TOOTHPASTE TABLETS: SHOULD YOU MAKE THE SWITCH

Updated: Jul 17, 2020

In honour of plastic free July, I wanted to switch plastic out of my routine in yet another way. Bathrooms are one of the best places to start when you want to reduce your plastic usage as there are so many alternatives available e.g soap, shampoo and conditioner bars. One thing we often overlook in the bathroom when it comes to plastic is toothpaste. Most toothpaste tubes can't even be recycled with around 1.5 billion heading to landfill each year worldwide. Luckily, there's an alternative that does more than just boycott plastic, but what is it like to use?

The Ingredients

When switching up with products you use on a daily basis, you need to make sure they are still providing you with everything you need. This is especially important when it comes to oral health, I don't know about you but I don't want my teeth falling out or anything. The tablets I bought were Eco Living - Toothpaste Tablets with Fluoride which are vegan and cruelty free! They are also free from preservatives, germ-inhibiting substances, binders and contain neither aluminium nor nanoparticles, so they are kind to your body and to the environment when being washed down the sink! Of course they need to keep your teeth and mouth healthy too, here is a look at the five most common ingredients in Colgate toothpaste to see if my tablets have it all:


Fluoride:


This is this boss of toothpaste ingredients so if you are thinking of trying to toothpaste tablets, make sure they have Fluoride in them! It's a mineral that helps strengthen the enamel on your teeth, making them less susceptible to cavities and less likely to wear down from acidic foods and drinks. My tablets have 1450ppm, the same as Colgate!


Abrasives:


Abrasives are another key ingredient as they remove debris and stains from your teeth helping you get squeaky clean teeth, which is what we all want! One of they key ones used in toothpaste is calcium carbonate, which again, my tablets have.


Flavours:

Brushing you teeth wouldn't be the same without that minty taste, so it's no surprise that flavouring are another big ingredient in toothpaste. My tablets use Sorbitol, a sweetening agent, which is one of the most popular flavourings. They provide a sweet taste but without the sugar, it would be a bit strange if your toothpaste contained that!



Humectants:


Sorbitol actually play two roles as it is also humectant, an ingredient that prevent loss of water in the toothpaste. A humectant traps water in the toothpaste so when you squeeze it out of the tube, you get a smooth substance. Of course, this doesn't really happen with tablets because you just chew them and then brush so Sorbitol in this case is mostly for the sweetening I think!


Detergents:


Detergents are used in toothpaste to help foaming occur when you brush your teeth. Colgate uses sodium lauryl sulphate, a common detergent. The Eco Living tablets use sodium lauroyl sarcosinate another common foaming agent!


All Ingredients: Sorbitol, Calcium Carbonate, Kaolin, Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Hydrated Silica, Maltodextrin, Yeast Extract, Sodium Monofluorophosphate, Magnesium Stearate, Mentha Arvensis Leaf Oil, Menthol, Stevioside, Mentha Piperita Oil (Fluoride content 1450ppm)


https://www.colgate.com/en-in/oral-health/basics/selecting-dental-products/what-is-in-toothpaste-five-ingredients-and-what-they-do-0814



My Experience

I had a quick browse of different brands of tablets and finally decided on the Eco Living ones. I was a bit worried as I'd heard from a couple of people that they had difficultly finding any with Fluoride in but I guess they have expanded a bit since as there are a few brands available now. They took a little while to come with Covid holding up deliveries, leaving me resorting to desperately squeezing for the remains of the toothpaste out of my tube. Needless to say, I was very excited when they arrived! I popped a bamboo toothbrush in their as well because I left my last one at my friends uni house like an idiot and had to resort to a plastic one (I know it was very upsetting). Here was my experience:


Packaging

There are two things to talk about in terms of packaging; the delivery packaging and the storage of the tablets. I ordered them from Eco Vibe, who pride themselves on having environmentally friendly packaging which includes; packaging tape made from paper, recycled cardboard boxes and compostable jiffy bags! The tablets come in a refillable tin which includes a months supply of tablets (62) and the refill pack (125 tablets) is fully compostable. My only warning here it that I (stupidly) messed around trying to open the tin towards me, when in fact it slides to open so they ended up exploding out. Some fell in the sink and got wet and ruined, so I wouldn't recommend doing that... otherwise, all good!


Brushing


In terms of usage, it's super simple. Grab one tablet out the tin, pop it in and chew until it goes creamy, brush your teeth as usual for 2 minutes and then spit! The first time it was a little strange chewing them, they taste just like a mint but then turn it to a kind of runnier version of normal toothpaste. I quickly got used to it though, I've been using them for just over a week and I don't really think about it now. My teeth still have that smooth clean feeling but I would say the aftertaste isn't as nice compared to my usual brand.


Price


There are a lot of toothpaste tablet brands out there and available which vary in price. It cost me £4.99 for the months worth of tablets in the tin and to refill with the same brand its £5.99 for 2 months worth of tablets. Comparing this to Colgate which is around £2.50 a tube and I think last around 2/3 months, is evidently more expensive to use the tablets. However, I would say if you do want to switch plastic out of your life in a few small ways this is a cheap one to choose as you don't have to replace it too often and it's quite cheap to begin with.


Overview

After giving toothpaste tablets a go, I will not be switching back to traditional toothpaste tubes. The first thing I do when I wake up is brush my teeth and knowing that I'm doing something good when I am is a really nice feeling to wake up to! They are protective and caring of my oral health and I get to use the cute little tin they come in which really adds to my bathroom aesthetic (sad, I know).


I would 100% recommend giving them a try, even if you only use them for a month and

then decide against it. Colgate have recently introduced a recyclable toothpaste tube now, it still isn't cruelty free or plastic free but its a move in the right direction so if the tablets aren't for you then this is the next best thing. Also when I bought mine they gave me 20% off code for friends, so if you do fancy giving them a go or anything else on there, then be sure to use it and save some dollar!


http://ecovibe.refr.cc/antoniad

https://ecovibe.co.uk/products/toothbrush-tablets-with-fluoride?variant=31652902535222



As always, thanks for reading!


Antonia :)


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