(Ultra)blast away toothpaste-breath & bring on the Breath of God with LUSH Toothy Tabs: a quick review

The product: LUSH Toothy Tabs

   ↳ in Dirty, Ultrablast, Breath of God, and Aquatic

The creation: LUSH created Toothy Tabs–their new-this-year and entirely unique solid toothpaste–to strip down conventional ideas about toothpaste. Free of plastic packaging (these no-frills boxes are made out of 100% recycled paper, and can in turn be recycled) and preservatives, the tabs differ drastically from a tube of Colgate or Crest both in formula and in form of delivery, which makes them a really unique (and travel-friendly) experience.

How they work: Created by Helen Ambrosen, one of the company’s co-founders, the tabs are made from a sodium bicarbonate + cream of tartar base, with essential oils and spices to give a light, clean aftertaste instead of the typical aggressively minty one. The oils were chosen both for their scents (Simon Constantine, who designed the seven flavours, describes it as perfuming someone’s breath) and for their antiseptic qualities, meaning they both clean your palette and help prevent bacteria that leads to bad breath.

“A gentle surfactant creates the foaming effect that helps dissolve the bacterial build up on your teeth, which you can get rid of completely by brushing. Sodium bicarbonate helps to thoroughly clean and whiten your teeth and the cream of tartar helps to make the solid form. Dicalcium phosphate is included to help polish the teeth, glycerine acts as a humectant while saccharin sweetens.”

My thoughts on the Toothy Tabs

I’ve been testing out LUSH’s [no longer] new Toothy Tabs for a good few months, now, and I still find myself waiting for them to “click.” They’re really cool, of course, and super-portable, but I’m not really sold on the taste. They’re a lot better than most natural toothpastes, for sure, and less agressive than the drugstore’s seemingly endless supply of super-spicy offerings, but the baking soda makes them overbearingly salty, overall.

Travel- and texture-wise, though, I quite like these. I keep a few tabs in a tiny plastic baggie in my purse, and they’re so much more compact than a small tube of toothpaste. (Easier to use, too; you just pop one in your mouth and chew, no finicky toothpaste tube caps involved.) They froth up really nicely when brushed as normal with a wet toothbrush, creating a more dense foam than I’ve ever gotten from toothpaste.

The verdict?

At $3.95 CAD for a box of 40 tabs, LUSH makes it pretty easy to try out the Toothy Tabs. In the long run, yeah, you’re paying more for your toothpaste, but (if you can find a flavour that you like,) I think they’re well worth the cost.

The tabs are portable, convenient, eco-friendly, and come in seven flavours — way more than your typical toothpaste. (Is this still true? I’ve used Colgate Winterfresh for coming up on ten years now!) If you’re looking for a vegan-friendly toothpaste, or you want a natural toothpaste that tastes strange without actually tasting awful (ahem, Tom’s of Maine), give these a try.

The flavours featured in this post…

Ultrablast: peppermint, spearmint, wasabi, and lavender oils

Breath of God: sandalwood, fennel, and vanilla. (Inspired by the Breath of God scent from LUSH’s Gorilla perfume range.)

Dirty: spearmint and neroli. (Inspired by the Dirty perfume range.)

Aquatic: Earl Grey, lime, and jasmine.

Example ingredients: (taken from the Breath of God tabs)

Dicalcium Phosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Cream of Tartar, Glycerine , Lauroyl Sarcosine , Sandalwood Powder, Kaolin , Benzoin Gum, Vanilla Powder, Myrrh Gum, Fennel Seed Powder, Citric Acid , Sodium Saccharin.

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  • Huh….very weird but interesting. Not sure I could get on board with this though :/
    My recent post The Sample: NEW Chanel Joues Contraste Powder Blush in 72 Rose Initiale Review & Swatches

  • Neat idea but I just can't get over CHEWING toothpaste.
    My recent post The AVON Empowerment Coin Purse Helps Empower Women

    • Tracy. IT'S SO WEIRD. I can't decide if it's more weird or more cool, but I think–maybe, just maybe–that it's an even split between the two.

