Many people have opted for plastic-free beauty products and prioritised companies that are making positive environmental changes. However, oral care has often lagged behind. Now more than ever, people are thinking about making mindful decisions to preserve the health of our planet. (Particularly whilst we are dealing with the current global pandemic.)
At the moment, the best solution for disposing of your plastic toothpaste tubes are schemes like TerraCycle. However, that doesn’t go far enough to protect our planet.
That’s where toothpaste tablets come in; the zero-waste, plastic-free, sustainable, eco-friendly solution you’ve been looking for.
You can feel good about doing your part in stopping the 1.5 billion plastic toothpaste tubes that go into landfills each year, plus the billions of plastic particles floating in our oceans.
Are you fed up with toothpaste all over the sink? Tired of exceeding the liquid limit when travelling? Or can you simply not be bothered to squeeze the last bits of toothpaste from the tube?
What Exactly are Toothpaste Tablets?
Toothpaste tablets often look like a breath mint or piece of gum. They are, essentially, a dehydrated form of toothpaste. To use them, you simply pop a tablet into your mouth, chew the tablet for approximately 5 seconds and brush your teeth as normal with a moistened toothbrush.
The tablet naturally breaks down into a paste similar to traditional toothpaste. That’s it! Alternatively, a small sip of water can help break the tablet down a little quicker.
- As toothpaste tablets are water-free, they have the advantage of being easier to ship with a lower carbon footprint.
- The pre-portioned size means you will get a steady and even amount of paste every time you brush your teeth.
- Say goodbye to the fights with your partner about the best way to get the last drop of toothpaste from the tube.
- Also, no more worrying about travelling with toothpaste in your hand luggage or staining your pyjamas with toothpaste mess.
As traditional toothpaste is maintained in the gel state, it requires many more ingredients to stabilise the product and prevent bacteria flourishing. Since toothpaste tablets are made without water, they contain very few preservatives, removing a lot of those unnecessary ingredients.
Traditional toothpaste tubes take over 500 years to decompose. Therefore, toothpaste tablets are an excellent way to reduce your plastic usage.
They also contain fluoride, which is the only active ingredient to fight decay. Toothpaste tablets containing fluoride are just as effective at removing plaque and protecting your teeth as traditional fluoride-containing toothpastes. The foam generated from toothpaste tablets tends to not be as thick as traditional toothpaste due to the lack of chemicals and foaming agents such as sodium lauryl sulfate.
The Truth About SLS
There are many reasons why we chose to exclude SLS from our toothpaste tablets.
One of the major problems with sodium lauryl sulfate is its derivation from palm oil. Palm oil is a huge environmental problem and a major contributor to deforestation. The worldwide demand for palm oil continues to increase, with countries such as India producing 17% of the global total. In 2018 we produced nearly 72 million tons. Since 1973, 16,000 square miles of rainforest in Borneo, has been logged, burned, and bulldozed to allow for the production of palm oil. This deforestation is catastrophic for our wildlife.
Between 1999 and 2015, 150,000 critically endangered orangutans perished. Nearly half of Indonesia’s greenhouse gas emissions are a result of deforestation and air pollution. This has caused 12,000 premature deaths last year alone. Plus, sodium lauryl sulfate is also a common irritant of gums and can often result in ulceration.
The ‘F’ Word
The debate between fluoride-containing and fluoride-free toothpaste tablets continues to exist. However, there is only one answer if you want to safely protect your teeth.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral and is found in water in some areas. Evidence from extensive studies suggests that fluoride is safe in the small doses found in toothpaste and unanimously recommended by all dentists. It is the only ingredient that strengthens enamel and makes teeth more resistant to decay whilst fighting bacteria. Opting for fluoride free toothpaste is putting your teeth and oral health at serious risk.
Unless it has been incinerated, it is very likely that the first toothpaste tube is still sitting in a landfill somewhere. Traditional toothpaste tends to be housed in plastic-coated, aluminium-lined tubes. This makes them a nightmare to deal with and even worse for the planet since they are notoriously difficult to recycle.
Toothpaste tablets are therefore a great alternative that allows you to protect your planet and teeth simultaneously. Who doesn’t want to protect their oral health and the planet?
Toothpaste tablets can be used with both a manual or electric toothbrush and can come in a variety of flavours. Packaging also varies with some available in glass jars, tins, or compostable pouches. Tongue’s toothpaste tablets are delivered in compostable pouches which have been certified by TUV Austria as home compostable within 180 days.
Ingredients may vary depending on which brand you choose, with some containing some naturally abrasive ingredients allowing for natural teeth whitening. At Tongue’s we offer a subscription service which is a great and convenient way to make that simple switch to a more sustainable way of living.
Ready to Take the Leap?
It is important to avoid swallowing toothpaste tablets, and for that reason many brands tend to advise their use for children aged 7+. Similar to traditional toothpaste in a tube, toothpaste tablets must be used at least twice a day. Ensure that you spit after brushing instead of rinsing to allow the ingredients to do their job. When you rinse your mouth after brushing, you are washing away all of the fluoride which is there to protect your teeth.
For many people, traditional toothpaste is all you have ever known. When you first make the switch to toothpaste tablets, it will take a while to get used to. However, once you have adjusted to the change, they will give you great satisfaction that you are doing something good for the environment.
Plus, if they contain fluoride, you can have peace of mind that you are also protecting your oral health. That is definitely something worth smiling about.
We often find many of our patients simply don’t like or enjoy brushing their teeth anymore. Using a toothpaste tablet can help switch up your traditional routine and put the fun back into brushing. Also, trying to keep the children motivated on a daily basis to brush their teeth twice a day, is often a challenge. However, toothpaste tablets are a fantastic way to keep track of everything and give the children something to get excited about.
It is time for a change and a disruption in the outdated toothpaste market, and this is where toothpaste tablets come into play. They tick all of the boxes you need to protect your oral health and protect your planet. The time for change is now, and if everyone plays their part, imagine how much good we can do, working together to protect our planet and save our wildlife.