Lush Atomic Toothy Tabs
ATOMIC TOOTHY TABS I think I am a bit of a Lushaholic and my husband thinks our bathroom is actually a subdivision of the shop as I spend so much money in there and love to try out all the new products. I am working my way gradually through their products either by buying them or cheekily asking for samples. I know all ... their products are not 100% perfect but I do like the ethics of the company and am so pleased that they have not sold out to some great US multi national like Body Shop did and I feel their products have lost some of the charm that they had before. Lush is proudly British but they do also make a big effort to support other countries and Fair trade when ever they can. One of the things that the owners of Lush was struck with was some art created by using old toothpaste tubes which was done to bring this shocking waste to the attention of the world.
Lush say that if they had their way everything would come as solids and unpackaged as so much packaging is wasted and not recycled so is filling the world with non biodegradable rubbish which cannot go on for ever without causing damage.
This gave them the challenge to create something for teeth cleaning that would not involve all the plastic packaging.
Lush discovered these shocking facts about just toothpaste and the tubes it comes in:
"* 4% of every tube is wasted because we can't squeeze it out (www.wastegeneration.com)
* This means every year over 70,000 tons of toothpaste is thrown away and ends up in landfill (www.wastegeneration.com).
* The average person uses 276 tubes of toothpaste in their lifetime.
* 2 million tubes of toothpaste are thrown away in the UK every year (figures estimated from the Mintel Toothpaste Snapshot 2009 report)
* 3,000 tonnes of plastic from tubes becomes waste equating to 6.6 tonnes of CO2 emissions (www.co2list.org/files/carbon)"
Toothy tabs were invented and a small matchbox sixed pack holds 40 small often brownish 'pills' which actually do clean your teeth when you crunch them and use a toothbrush.
The packs are all the same, black and white cardboard box - the white inner part is pushed out to reveal a small hole through which a Toothy Tab can be shaken. The box has a sticker with a cartoon picture of the person who made the Toothy Tabs and the expiry date. This is just card which can be recycled in the normal paper or card system and anyway it is, unlike the plastic and aluminium toothpaste tubes which end up in general waste.
Aquatic which is supposed to be sensual with jasmine in it
Atomic which has clove and cinnamon and ginger in it
Breath of God with sandalwood, fennel and vanilla
Dirty with spearmint
Sparkle with lemon. Grapefruit oil and vanilla
Ultrablast with lavender, spearmint and peppermint
Chou Chou with rose
There are so many different flavours in these Toothy Tabs that there will be certain to be one that you like. Some are there all the time and some are only released for limited times.
Simon Constantine of Lush, comments: "I was really keen to take perfumery up a gear and be able to actually perfume someone's breath ... wouldn't that be something!"
Now you do only need one Toothy Tab for each brushing and in fact I find that half is enough most times so it could last you either 40 days or 20 depending on your usage and how often you clean your teeth each day. The pack costs £2.50 for 40 which is not bad value really for over a month's teeth cleaning.
Yes it is in the small matchbox sort of pack with a sliding inner. The box is pretty easy to open and then you punch out the hole for the tabs to be tipped out of. It is small enough to fit in your pocket or handbag and it weighs nothing. Because it is cardboard you do have to keep them away from water so away from the wet in the bathroom otherwise the pack will go soggy and so will the tabs inside.
The first Toothy Tabs flavour invented was the 'Dirty' flavour, which is a minty one but they proved so popular that other flavours quickly followed including this which is my personal favourite 'Atomic'. Atomic tabs are Fairtrade, and carry the official Fairtrade logo with pride and the flavour is very different and quite spicy almost Christmassy with clove, cinnamon, cardamom and ginger.
They have a slightly spicy scent but the main hit comes after you have crunched the tab in your mouth. It leaves that slightly numb tingly feeling that you get from cloves which is pleasant and all the ingredients help with freshening your breath.
So you take one or a half I have found is fine and crunch it in your mouth. Once you have the tab crunched then take your toothbrush rinsed with water and use it as normal. The tab froths lightly so that you get the cleaning froth needed to clean your teeth and make your mouth taste nice and breath fresher.
I find that there is more than enough froth or foam created to get a really good brush clean and i use mine with my electric tooth brush and very occasionally when I have forgotten to charge it I use them with a normal toothbrush and they work just as well with both methods.
After brushing, rinse your mouth and if you want to then use mouthwash or floss or your mini tooth brush like I have that cleans between my teeth.