  • Kate & Zena

    Um, ew? I'll take my Colgate Total Enamel Strength thankyouverymuch, The thought of having perfume in my mouth doesn't sit well with me. That's just NASTY.

    (Oh, and the one with wasabi, the only thing I can think of is The Nanny episode where Fran Fine is comforting CiCi in the sushi bar and she eats wasabi. See here: )

    • Okay, so this is probably a bad time to mention that a lot of scent molecules are TASTY. Denatured alcohol bases, not so much, but — yeah, okay, I'll stop now.

      I can't really taste the wasabi in Ultrablast, though, for the record! These are mainly just… kind of salty, to be honest. >.<

  • I had these in my hands today at the store- but was hesitation. I didn't know they were so cheap otherwise I would have gotten a box! Would be perfect for in my bag, to brush my teeth after lunch at work…

    Thanks for the review – I will try to find a taste that I do like.

    • Good luck finding the right flavour for you, Gayle! I hope you like the tabs :)

  • This is definitely intriguing! I mean, I love the idea that you can just pop this in your mouth — it would make after meal refreshing so easy!
    My recent post Dry Lips, Begone! With NUXE Rêve de Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm.

    • And brush. Pop AND BRUSH! /flails

      (The idea of a chew-and-swallow toothpaste is so cool, though. I would LOVE to try one of those — and no, mints don't count :P)

  • I was always curious about this stuff. While I love the environmentally-minded packaging and the novelty of it, I don't know about citric acid being in the ingredient list. I mean, isn't acid corrosive on the teeth?
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    • grinwith0utacat

      I think it's most likely the citric acid is in there to adjust the pH since the tabs also contain sodium bicarbonate.

      • Logic! Science! Comprehension and retention of basic concepts relating to acidity of mixtures!

        You are my new favourite person *\o/*

        • grinwith0utacat

          Hee! Thanks. I've played around with making my own toners so I've become more aware of tricks one can use to tweak pH. Citric acid and sodium bicarbonate are a DIYer's best friend.

    • Citric acid is pretty weak, Sue Lin ;) You can find it in all sorts of foods — ice cream, soda, sour candies… even a lot of fruits, like oranges or raspberries!

  • Selina

    After an unpleasant experience with some tooth powder when I was younger, I don't think I could use those. I totally understand the appeal, but I just can't bring myself to put one in my mouth. Blegh!

    On the other hand, have you heard of sephora's newest collaboration with disney to put out a disney princess cosmetic line for adults? As someone who collected the disney princess chapsticks when I was younger, I am seriously excited (Also, shoes!)
    Is it just me, or is sephora acting more and more like MAC, with their limited edition collections and collaborations with companies?

    • Haha, I feel like I'm the only person left in the beauty blogosphere who *isn't* princess-crazy :P I liked the animation techniques more than the princesses themselves when I was little, to be honest! But I have to agree with you on the LE collections — limited edition is definitely catching on (like some sort of disease, bleh) :(

      Inter-brand collaborations can be really cool, but constant assaults with blink-and-you'll-miss-it products are always so disappointing! I want brands to be focusing on the product rather than the marketing, y'know? Beauty that'll stick around rather than go the way of last week's MAC collection :p

  • grinwith0utacat

    As someone prone to cavities, I'm reluctant to use fluoride-free toothpaste. I'd be willing to try a tab or two of these just for the experience, but I wouldn't want to commit to a whole box.

    • :s Maybe keep them on hand for when you're travelling or running around? I'm not using these every day at the moment (and I don't plan to), but they're perfect for handbags — 40 tabs goes by a lot faster than you'd expect :p

      (For that matter, those tiny little tubes of toothpaste? Gone like that, but no less awkward in their semi-finished state!)

      • grinwith0utacat

        Mmm, good point. Although with my luck I'd use up all forty and then forget to restock.

  • I want to like these Tooth Tabs, I do! But bleh.. hate the perfume-yness of it. Why can't Lush offer a plain no-frills mint flavor?

    • I would LOVE to see an intensely minty Toothy Tab flavour. I mean, the perfume concept is cool in theory, but — sometimes you just need a good 'ol kick of wintermint, you know?