Product Type: Lush Oral Care
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Fair trade solid toothpaste!
Lush Atomic Toothy Tabs
Member Name: AbsintheFairy
Lush Atomic Toothy Tabs
Advantages: Fair trade, unusual, solid, nice scent and taste, good for the environment, clean teeth well
Disadvantages: Price; do they work as well as normal toothpaste?
***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.
Summary: Fairtrade toothy tabs from Lush
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