The only thing I do find is that I get lots of bits still left in my mouth which I haven't crunched enough but as they taste quite nice I don't worry too much if I find a small bit hidden in my gums.
I really LOVE this spicy flavour and the feeling of tingliness that I get from this flavour. If you are not a fan of cloves or the other ingredients then give these a miss as the tabs do taste quite potent. My teeth always feel REALLY clean and as I run my tongue over my teeth I get no residue or plaque sort of feeling left so they do a good job of cleaning. The flavour is certainly very different from the usual tooth cleaning stuff and makes a pleasant change.
DO THEY DO THE JOB PROPERLY?
Lush have been running a dental trial all year, in which volunteers use the tabs twice a day and attend regular monitoring sessions. I am not sure what the conclusion is but presumably nothing untoward has been found as they would have stopped making them.
Tooth paste is actually only to make brushing more pleasant as it is the action that does the job. Fluoride is added to most tooth pastes as it has been found to help strengthen teeth but it can be dangerous. Many places have fluoride in their water so adding more is not always necessary. My son's teeth have been discoloured by fluoride as I gave my children fluoride pills as suggested when they were young and it was obviously not needed. My teeth are really weak and so I was concerned that my children's would be too.
I have to use a toothpaste with high fluoride now as mine are so weak so I tend to only use these when travelling as I can pop a pack in my bag for using on the plane. I take them when we go away for a couple of days and so on.
HOW DO THESE WORK THEN?
The ingredients in this are interesting : Dicalcium Phosphate Anhydrous, Sodium Bicarbonate, Cream of Tartar, Glycerine, Lauroyl Sarcosine, Kaolin, Flavour, Fair Trade Organic Coffee, Fair trade clove, Fair Trade Organic Cardamom Powder, Fair Trade Organic Cinnamon Powder, Fine Sea Salt, Fairtrade Ginger Powder ,Fair Trade Organic White Pepper Powder, Citric Acid, Sodium Saccharin,
Quite a few of the ingredients are there for their scrubbing quality and these are Dicalcium phosphate dehydrate which is a gentle abrasive that helps to remove plaque from your teeth. Sodium bicarbonate and cream of tartar also scrub and cleans and help to whiten teeth . Salt does the same job which is scrub and whiten as does the kaolin but probably only scrub in that case.
In the war and when times were hard Bicarb was used to clean teeth but has no real flavour of breath freshening quality.
Glycerine helps create the slippery quality to the froth.
Sodium lauroyl sarcosine is a surfactant so creates the foam and helps break down the stuff that builds up on your teeth. It is found in many toothpaste brands, that helps to create foam. A surfactant also helps to dissolve the residue that builds up on the teeth.
Sodium saccharin which I am not so thrilled about is an artificial sweetener to make the ingredients more palatable
Apart from the scrubby ingredients there are the flavouring ingredients which in these toothy tabs are all Fairtrade . These include organic coffee, clove, organic cardamom powder, organic cinnamon powder, ginger powder and white pepper powder. No wonder I get a tingly warm feeling in my mouth when i use these as they are all great warming spices.
Another plus is that these Atomic tabs contain absolutely no animal-derived ingredients, so are fine for vegans.
None of the Toothy tabs contain fluoride so if you think you need that added you can take supplements or use the toothy tabs alternatively with a high fluoride toothpaste.
Many people are against fluoride in toothpaste and so these do give the option for those who want to avoid it.
WOULD I RECOMMEND?
Yes I think these are a great idea, novel and earth friendly both in the ingredients and the packing. They are perfect for popping in your pocket or handbag with a foldway toothbrush (those that come in half and the top tucks into the handle) for freshening up on the move. I always have these in my handbag when we travel as I can brush my teeth on the plane or at the airport or wherever I find a basin.
I do like the flavour of these as they are really tingly spicy and leave me feeling breath confident. My mouth feels slightly numb as well from the cloves which is not an unpleasant feeling at all, in fact I like the sensation.
I am not sure that Ii would rely upon these solely for my mouth and tooth hygiene as they are quite expensive compared to most toothpaste brands and also I do need the fluoride in the toothpastes to stop my teeth crumbling away according to my dentist.
They are however a positive in so many ways for the environment as there is so little packaging and what there is can be recycled easily, they are full of Fairtrade ingredients and so help farmers in other parts of the world and also many ingredients are also organic.
