Toothpaste tablets are touted as a sustainable, travel-friendly alternative to conventional dental care products. These pill-size tabs contain similar ingredients to traditional toothpaste. But rather than squeezing it from a tube, you simply grab one tablet from a reusable or zero-waste package, bite down, chew it into a paste, then use a toothbrush to scrub your teeth as usual.
Toothpaste tablets are a fairly new product, and so far, there’s not enough research to say if they work as well as traditional stuff. But given how buzzy these bits have become, we had to test seven of the most popular options that contain fluoride (a must-have toothpaste ingredient, according to the American Dental Association) to see which ones help remove plaque and provide a clean, minty-fresh grin.
The Best Toothpaste Tablets
Best for Daily Life + Travel
Bite Fresh Mint Fluoride Toothpaste Bits
Mint-flavored toothpaste bits made with clean, vegan ingredients
- Leaves mouth feeling squeaky clean
- Travel-friendly refillable glass container
- Transparent about sustainability efforts
- Somewhat gritty
Bite’s toothpaste tablets (or “bits,” as the brand likes to call ‘em) check all the right boxes. The brand uses sustainable practices and packs the product in a travel-friendly jar. They also left my mouth feeling squeaky clean. Plus, at just 13 cents per tablet, they’re among the most affordable toothpaste tablets out there.
The moment I popped the tin lid off the thick glass jar of Bite Fresh Mint Fluoride Toothpaste Bits, a strong peppermint scent hit me. I popped one of the bits into my mouth and crunched down, which released a burst of mint flavor. The tablet, which is a bit smaller and stubbier than an Altoid mint, broke into a bunch of tiny pieces and remained gritty for about 20 seconds. Then, it transformed into a gentle foam—similar to what you’d expect if you used a small amount of regular toothpaste. (The lack of serious foam is likely due to the fact that, like all toothpaste tablets on this list, Bite’s tablets do not contain sodium lauryl sulfate, or SLS, a foaming agent that’s often used in conventional toothpaste.)
After two minutes of brushing with a sample of Bite’s bamboo toothbrush I happened to have on hand, I rinsed and my mouth felt tingly, like I had just used mouthwash. Not only did my teeth feel clean, the plaque detection tablet that I used for testing showed that my pearly whites were nearly spotless.
Admittedly, Bite’s toothpaste tablets don’t mimic the feel of conventional toothpaste. But Bite ultimately clinched the number one spot with its transparency. It offers an explanation for the purpose of every ingredient used to make the toothpaste tablets, so I felt good about the formula. I also appreciated Bite’s sustainability efforts—like offering refills in compostable pouches, offsetting 100% of its carbon emissions, and donating half a percent of its revenue to charitable causes—and how the brand acknowledged potential areas of improvement in its most recent impact report. No company is perfect, and brands that can admit that earn my trust.
Even though they didn’t create as much foam as I like, Bite’s toothpaste tablets with fluoride are my number one pick. (And if you don’t like foamy toothpaste, you’ll love Bite without any reservations.) I loved how clean they made my teeth feel and how gentle they are on the planet. As a frequent jetsetter, I can easily see myself swapping out my travel-size toothpaste tubes for this sustainable, affordable, high-performing toothpaste alternative.
GloBoid Whitening Toothpaste Tablets
Whitening toothpaste tablets with natural mint flavor
- Removes plaque well
- Feels like conventional toothpaste
- Hard to find info about the brand
- Jar feels fragile
GloBoid’s toothpaste tablets rival the experience of using traditional toothpaste from a tube better than all the other tablets I tried. Opening the jar provides a whiff of fresh mint with a hint of garden herbs. The tablet got impressively frothy after I chomped on it just a few times, despite not having SLS listed on the ingredient label. (It seems to use sodium cocoyl isethionate, a gentler variation of the stuff.)
In about 10 seconds, my mouth was filled with about three times the amount of mint-flavored foam than I’d typically get from my go-to toothpaste from Sensodyne. Brushing with these babies left my mouth feeling extremely crisp and clean, with no plaque to be found. And because these toothpaste tablets come in a slim glass jar, they’re easy to toss in your toiletry bag for a vacation (although the container feels a little fragile, so I’d pack it carefully).
As delightfully foamy and travel-friendly as these toothpaste tablets were, GloBoid as a brand left little impression on me. I couldn’t find information on this company anywhere besides its Amazon product page. Its website was still in template form and filled with gibberish placeholder text during the testing period. Given the lack of information, it was impossible to learn more about GloBoid’s sustainability measures beyond its reusable jar, and left me feeling like I didn’t have enough details to fully trust the brand.
