Product Type: Lush Oral Care
I love these Toothy Tabs!
Lush Chou I Love You Toothy Tabs
Member Name: AbsintheFairy
Lush Chou I Love You Toothy Tabs
Advantages: Lovely flavour, easy to transport, pleasant to use
Disadvantages: Price, no fluoride
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 were originally 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. These rose-flavoured Chou Chou I Love You Toothy Tabs were originally a limited edition Valentine's Day release, but they proved so popular that they remained part of the permanent line. Lush marketed them as something essential for "all the kissing you're going to be doing" to celebrate Valentine's Day; while this was somewhat optimistic in my case, I still wanted to try the product.
***Using the Chou Chou I Love You Toothy Tabs***
These tabs cost £2.95 for a box of 40. They have a lovely, subtle rose 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.
These particular toothy tabs have a delicious rose flavour, that reminds me a little of Parma Violets (different taste, but similar floral aspect). They were unusual, but I liked their delicate scent. When I first started using toothy tabs, my teeth didn't feel as clean as usual, but I soon got used to this. I realised that my teeth still looked clean and felt clean too, notwithstanding the lack of foam and flavour. 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, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Sorbitol, Kaolin, Flavour, Rose Oil, Lemon Oil, Rose Petal Powder, Benzoin Gum Powder, Lemon Peel Powder, Sodium Saccharin, Geraniol, Eugenol, Citral,Citronellol, Limonene,Linalool. The tabs contain no animal-derived ingredients, so are entirely suitable for vegans.
Dicalcium phosphate anhydrous 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. Sodium lauroyl sarcosinate 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 tabs are flavoured with rose and lemon oils and rose petal and lemon peel powders.
***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 Chou Chou I Love You tabs specifically?***
I would - they are one of my favourite flavours in the entire Toothy Tabs line. The rose scent and taste is unusual but lovely, and ideal for romantic or special occasions. I recommend these tabs - they are one of the most unusual tooth-cleaning products I've ever come across!
Summary: Unusual solid toothpaste from Lush