They are perfect for travelling as they weigh nothing and can go in your bag as they are not liquid. They would be great for festivals and also keeping in your bag for emergency freshening up needs. I will always have at least one pack of these for the times I have mentioned but would not totally get rid of the regular extra strength fluoride my dentist has recommended that I use.
I have tried a few of these flavours from Lush and this is one of the most original and different and yet really nice flavour. If you have not tried these I would say give them a try. If you prefer the minty ones go for those first. The lovely people at Lush will advise you as to what each one tastes like and may even give you a couple to try if you ask nicely.
Thanks for reading. This review may be posted on other sites under my same user name.
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Lush Atomic Toothy Tabs
I bought these toothy tabs from Lush for £3.50 a week ago. I bought these ones and my mum bought the Sparkle ones. I kinda wish i'd have bought the Sparkle ones now! You place a tab in between your front teeth, crush it with your teeth and brush as normal. They are easy to use and they're much better for the environment as ... they don't need any packaging. However they taste FOUL. The taste is too herbally for my liking, it reminds me of the grass that I used to eat when I was younger! The taste hangs around for a while too, which wouldn't be so bad if they happened to taste nice. However they don't and I wouldn't recommend them!
They clean the teeth okay but they aren't a patch on my favourite Colgate toothpaste. They don't foam up very well and i'm often left with bits stuck in between my teeth which take ages to get out. I'm forever picking them out and it is starting to get on my nerves now. How can these be a toothpaste when they actually LEAVE bits in your mouth? I get the whole "less packaging" thing but i'm sure Lush could come up with a better formula than this. Plus they need to improve on the taste.
After using one of these tabs my teeth (and gums) don't really feel that much cleaner. They don't sparkle like they do with "normal" toothpaste and the lack of foam means that my breath isn't as fresh as I would like.
A waste of money in my opinion. I think i'll stick with Colgate.
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Lush Atomic Toothy Tabs
My favourite shop ever is Lush. I spend so much money in there and love to try out all the new products. In fact I am currently in the process of sampling every single thing they have in there (except for the odd one or two which aren't suitable for me). Lush are very innovative and like to develop new concepts. As they are concerned ... about the environment, a lot of their products are solid which cuts down on packaging and preservatives. They already produce soap, body butter, shampoo and cleanser in solid form, but even I was surprised when they announced a range of solid toothpaste - Toothy Tabs.
***Toothy Tabs - eh, what?!***
Toothy Tabs were named in line with Toner Tabs (solid toner designed for steaming the face). They are small discs, about the size of a very small mint. They come in packs of 40, packaged in a black and white cardboard box - the white inner part is pushed out to reveal a small hole through which a Toothy Tab can be shaken. The box has a sticker with a cartoon picture of the person who made the Toothy Tabs and the expiry date. Using a box means that you can pop it in the recycling when you have finished with it, unlike the plastic and aluminium toothpaste tubes which end up in general waste. Only one Toothy Tab is needed each time you clean your teeth, so if you clean them twice a day as recommended, a box will last you 20 days (just under three weeks). This is about the same time as a normal tube of toothpaste - perhaps a bit less.
Oh, and you can get a bit of fun out of the box too - the white part has a mouth drawn on it and if you hold it up to your own mouth you can give yourself rabbit teeth, vampire teeth or something else bizarre, for a laugh!
Toothy Tabs are available in the following flavours:
Breath of God
The first Toothy Tabs flavour to be released was the Dirty flavour, which is peppermint and closer to the flavour of 'proper' toothpaste. The rest of the range followed soon after. What makes the Atomic tabs different is that they are Fairtrade, with the official Fairtrade logo. This flavour is designed to be spicy and contains clove, cinnamon and ginger.
***Using the Atomic Toothy Tabs***
These tabs cost £2.50 for a box of 40. They have a slightly spicy scent. I found the box easy enough to open, and liked the idea of environmentally friendly packaging, although it had one major flaw - being made of cardboard, it went a bit soft in the steamy atmosphere of the bathroom. I ended up keeping the pack in my bedroom and taking out one toothy tab at a time to use, which was a bit of a hassle when I forgot and had to go back downstairs to get one.
