Chewable Toothpaste Tablets: An Eco-Friendly Way of Brushing

Traditional toothpaste tubes are made of plastic and take 500 years to degrade. Every year, people around the globe throw away about 900 million toothpaste tubes, which end up in landfills, adding to the global environmental crisis. Chewable toothpaste tablets are a revolutionary change.

Key takeaways:

They are readily biodegradable and straightforward to use. When used correctly, these tablets contain the necessary ingredients to clean your teeth and maintain oral hygiene. If you are an environmental enthusiast looking for ways to live more sustainably, this article is for you.

What are chewable toothpaste tablets made of?

Chewable toothpaste tablets are not "paste" — they are tablets. Toothpaste tablets are bite-sized, chewable, and can be crushed into tiny pieces. They are dissolved by saliva into a paste. The key ingredients in toothpaste tablets are xylitol, calcium carbonate, sodium bicarbonate, and tartaric acid derivatives, but they do not contain water. Toothpaste tablets come in fluoride and non-fluoride forms. They do not include preservatives such as parabens.

Chewable tablets vs. traditional toothpaste

The primary function of toothpaste is to eliminate plaque and prevent gum disease and tooth decay. There is a shortage of research on toothpaste tablets and their actual ingredients, which puts their oral health efficacy into doubt. There is limited research on the efficacy of these new toothpaste tablets. However, a growing body of scientific evidence points out that tablets can contain fluoride — a key player in cavity prevention — in the standard concentration found in traditional toothpaste.

How do you use chewable toothpaste tablets?

The steps to use chewable toothpaste tablets are pretty simple:

  1. Chew. Crush and chew the toothpaste tablet for a few seconds — 5 seconds is good enough!
  2. Wet and brush. Wet the bristles of your toothbrush and brush your teeth for 2 minutes.
  3. Rinse and spit. Ensure you rinse thoroughly.

Brush your teeth twice daily after meals to get the best results.

Benefits of toothpaste tablets

The benefits of toothpaste tablets are becoming more apparent:

  • Environmentally friendly. The pouches and glass jars in which chewable tablets come are home-compostable, ensuring 100% environment-friendly packaging.
  • Consumer options. You can choose the type of tablet you want depending on expert recommendation and your oral hygiene status. Many tablets are fluoridated and help prevent dental caries (decay).
  • Longer shelf life. Toothpaste tablets are waterless, so they can be preserved for lengthy periods. They are often free of sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and chemical stabilizers, making them a more "natural" alternative.
  • Travel friendly. Since these tablets are a solid, you do not face the same restrictions as when you fly with a liquid.
  • Right amount, every time. Toothpaste tablets ensure that you take in the right amount of active ingredients while brushing, rather than the user deciding how much to use (as is the case with traditional toothpaste).

Drawbacks of toothpaste tablets

Chewing the tablets before brushing might be annoying for many.

People with dry mouths can find it challenging to use chewable tablets. When compared to tubed toothpaste, toothpaste tablets can be more expensive. The taste of toothpaste tablets may be weird at first use; your taste buds may need some time to adjust to the new flavor.

More studies comparing the efficacy of toothpaste tablets against conventional toothpaste are needed. Some of these tablets are marketed as fluoride-free leaving out a key and highly recommended anticavity ingredient. Before making the switch to tabs, it's best to consult your dentist.

Recent research revealed that tablets' inactive components (including sugar alcohols, magnesium stearate, and polyvidone) could cause major human health concerns.

Because tablets are in powder form, they may be challenging to apply evenly to all of your teeth, unlike traditional tube toothpaste. This means that some teeth will not be as clean as others. Plaque and bacteria will build up on the teeth if they are not thoroughly cleansed.

Check the ingredients before switching to a toothpaste tablet. A dentist can guide you with the right option.

Can a child use toothpaste tablets?

Toothpaste tablets eliminate the need to monitor paste quantity. Pop in one tablet during brushing, and it's done. Very young children have the risk of choking on a tablet. Dentists recommend keeping them out of reach of children under 6 and seeking medical help if swallowed in excess.

Chewable toothpaste tablets are gaining popularity among consumers owing to their eco-friendly nature and clean formula. The market for toothpaste tablets is estimated to double by 2026 but the dental community is still determining its efficacy.

While the future looks rosy for ‘zero-waste’ toothpaste tablets, the fact remains that in-depth research is needed to recommend these as alternatives to traditional pastes. Due to a lack of acceptable clinical trial evidence, the American Dental Association is yet to approve toothpaste tablets. You should know the pros and cons of a toothpaste tablet before making the switch.

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