Toothpaste tablets: the sustainable beauty swap your bathroom needs?

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Since getting Invisalign braces, beauty director Shannon has been getting through toothpaste like it’s going out of fashion. Could these eco-friendly toothpaste tablets be the sustainable upgrade her bathroom needs?

When it comes to sustainability, like you, I am trying my hardest to make positive changes to my beauty routine and bathroom cabinet. My recycling regime is stringent, I use as many refillables as I possibly can, and I’m now working out which products I can switch out to solid formulas. But the one one area of my daily routine that’s yet to receive an eco-makeover? Toothcare.

When I’m at home I use an electric toothbrush, but I do take a bamboo toothbrush with me whenever I travel. But since getting Invisalign braces a few weeks ago, I’ve been brushing my teeth more than ever. You see, you have to take the aligners out to eat or drink something that isn’t plain water, and before you put them back in, it’s advised you brush your teeth again. 

Given I’m snacking more than ever (anyone else?), this adds up to a whole lot of brushing, and consequently, a whole lot of toothpaste. Traditional toothpaste tubes are notoriously hard (if not impossible) to recycle, so I definitely felt urged to hunt out a more sustainable, plastic-free option. And that’s when I came across Parla Toothpaste Tabs.

They’re basically dehydrated toothpaste, moulded into a tablet smaller than a Cheerio. Where you’d usually squeeze toothpaste onto your brush, toothpaste tablets need to be ever so slightly chewed to break them up and kickstart the frothing action, and that’s when you start brushing.

It takes a little while to get used to it. I’ll be honest — the first time I used one, my brain took over, thinking it was a mint so I chewed it up and swallowed it before I had even started brushing. But once my mind had gotten used to the new sensation, it was fine. The foam isn’t as thick as regular toothpaste, but it is definitely just as frothy.

Of course, these aren’t the first or only toothpaste tablets out there. Lush has been making its own version for ages, and it’s a real growing market. However, the key difference to Parla, and why I was attracted to them in particular, is unlike many tablet versions, they contain fluoride.

“Lots of the tablets on the market do not have the key ingredients to stop decay, such as fluoride,” explains Dr Rhona Eskander, dentist and founder of Parla. “In the right dose fluoride prevents tooth decay. Those patients that have switched to non fluoride toothpastes have developed dental decay.” Designed by Dr Eskander, alongside two other dentists, these tablets have everything a good toothpaste should, so there’s no compromise. 

There’s also the fact they don’t contain sodium lauryl sulfate, which, according to some dentists, isn’t the best thing for teeth. “Toothpastes often contain SLS as a foaming agent which can cause irritation in the form of ulcers. Importantly, it is derived from palm oil, which is a huge environmental problem,” adds Dr Eskander.

The packaging also wins eco points. Housed in a glass jar, they’re completely free from all plastic, and you can buy Parla’s Toothpaste tabs as either a month’s supply (62 tablets, 2 a day) for £6.95 or you can subscribe, and receive a bulk order every four months for £20, i.e. £5 a month.

One jar in, and I’m already converted. 


Parla Toothpaste Tabs, £6.95 or £20 a month

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Images: courtesy of Parla

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