To use a toothy tab, you should choose one, pop it in your mouth and crunch it between your teeth. One is enough - this way you only use just as much as you need, unlike with toothpaste where it is easy to overload the brush. Crunching the tab releases some foam, and if you get your toothbrush and start brushing your teeth more foam is released. You should brush your teeth for three minutes as normal before rinsing, and follow with floss and mouthwash if you use them.
After using other brands of toothy tabs, I was used to the feeling of this product and no longer feel that they don't leave my teeth clean. I really liked the spicy flavour as it was fairly strong and left my teeth feeling clean. I definitely preferred them to the taste of the Aquatic tabs, and also the Breath of God tabs. The taste was unusual but pleasant.
Going about my day to day business, I certainly couldn't tell that I hadn't been using 'proper' toothpaste. I used the toothy tabs constantly for almost three weeks until they were used up, and could have gone on longer with no ill effects that I could see - although I didn't go to the dentist during this time, and I don't know what the long-term effects on my teeth would be.
Lush state on their website that they have been running a dental trial all year, in which volunteers use the tabs twice a day and attend regular monitoring sessions. However I would always be sceptical of ANY trial run by ANY company that wasn't completely independent.
***So what's in them?***
I don't normally copy huge lists of ingredients into my reviews, but this list is relatively small so I thought I might as well: Dicalcium Phosphate Anhydrous, Sodium Bicarbonate, Cream of Tartar, Glycerine, Lauroyl Sarcosine, Kaolin, Flavour, Fair Trade Organic Coffee, Fair trade clove, Fair Trade Organic Cardamom Powder, Fair Trade Organic Cinnamon Powder, Fine Sea Salt, Fairtrade Ginger Powder ,Fair Trade Organic White Pepper Powder, Citric Acid, Sodium Saccharin,*Benzyl Benzoate,*Eugenol, *Limonene, *Linalool . The tabs contain no animal-derived ingredients, so are entirely suitable for vegans.
Dicalcium phosphate dehydrate is a gentle abrasive that helps to remove plaque from your teeth. Sodium bicarbonate, together with cream of tartar, cleans and whitens the teeth and is safe to use, as it is used regularly in cooking. In fact sodium bicarbonate is well known as an alternative to toothpaste if you can't/don't want to use it for whatever reason. Glycerine helps to soften the tongue and gums, while sodium lauroyl sarcosine is a surfactant, used in many major toothpaste brands, that helps to create foam. A surfactant also helps to dissolve the residue that builds up on the teeth.
Sodium saccharin, a widely used sweetener, makes the sodium bicarbonate taste less bitter.
The Fairtrade ingredients in these tabs are organic coffee, clove, organic cardamom powder, organic cinnamon powder, ginger powder and white pepper powder. These all combine to create a warming spicy flavour.
***What, no fluoride?***
I admit I was concerned about the absence of fluoride in these toothy tabs. I always believed that fluoride toothpaste was essential to clean your teeth properly and help prevent tooth decay. However it has also been suggested that it is the action of brushing your teeth with a toothbrush, as opposed to the kind of toothpaste you use, that makes the greatest contribution to teeth cleaning. In addition it's true that fluoride has been added to tap water in many areas of the country, and some people are concerned about avoiding products containing fluoride in case of potential 'fluoride poisoning'. I'm no scientist so all I can say is that each individual should make their own mind up. At least Lush have been honest about the fact that their toothy tabs do not contain fluoride, so customers can choose to use them or not as they wish.
***Would I buy Toothy Tabs again?***
Yes I would - as far as I could tell they cleaned my teeth just as well as normal toothpaste. They are good for the environment as well as being compact and easy to carry. They would be ideal for taking away on holiday (especially when you're flying as they are solid and don't count towards your liquid limit) or an overnight stay, and are handy to keep in your bag in case you need to freshen up during the day.
I wouldn't want to use them on a regular basis, however - personally I prefer a fluoride toothpaste, and I just don't know if my teeth would suffer long term if I was to switch to toothy tabs completely. I wore braces for three and a half years as a teenager and I wouldn't want to put all that effort to waste! Also, they are fairly expensive compared to normal toothpaste.
In summary, then, I would repurchase, but for occasional rather than regular use.
***Would I buy the Atomic tabs specifically?***
Yes I would - they are possibly my favourite flavour so far. They did their job well and my teeth certainly felt clean. I liked the fact that there was no aftertaste. I would recommend these to someone who is sick of minty toothpaste and wants to try something a bit different. They would also be good for someone with ethical and environmental concerns, as they are Fair Trade.
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