If GloBoid offered more information about its practices, its toothpaste tablets could be a winner. They were like a foam party in my mouth that made my teeth look and feel sparkling clean. If you’re mainly looking for a toothpaste tablet that performs almost identically to traditional toothpaste, these are the ones to get. But if sustainability and ingredients are top of mind, opt for Bite. Its toothpaste tablets also work really well and the Certified B Corp brand has lots of sustainable practices you can read about on its website.
Other Great Toothpaste Tablets
Dr. Noah Toothpaste Tablets with Fluoride
Citrus-mint flavored toothpaste tablets in a flip-top tin
- Unique flavor
- Compact, travel-friendly tin
- Removes plaque well
- Starter pack is pricey
Dr. Noah Toothpaste Tablets with Fluoride hit some high notes right off the bat. They come in a cute yellow and white container with a flip top—almost like an Altoid-style tin that’s the same shape and size as a Tic Tac mint container. You could easily toss these in a purse for a way to refresh your mouth on the go. The other thing I loved about these toothpaste tablets is their unique flavor: yuja (an East Asian citrus fruit) spiked with mint. It’s subtle, but I appreciated the tropical twist on the traditional toothpaste flavor.
Brushing with the Dr. Noah Toothpaste Tablets didn’t feel as refreshing as our top picks, though. The tablet stayed crumbly for about 20 seconds, didn’t get very foamy, and its consistency felt watered down midway through my two-minute brushing session. Even though my plaque tablets showed that these tablets cleaned my teeth decently, my mouth just didn’t feel as clean once I rinsed.
Still, Dr. Noah Toothpaste Tablets deserves credit for a few other features. Based on its Sears product listing, the brand seems to support 1% for the Planet, an initiative in which companies promise to donate at least one percent of its revenue to environmental causes. The toothpaste tablet carrying case feels like aluminum. But it’s actually made from an eco-friendly material called Protego, which Dr. Noah says is 90% biodegradable. You can also refill the tin from bulk-size bags. This brings the cost per tablet down from 33 cents to just 11 cents a pop. It also reduces how many new containers need to be produced.
If I needed a way to quickly freshen up my breath and clean my teeth when I’m away from home (say, after a long flight or before a big meeting), I’d be glad to find a tin of Dr. Noah’s tablets in my purse.
By Humankind Toothpaste Tablets
All-natural toothpaste tablets designed to strengthen and polish teeth
- Smells exactly like conventional toothpaste
- Beautiful, durable jar
- Leaves mouth feeling clean
By Humankind makes 100% natural toothpaste tablets that were designed by dentists and have a huge focus on sustainability.
In fact, its eco-friendly practices are one of the main reasons this brand is worth considering for your toothpaste tablets. The company has been completely carbon neutral since November 2019, claims that each refill of the tablets eliminates nearly half an ounce of single-use plastic waste from your dental care routine, and packs those refills in a compostable “kraft paper pouch with a sugar-based bioplastic lining.”
The toothpaste tablets come in an elegant glass jar that isn’t too heavy. It still feels durable, though, and is topped with an airtight silicone lid in your choice of one of three earthy colors. (Charcoal, green, or sand.) This lid can help absorb some shock the tablets endure if the jar is bouncing around in a suitcase, helping keep them intact during your travels.
These toothpaste tablets made my mouth feel pristine. Almost no plaque showed up when I used the detection tablets. But getting these results requires enduring two very unpleasant minutes of brushing. The toothpaste tablet from By Humankind broke up into big, chalky crumbles in my mouth and barely got foamy when I started brushing. (It does not contain SLS.) To me, it also tasted like crushed-up chalk—a stark contrast to the tablet’s pleasant minty aroma. I was desperate to spit out the substance by the 90-second mark.
Another downside: the cost. Your first month supply will run you about 36 cents per tablet, while the refills end up costing about 20 cents a pop if you sign up for a subscription. Even with the subscription discount, these toothpaste tablets are still fairly expensive compared to the competition.
As much as I love the container they come in, By Humankind toothpaste tablets aren’t my cup of tea. can’t deny that they offer good results, though. They could be a compelling option for you if you don’t mind the taste and cost, and are looking for a sustainable toothpaste alternative in a classy little jar.
