"One of the great things about toothpaste tablets is that there is less waste overall," says Dr. Field. "I recommend avoiding those in packaging that is not either made from recycled materials or is not able to be recycled. That significantly defeats the advantages of toothpaste tablets."
Toothpaste tablets are also great because they don't require water to get started. "You can simply place the tablet in your mouth and chew it," says Dr. Field. "Once the tablet mixes with saliva, it creates a bit of foam in your mouth. You can then use a wet toothbrush to scrub your teeth, rinse, and then you are all set."
However, not all toothpaste tablets are created equal. Dr. Field says you should look for toothpaste tablets that include fluoride.
"There are several kinds of toothpaste tablets on the market now, and I suspect we will continue to see more over the next few years," says Dr. Field. "A key ingredient, in my opinion, is fluoride. I disagree with using fluoride-free tablets unless you have a true allergy to fluoride, as it has proven to be safe and effective for cavity prevention. As with any dental product, I recommend talking to your health care professional so you can choose a product that is right for you."
The biggest downside to toothpaste tablets is cost. A $3 to $4 tube of toothpaste can last you a couple of months, while a jar of toothpaste tablets begins around $8 and can cost over $20 depending on how many tablets it includes. Be sure to factor in budget if you're considering making the switch.
The best toothpaste tablets for low-waste toothbrushing without the mess
1. by Humankind Toothpaste, $15
These low-waste toothpaste tabs contain fluoride and come in a minty flavor. Start off by purchasing your tabs with a glass container and choosing from either the charcoal, green, or sand silicone lid for $15. For your next purchase, save $3 by just getting the tabs without the container. Each order comes with 60 tabs, enough for one month of twice-daily brushing. You can also choose to subscribe and save 10 percent on ongoing two-pack refills.
Shop now: by Humankind Toothpaste, $15
2. Unpaste Tooth Tabs With Fluoride, $10
Unpaste Tooth Tabs are Dr. Fields' go-to toothpaste tablets. "They have a nice minty flavor, work well, and, as the name indicates, have zero waste," he says. It's packaged in a recyclable paper wrapper. With 125 tablets, this pack will last you two months of brushing twice per day. Either leave them in the bag or add them to the reusable vessel of your choice.
Shop now: Unpaste Tooth Tabs With Fluoride, $10
3. Co. to Go Toothpaste Tabs, $14
I've been loving the toothpaste tablets from Co. to Go by Colgate. They have a great minty taste and are made with fluoride. Though they come in a glass bottle, the downside is the plastic lid. However, they're a good size to figure out ways to reuse them once you're out of tabs.
Shop now: Co. To Go Toothpaste Tabs, $14
4. Bite Toothpaste, $12
These are a great option for those allergic to fluoride. The Bite mini jar comes with 62 tabs for a one-month supply for $12. You can also get the four-month supply ($30). They come in a glass jar with an aluminum lid.
Shop now: Bite Toothpaste, $12
5. Denttabs Tablets, $11
Denttabs toothpaste tablets are made with fluoride and are packaged without plastic. You get 125 in a pack, which is enough to last two months of twice-daily brushing. Leave them in the bag or dump them into a sealable reusable container like an old jam jar.
Shop now: Denttabs Tablets, $11
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