How To Get A Clean Smile (And Conscience) With Toothpaste Tabs

Like gel toothpaste, toothpaste tabs come in many different flavors and varieties. When shopping around for one that will keep your pearly whites looking pearly and white, Mark B. Desrosiers, DMD, a member of the American Association of Endodontists and assistant professor at Boston University School of Dental Medicine, recommends ones that contain fluoride and an abrasive like calcium carbonate.

“I measure effectiveness in two ways, ability to remove plaque and stain without damage to the teeth, and effective delivery of fluoride to the tooth,” Desrosiers tells mbg. “Along with abrasiveness, fluoride is essential. Fluoride acts to strengthen the teeth by making them more resistant to decay.”

Fluoride, as you may have heard, is slightly controversial in the dental space. Since it has been found to be a developmental neurotoxicant in high volumes, some more holistic-leaning dentists will recommend steering clear of it (and potentially risk more cavities in the process).

The American Dental Association asserts that the naturally occurring ingredient is safe to use and essential for preventing tooth decay and cavities. The ADA seal marks products that have been shown to effectively deliver fluoride to the teeth.

Here’s the kicker: You’d be hard-pressed to find a toothpaste tablet with this seal. An FDA loophole says that once a toothpaste tablet contains fluoride, it’s technically a drug and needs to adhere to federal guidelines.

If you are looking for a tablet that contains fluoride, there are a few international options that have you covered (more on those below). If you’re avoiding fluoride (again, some dentists caution against this so maybe talk to yours first), you can have your pick from a handful of toothpaste tablets that are free of the stuff.

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