Kaylaan Mint Toothpaste Tablets with Fluoride
Mint-flavored toothpaste tablets with fluoride in travel-friendly tin
- Transparent ingredients
- Leaves mouth feeling clean
- Bitter flavor
Kaylaan’s Mint Toothpaste Tablets with Fluoride offer a lot to love. The New York-based brand is transparent about the purpose of the ingredients it uses in its tablets and it claims to be 100% sustainable. Kaylaan is a Certified B Corp and it donates at least 2% of its revenue to charity every year.
Plus, these toothpaste tablets are perhaps the most travel-friendly option on this list. They come in a small recyclable tin container that’s packed with some cotton to absorb shock during shipping (and while stashed in a suitcase). It felt like I could toss the entire thing in a tornado and still find whole tablets inside once the windstorm was over.
Unfortunately, the performance of the actual tablets didn’t live up to its impressive sustainability efforts and packaging. One crunch of the SLS-free tablet crumbled it into a bunch of fine bits that took about 15 seconds to finally dissolve into a very slight foam. It didn’t taste nearly as pepperminty as it smelled and, to me, even carried a slight bitter flavor. The plaque detection tablet showed that the toothpaste didn’t remove plaque as well as our top picks, either.
While I didn’t love Kaylaan’s toothpaste tablets, they were slightly better than some other options I tested. I’m also into the travel-friendly tin.
Are Toothpaste Tablets Healthy?
Based on our research and review, it’s unknown if toothpaste tablets are a healthy addition to your dental routine. These products are still fairly new and the American Dental Association (ADA) hasn’t granted its Seal of Approval to any toothpaste tablet yet, at least as far as we can tell.
“There’s no proven effectiveness of toothpaste tablets right now,” said Dr. Parul D. Makkar, DDS, founder of P.D.M Family Dental on Long Island, New York. “There’s no data on whether it is better than brushing with traditional toothpaste.”
With that said, toothpaste tablets seem to have a few things going for them. Many are made with some of the same ingredients found in conventional toothpaste that help promote dental health. Examples include calcium carbonate (a Journal of the Association of Basic Medical Sciences “FORMULATION INGREDIENTS FOR TOOTHPASTES AND MOUTHWASHES” View Source to remove debris and surface stains on teeth); sodium bicarbonate (the fancy term for baking soda, which can fight against oral pathogens, neutralize plaque acids, reduce stains, and whiten teeth, per the The Journal of the American Dental Association “Baking soda dentifrices and oral health” View Source ); and xylitol (a natural sugar alcohol often used in mints, gum, and natural toothpaste that can help prevent cavities). And for what it’s worth, we used plaque detection tablets after brushing with toothpaste tablets, and found that the toothpaste tablets seemed to effectively remove plaque, although we’d love to see clinical studies offering more robust proof of their effectiveness.
Many toothpaste tablet brands tout an all-natural ingredient list, and, as such, often do not include Den Norske tannlaegeforenings tidende “[Should toothpastes foam? Sodium lauryl sulfate--a toothpaste detergent in focus]” View Source (SLS). This is a synthetic foaming agent that can help loosen debris from the teeth but Journal of oral pathology & medicine : official publication of the International Association of Oral Pathologists and the American Academy of Oral Pathology “Effect of sodium lauryl sulfate on recurrent aphthous stomatitis: A systematic review” View Source . There has also been speculation in some online sources that SLS can cause cancer, but this has been disproven. There’s Environmental Health Insights “Human and Environmental Toxicity of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS): Evidence for Safe Use in Household Cleaning Products” View Source and the American Cancer Society does not list SLS as a known or probable human carcinogen.
Are Toothpaste Tablets Eco-Friendly?
Toothpaste tablets may also have an eco-friendly edge over conventional toothpaste. According to Recycling International, some 1.5 billion toothpaste tubes hit the landfill every year. We know that plastic impacts human health, so finding ways to move away from disposable products (like the tubes conventional toothpaste comes in) can make our planet a healthier place to live. Many toothpaste tablets come in reusable, waste-free containers. This means that making the switch could help Mother Earth, and, in turn, the health of all her inhabitants.
Given some of these advantages, toothpaste tablets should be alright to use—at least until scientific studies evaluate their effectiveness—according to Makkar.
“Brushing [with conventional toothpaste] and flossing is the gold standard to taking care of your oral health, but using toothpaste tablets on occasion is a happy medium,” she says. “They can be a great alternative for people who are traveling or environmentally conscious.”
