If you’re looking for a way to reduce your waste and make more environmentally-friendly household purchases, toothpaste alternatives like powder and tablets might sound like a tempting idea.
The majority of traditional toothpaste tubes are not recyclable as they are made of different types of plastics with a layer of metal to keep things fresh. While there are some recycling schemes available, this isn’t always a practical solution.
Toothpaste powder and tablets offer an eco-friendly alternative presented in reusable or recyclable packaging. Rather than using a paste, you can switch to a dry powder or a chewable tablet. These can be packaged in metal tins or paper packaging which can then be reused or recycled.
But are powders and tablets as effective at keeping your teeth clean as most toothpaste products? Let’s explore this in more detail…
What are chewable toothpaste tablets and powder?
Chewable toothpaste tablets are a popular alternative to toothpaste. They are small discs about the size of a mint that you chew before brushing. You simply pop a disc in your mouth and crunch it before starting to brush. You would then spit, rinse and floss as normal.
There are also toothpaste powders available which you would apply to a wet toothbrush and then brush as normal. The majority of these options are presented as an eco-friendly, environmentally-conscious and natural alternative to traditional toothpaste options. They might contain all-natural ingredients and essential oils to help freshen your breath.
Are chewable toothpaste tablets and powders reliable?
A big problem with turning to all-natural alternatives is that they might not contain the essential ingredients needed to protect your teeth. Switching to a fluoride-free alternative could be damaging to your teeth and certainly isn’t recommended for children. Fluoride helps to protect against decay and strengthens the enamel.
If you are allergic to fluoride and cannot use traditional toothpaste, then using a toothpaste tablet or powder might be a good option. However, if you have no sensitivity to fluoride, then there is no reason to avoid this substance.
Another problem with chewable tablets and powders is that they might not provide adequate coverage for your teeth. Toothpaste is designed to be the right consistency to cover your teeth and reach the areas between your teeth. A toothpaste powder or tablet is unlikely to be able to achieve this consistently.
When can I use chewable toothpaste or powder?
Occasional use of chewable toothpaste tablets or powder should be safe, provided you use traditional toothpaste most of the time. Chewable toothpaste tablets are excellent to take with you when you are travelling as they can allow you to brush your teeth anywhere. They’re also great for festivals or camping when access to facilities might make caring for your teeth more difficult.
How can I reduce the environmental impact of my dental products?
Terracycle and Colgate offer an oral care recycling scheme that will allow you to recycle all packaging, including toothpaste tubes, toothbrushes, brush heads, mouthwash bottles and all plastic packaging.
You can also choose an environmentally friendly alternative to floss such as biodegradable dental floss, or a reusable floss pick made from bamboo. You can also buy dental floss made from corn starch.
And finally, choose mouthwash tablets which are available in recyclable and reusable glass bottles. Using a mouthwash tablet is better than toothpaste tablets, as this step simply freshens your breath. You can also find mouthwash in glass bottles, which can then be reused or recycled.
If you have questions about your oral care and need advice and support, book an appointment with one of our dentists. They can help guide you on the right dental care options for your needs and ensure you aren’t using anything that might damage your oral health.