I love nipping into my local branch of Lush to see what goodies they have, and one of the products I decided to try recently was Lush Ultrablast Toothy Tabs, costing £2.95 for a pack of 40 tabs. There were also other flavours available.
Essentially, this is solid toothpaste tablets that you crunch up a little between your teeth, and then process to brush your teeth as usual. It was a completely new concept to me, and the main reason I purchased was that it seemed a bit of a novelty.
These tablets are made of Bicarbonate of soda, kaolin (clay) powder, and a number of natural oils, including spearmint, peppermint, and lavender, with the addition of wasabi (an ingredient I've never seen in toothpaste before).
To use them, you simply put one small tablet between your teeth, chew it up a little, and then brush as normal with a damp toothbrush. Whilst initially this felt a little odd, and the tablet was a strange texture to have in my mouth, I was pleased with the flavour of this which was really quite a pleasant mint.
I found that actually once the moisture had mixed with the powder this wasn't much different from brushing my teeth normally - there was still a good amount to get round all my teeth, and although it was slightly gritty it was easy to rinse my teeth and get rid of the grittiness.
My teeth were left feeling really smooth and clean - something I tend to expect when using Bicarbonate baste tooth products anyway. The minty flavour lingered in my mouth for quite a while after brushing, and I really felt very fresh and clean after using these.
I've also found these quite handy for carrying around in my handbag if I know I'm going for a spice and garlic heavy meal, followed by a night out. A quick crunch and chew on one of these, followed by a swish round with a mouthful of water and a bit more chewing and the garlic whiff is gone.
Although this product is good, leaving me fresh and clean with lasting fresh breath, I don't know that it will replace my usual toothpaste, mainly because I would have to either go to my local Lush shop to purchase, or order online, versus the convenience of just grabbing any old brand in the supermarket. That said, I may try out some of the other flavours in future, and do find them handy as a breath freshener when out and about. 4 stars - one off for havign to go out of my way to purchase.
*Please note Dooyoo have listed this item under the name 'Ultra' toothy tabs but the actual name is 'Ultrablast'*
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. The Ultrablast Toothy Tabs were designed to be powerful and antibacterial and contain wasabi powder, peppermint oil and spearmint oil for a refreshing clean.
***Using the Ultrablast Toothy Tabs***
These tabs cost £2.75 for a box of 40. They have a subtle fresh 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.
I'm used to using toothy tabs by now, so I wasn't fazed by the lack of foam. I found these tabs to be very refreshing, though I can't decide if I was relieved or disappointed that the wasabi wasn't stronger. I love wasabi peas, and wasabi paste on sushi, but find it can really blow your head off - I wasn't sure if it would be a good idea to experience this each morning and evening! 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, Garden pea powder, Kaolin, Peppermint Oil, Spearmint Oil, French Organic Lavender Oil, Wasabi Powder, Fair Trade Organic Dried spearmint, Coarse Sea Salt, Citric Acid, Sodium Saccharin, *Limonene, Linalool, Flavour. 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. Glycerine helps to soften the tongue and gums, while 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 tabs are flavoured with wasabi and mint, with a bit of lavender oil thrown in for good measure.
***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 Ultrablast tabs specifically?***
I probably would - in fact these are my favourite toothy tabs so far. They are refreshing and minty, but with an added twist in the form of wasabi powder. I like my mouth to feel thoroughly clean so these are an ideal choice for me.