Before making the switch, be aware that many toothpaste tablets have a big drawback: They don’t contain fluoride. This ingredient helps prevent tooth decay and cavities. Fluoride is such an essential component for dental health, the ADA will only grant its Seal of Acceptance to toothpastes that contain it. The good news is that fluoride is available in some toothpaste tablets (including all of the ones we tested), so read the labels to be sure you’re getting the right stuff for your dental health.
How Found the Best Toothpaste Tablets
Meet Your Guinea Pig
I’m Joni Sweet. I’ve been covering health and wellness as a writer and editor for major publications for more than 10 years. My work is in SELF, Health, Prevention, Forbes, Healthline, mindbodygreen, Greatist, and dozens of other publications. I travel a lot and am always looking for ways to save a little extra space in my suitcase.
Our Testing Process
My testing process started by looking at toothpaste tablet reviews in other publications, and which ones had high reviews on Amazon.
I then looked at what it takes for a toothpaste to earn the Seal of Acceptance from the American Dental Association (ADA). For the record, no toothpaste tablet has earned this seal yet. But since toothpastes must contain fluoride to earn acceptance from the ADA, I decided to make that a criteria in all the toothpaste tablets we tested.
After eliminating brands that only offer fluoride-free toothpaste tablets and products that seemed to be sold out or discontinued, I was left with seven products. The Nessie then ordered them for me to test.
To test each toothpaste tablet, I’d pop it in my mouth, crush it with my teeth, then brush my teeth with a toothbrush. I timed each time I brushed for two minutes (the duration recommended by the ADA). I’d check the stopwatch on my phone to note how long it took for the toothpaste tablet to get foamy, which is helpful to remove plaque and debris from the teeth. All of the brands we tested are SLS-free, so they tend to be less foamy than conventional toothpaste, but also don’t come with the risk of triggering pesky canker sores in people who are prone to them. I also paid attention to how the toothpaste tablet tasted and felt as I brushed.
Then, I rinsed my mouth out and jotted down notes about anything I noticed, such as whether my teeth felt clean or if the toothpaste tablet left any weird film or aftertaste. Finally, I chewed up a plaque disclosing tablet to see if the toothpaste tablet was able to effectively remove plaque from my teeth, then brushed again (this time with my regular toothpaste) to get the colored dye out of my mouth.
Toothpaste tablets are often promoted as a travel product, so I wanted to see how they’d hold up on a trip. I held each container to see if it felt like it would be durable in my suitcase, and I also shook each one vigorously for about 10 seconds to evaluate whether it would protect the toothpaste tablets during travel. If the toothpaste tablets still seemed pretty intact, the product earned points for being travel-friendly.
The last criteria I tested was how sustainable each toothpaste tablet was. This involved looking at each brand’s website and other online materials to learn more about their sustainability efforts. I’ve made note of these qualities throughout each product review.
The Toothpaste Tablet Buying Guide
Want to switch from conventional toothpaste to toothpaste tablets? Here are some things to look for as you’re shopping:
- Contains fluoride: Fluoride is a must-have in toothpaste, according to the ADA. It helps build enamel and counteract tooth decay, ultimately keeping your chompers healthy. Unfortunately, a lot of toothpaste tablets don’t contain fluoride, so you’ll want to carefully read the label to make sure it contains this critical ingredient.
- Cost: If you’re switching to a toothpaste tablet for everyday use, you’ll want to make sure you find a brand that fits your budget. You can often score big discounts by ordering bulk refill packs (which usually contain a multi-month supply) and/or signing up for an ongoing subscription.
- Travel-friendly: If you’re planning to use your toothpaste tablets on a vacation, look for a product that comes with a small, sturdy container that you can easily toss in a suitcase. Alternatively, you could also pop a few tablets in a waterproof pill case.
- Flavor: Mint-flavored toothpaste tablets are pretty common and help mimic the taste of conventional toothpaste. Not into mint? You can also shop for toothpaste tablets in creative flavors, like watermelon, bubblegum, peach, and green tea.
- Sustainability: Switching from conventional toothpaste to tablets could help you reduce how much plastic waste ends up in the landfill. If sustainability is important to you, look for toothpaste tablets from brands that find ways to double down on their sustainability efforts, such as by donating a portion of their revenue to eco-conscious organizations and offsetting their carbon emissions.
- Ability to remove plaque: Some toothpaste tablets remove plaque better than others. You can use a plaque detection tablet to check how well a toothpaste tablet works for you. (But fair warning: The dye could turn your tongue purple for a few hours!)