Toothpaste Tablets: Do They Work Better than Regular Paste?

Brushing your teeth at least twice daily is a key part of a good oral health routine. Alongside daily flossing and regular dental appointments, brushing your teeth helps maintain a healthy-looking smile. 

Most people will instinctively use toothpaste as part of their oral health routine. However, toothpaste tablets provide another option, one which can be easier to use when traveling and more friendly to the environment.

What Are Toothpaste Tablets?

Toothpaste tablets are as they sound, small pill-like tabs that you pop in your mouth when you want to clean your teeth and freshen your mouth. Also known as tooth tabs, these tablets are easy to use. 

You just put one in your mouth and chew on the tablet. The tablet will combine with your saliva to form a paste that you can then use to clean your teeth with your toothbrush.

Most tablets contain fluoride to help strengthen tooth enamel. They also contain abrasives that help remove plaque from the teeth. However, you may require a couple of extra rinses once you have finished brushing than you would normally to remove any feeling of grittiness.

You can use tablets twice a day as you would regular toothpaste to help preserve a confident, healthy smile. The tablets contain sweeteners and flavorings to keep your breath smelling fresh, which can provide a further boost to a confident smile.

What Are the Advantages of Using Toothpaste Tablets?

Of course, you may not consider swapping from the regular toothpaste you have always used to tablets — unless there are some distinct advantages in doing so. One of the primary reasons people consider switching to tablets is for the environmental benefit.

We are all familiar with the plastic tubes used with regular toothpaste. You can imagine the vast quantities of these plastic tubes manufactured each year, most of which end up in landfill sites. Plastic waste continues to be a huge environmental issue and a particular threat to ocean habitats.

The brands behind regular paste are looking to find alternative recyclable packaging options, but in the meantime, some people have looked to tablets instead. This is because most toothpaste tablets come in recyclable packaging. These could be small glass or tin containers. Some are even packaged in compostable pouches.

The use of natural ingredients is also a priority by many of the brands offering tablets as an alternative to regular paste. This again has a large appeal to consumers concerned about the processed ingredients they are putting into their bodies. You are less likely to find preservatives or parabens in the ingredients listed on tablets.

Lifestyle choices and sustainability concerns attract people to toothpaste tablets. With tablets, there is a good range of gluten-free, cruelty-free, and vegan options when it comes to combining looking after your oral care and finding a product that matches your lifestyle choices.

A Good On-the-Go Option

Tablets can be a more convenient option when on the go. They are easier to pack, taking up less room in your bag than tubes of regular paste. Tablets are also TSA-friendly which is handy if you fly regularly. They can be packed in your carry-on bag, removing the need to hunt for travel-friendly tubes of regular paste ahead of your trip.

Tablets also mean you don’t have to skip brushing your teeth when on the go. Whether you are at the office or just out for the day where you don’t have a toothbrush to hand you can still use a tablet to clean your teeth and freshen your mouth. 

In these scenarios, you can still place a tablet in your mouth and chew on it to form a paste. If you have a bottle of water to hand you can rinse your mouth out afterward. This will not clean your teeth as thoroughly as a toothbrush, but it still offers a good replacement alternative for those times when you do not have access to a toothbrush. 

Are Tablets Better than Regular Paste?

Toothpaste tablets, therefore, have environmental and travel benefits that will make them attractive to many people. If you are concerned with the environmental impact of plastic packaging or are looking for product options to suit your lifestyle, tablets offer an alternative to regular paste. 

Similarly, the prioritizing of natural ingredients in tablets will appeal to many people. If you are often away from home without access to your toothbrush, easy-to-pack tablets mean you don’t have to skip cleaning your teeth.

However, in terms of whether tablets offer the same protection for your smile as a regular paste, it is difficult to answer at the moment. There has not been enough research to establish the effectiveness of tablets when compared to regular paste. This is a crucial consideration when choosing oral care products. Therefore, it is best to consult with your dentist first when contemplating switching to tablets from a regular paste.

The cost of tablets will also be an important consideration for people. Tablets are considerably more expensive at present compared to tubes of toothpaste. A four-month supply of tablets can cost $30, whereas a similar supply of regular paste may only cost up to $6. 

This is a difference that is hard to ignore, but for many, it will be seen as a price worth paying for the environmental benefits of recyclable tablet packaging.

Ultimately, which product is better will come down to the individual and their requirements and preference. Both tablets and regular paste have benefits, but also some potential disadvantages when compared against one another. 

However, whichever product you choose, the key point is to ensure you clean your teeth twice daily at least to help maintain a smile that you can be proud of. Your dentist can help you make decisions on purchasing the oral care products that are most suitable for you. 


Dr Siddharth Wandrekar - Practice principal (GDC No. 170074)

BDS – India 2004, MSc Prosthetic Dentistry 2007 (London), MJDF Royal College of Surgeons England

Sidd has been with Brunel Dental Practice since 2011 and took over the practice in September 2016 after the previous principal retired.

Sidd qualified in 2004 from one of the prestigious Universities in India. He came to the UK and meritoriously obtained a Masters in Prosthetic Dentistry from King’s College, London. He then spent a year in a hospital environment being involved in major surgeries such as head and neck cancer, correction of jaw fractures and complex surgical removal of teeth. He moved to work as an Associate in Private and NHS practices in Scotland before joining Brunel Dental Practice.

Sidd enjoys dentistry because he can help everyone to achieve good dental health and overall well-being in a caring and comfortable environment.

He is married with two boys who keep him on his toes. He loves playing tennis and represents the local club in the regional Leagues. He loves to travel and visit offbeat places. He also has a keen interest in current affairs.

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