboard packets.
The fresh mint flavor is tasty with a somewhat powerful minty menthol feel, but they also come in berry flavors as well as charcoal-activated versions, which can help to remove stains from your teeth.
Nelson Naturals pretty much nailed the whole experience of using toothpaste tabs by calling theirs “Crush & Brush.”
These tablets are very minty, with a combo of peppermint, spearmint and menthol. For some people, that’s the feeling and taste of a fresh, clean mouth! For others, it can be a tad bit overpowering.
Nelson Naturals toothpaste tablets are packaged in a glass container and formulated with all sorts of essential teeth-cleaning ingredients, including baking soda, xylitol and calcium carbonate.
Lush Boom! Toothy Tabs have a refreshing, yet somewhat unusual, sort of flavor.
Unlike most toothpaste tablets that have a minty fresh aftertaste, these tabs are made with powdered charcoal, aniseed oil, Persian lime, black pepper oil and ground chili. They’re powerful and pleasant in an almost cola-flavored sort of way.
With 100% recyclable and reusable packaging, Lush toothy tabs are black in color – which can be a turn-off for some. But don’t let the color fool you.
These charcoal tabs can give you a super white smile!
Formulated with baking soda to help remove surface stains, WELdental Chewtab Gentle Whitening Toothpaste Tablets are a great option for people who tend to have sensitivity to other teeth whitening products.
Available in a variety of flavors, these toothpaste tablets include activated charcoal, non-GMO xylitol and baking soda for low-abrasion whitening.
These whitening toothpaste tabs come in peppermint, cinnamon and tropical fruit flavors, and they’re packaged in a reusable and refillable glass bottle. Subscribe for auto deliveries to save on monthly deliveries and have your refills shipped in compostable paper packaging.
Do Toothpaste Tabs Work?
Yes, toothpaste tablets work!
But, just like with traditional gel and cream toothpaste that comes out of a tube, you also have to brush properly, brush at least twice a day and floss between your teeth in order to maintain proper dental health. No matter what type of toothpaste you use, there are a series of steps you need to take in order to maintain proper oral health and enjoy a healthy, white smile.
So will toothpaste tablets replace toothpaste tubes?
Only time will tell.
But if you’re looking for an easy, sustainable, natural way to brush your teeth at home or on the go, toothpaste tablets are definitely worth a try.
You might also be interested in: The 7 Best Electric Toothbrushes & 5 Accessories For Happy Teeth
7 Best Toothpaste Tablets
- Colgate Co. On-the-Go Anticavity Toothpaste Tabs
- Good Organics Fluoride Free Mint Natural Toothpaste Tablets
- Unpaste Toothpaste Tablets
- Bite Toothpaste Bits Fresh Mint
- Nelson Naturals Crush & Brush Toothpaste Tablets
- Lush Boom! Toothy Tabs
- WELdental Chewtab Gentle Whitening Toothpaste Tablets