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What Are Toothpaste Tablets? Plus 5 Options to Try in 2023: Bite, Huppy, Hello, Unpaste

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If you haven’t heard of toothpaste tablets, we probably don’t have the same TikTok algorithm. Toothpaste tablets are a buzzy alternative to traditional toothpaste in tubes; they usually contain similar active ingredients that clean your teeth, but have a solid formula (versus your typical gel toothpaste). All you need to do to “activate” the tablets is chew them, and then start brushing. They’ll start to foam up in seconds once mixed with saliva or water.

Sounds kinda fun, right? Toothpaste tablets are trendy, but are they as good for your teeth as plain old toothpaste in a tube? We asked oral care experts to weigh in—and rounded up a few products for you to consider too.

What are the benefits of toothpaste tablets?

From an oral care standpoint, many toothpaste tablets include ingredients that traditional tubes of toothpaste rely on to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy.

According to Michael Wei, DDS, a New York City–based general and cosmetic dentist, you should look for toothpaste tablets that contain calcium carbonate (an ingredient that helps remove plaque build-up), silica (an abrasive that helps polish teeth and breaks down stains), sodium bicarbonate (a.k.a. baking soda, which help can whiten teeth), and, of course, fluoride. “Fluoride, which is a mineral that helps strengthen the enamel on teeth, is very important,” Dianne Sefo, RDH, MEd, a clinical associate professor and the chair of dental hygiene and dental assisting at NYU College of Dentistry, tells SELF. “It makes teeth less susceptible to cavities and less likely to wear down from acidic foods and drinks.”

There are also fluoride-free tablets that often rely on the mineral nano-hydroxyapatite (N-HA); some studies—which analyzed the ingredient in traditional toothpaste, not tablets—show it can help strengthen enamel. While the dental experts SELF spoke with noted that fluoride is really important, the fluoride-free options are helpful for people who are sensitive or allergic to the ingredient; for example, some toothpastes with fluoride can trigger perioral dermatitis, or inflammation of the skin around the mouth, in people who are susceptible.

Given their solid formula, toothpaste tabs are also a lot less messy than their squeezing, squirting alternatives, Dr. Wei tells SELF. What’s more, the little tabs can be more travel-friendly than toothpaste, since you can pop however many you’ll need in a tin and not worry about TSA regulations. The tablets are usually housed in glass, aluminum, or paper packaging, so you’ll likely reduce your plastic waste too. (Every little bit counts, folks!)

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Are there any downsides to consider before you try toothpaste tablets?

We mentioned the importance of fluoride for your teeth above, so it’s also key to note that there are currently very few toothpaste tablets on the market that contain fluoride. Unless you’re sensitive or allergic to fluoride, both Sefo and Dr. Wei strongly encourage using toothpaste that’s formulated with it. (Sefo also notes that no toothpaste tablets currently on the market have the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance; however, the ADA only approves toothpaste formulas fortified with fluoride and because these tablets are fairly new, more data is likely needed.)

Source: Self

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