“ Brand: Lush / Type: Toothy Tabs / Skin type: for dry skin and for all types „
SPARKLE TOOTHY TABS
These toothy tabs are one of the latest creations from the clever Lush inventors. I do realise that I am a bit of a Lushaholic and my bathroom is full of so many of their products that it looks like a subdivision of the shop as I spend so much money in there and love to try out all the new products. I am working my way gradually through their products either by buying them or cheekily asking for samples.
I know all their products are not 100% perfect but I do like the ethics of the company and am so pleased that they have not sold out to some great US multinational like Body Shop did and I feel their products have lost some of the charm that they had before. Lush is proudly British but they do also make a big effort to support other countries and Fair trade whenever they can. One of the things that the owners of Lush was struck with was some art created by using old toothpaste tubes which was done to bring this shocking waste to the attention of the world.
Lush say that if they had their way everything would come as solids and unpackaged as so much packaging is wasted and not recycled so is filling the world with non biodegradable rubbish which cannot go on forever without causing damage.
This gave them the challenge to create something for teeth cleaning that would not involve all the plastic packaging.
Lush discovered these shocking facts about just toothpaste and the tubes it comes in:
"* 4% of every tube is wasted because we can't squeeze it out (www.wastegeneration.com)
* This means every year over 70,000 tons of toothpaste is thrown away and ends up in landfill (www.wastegeneration.com).
* The average person uses 276 tubes of toothpaste in their lifetime.
* 2 million tubes of toothpaste are thrown away in the UK every year (figures estimated from the Mintel Toothpaste Snapshot 2009 report)
* 3,000 tonnes of plastic from tubes becomes waste equating to 6.6 tonnes of CO2 emissions (www.co2list.org/files/carbon)
Toothy tabs were invented and a small matchbox sized pack holds 40 small often brownish 'pills' which actually do clean your teeth when you crunch them and use a toothbrush.
The packs are all the same, 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. This is just card which can be recycled in the normal paper or card system and anyway it is, unlike the plastic and aluminium toothpaste tubes which end up in general waste.
Aquatic which is supposed to be sensual with jasmine in it
Atomic which has clove and cinnamon and ginger in it
Breath of God with sandalwood, fennel and vanilla
Dirty with spearmint
Sparkle with lemon. Grapefruit oil and vanilla
Ultrablast with lavender, spearmint and peppermint
Chou Chou with rose
There are so many different flavours in these Toothy Tabs that there will be certain to be one that you like. Some are there all the time and some are only released for limited times.
Simon Constantine comments: "I was really keen to take perfumery up a gear and be able to actually perfume someone's breath ... wouldn't that be something!"
Now you do only need one Toothy Tab for each brushing and in fact I find that half is enough most times so it could last you either 40 days or 20 depending on your usage and how often you clean your teeth each day. The pack costs £2.50 for 40 which is not bad value really for over a month's teeth cleaning.
Yes it is in the small matchbox sort of pack with a sliding inner. The box is pretty easy to open and then you punch out the hole for the tabs to be tipped out of. It is small enough to fit in your pocket or handbag and it weighs nothing. Because it is cardboard you do have to keep them away from water so away from the wet in the bathroom otherwise the pack will go soggy and so will the tabs inside.
Lush say "This one is a teeth whitening palate cleanser, designed to take away any flavours in your mouth and leave you with sweet, fresh breath and dazzling pearly whites. It's a blend of lemon, grapefruit, black pepper and sea salt. Teeth will be left sparkling and breath fresh and zingy."
Theses toothy tabs have a more citrusy flavour with a hint of peppery flavour for warmth and the entire thing is a real palate freshener so perfect to clean your mouth before going out for a meal as it won't spoil the meal or the flavour of the drinks.
So you take one or a half I have found is fine and crunch it in your mouth. Once you have the tab crunched then take your toothbrush rinsed with water and use it as normal. The tab froths lightly so that you get the cleaning froth needed to clean your teeth and make your mouth taste nice and minty and your breath is also fresher.
I find that there is more than enough froth or foam created to get a really good brush clean and I use mine with my electric tooth brush and very occasionally when I have forgotten to charge it I use them with a normal toothbrush and they work just as well with both methods.
After brushing, rinse your mouth and if you want to then use mouthwash or floss or your mini tooth brush like I have that cleans between my teeth. I am not sure how a minty mouth wash will blend with this flavour but you don't have to use mouthwash of course after you have cleaned your teeth as that is up to personal preference.
The only thing I do find is that I get lots of bits still left in my mouth which I haven't crunched enough but as they taste quite nice I don't worry too much if I find a small bit hidden in my gums.
I do quite like the creamy vanilla citrus taste of this one with its peppery after taste and my mouth does taste nice and fresh from this flavour. If you are however going to have your first try of toothy tabs then I would say go for Dirty as it is the most traditional flavour for toothpaste.
Whatever flavour I have used my teeth always feel REALLY clean and as I run my tongue over my teeth I get no residue or plaque sort of feeling left so they do a good job of cleaning..
DO THEY DO THE JOB PROPERLY?
Lush have been running a dental trial all year, in which volunteers use the tabs twice a day and attend regular monitoring sessions. I am not sure what the conclusion is but presumably nothing untoward has been found as they would have stopped making them. They say the results have been very positive.
Tooth paste is actually only to make brushing more pleasant as it is the action that does the job. Fluoride is added to most tooth pastes as it has been found to help strengthen teeth but it can be dangerous. Many places have fluoride in their water so adding more is not always necessary. My son's teeth have been discoloured by fluoride as I gave my children fluoride pills as suggested when they were young and it was obviously not needed. My teeth are really weak and so I was concerned that my children's would be too.
I have to use a toothpaste with high fluoride now as mine are so weak so I tend to only use these when travelling as I can pop a pack in my bag for using on the plane. I take them when we go away for a couple of days and so on.
HOW DO THESE WORK THEN?
The ingredients in this are interesting : Dicalcium Phosphate Anhydrous, Sodium Bicarbonate, Cream of Tartar, Sorbitol, Lauroyl Sarcosine, Kaolin, Lemon Peel Powder, Sicilian Lemon Oil , *Limonene, Black Pepper Oil, Grapefruit Oil, Fair Trade Organic Black Pepper Powder , Fine Sea Salt, Sodium Saccharin, *Citral, *Linalool, Flavour,
Quite a few of the ingredients are there for their scrubbing quality and these are Dicalcium phosphate anhydrous which is a gentle abrasive that helps to remove plaque from your teeth.
Sodium bicarbonate and cream of tartar also scrub and cleans and help to whiten teeth . Salt does the same job which is scrub and whiten as does the kaolin but probably only scrub in that case.
In the war and when times were hard Bicarb was used to clean teeth but has no real flavour of breath freshening quality.
Sodium lauroyl sarcosine is a surfactant so creates the foam and helps break down the stuff that builds up on your teeth. It is found in many toothpaste brands, that helps to create foam. A surfactant also helps to dissolve the residue that builds up on the teeth.
Sodium saccharin which I am not so thrilled about is an artificial sweetener to make the ingredients more palatable
Apart from the scrubby ingredients there are but two other ingredients there for their flavour and these are Lemon Peel Powder, Sicilian Lemon Oil, Black Pepper Oil, Grapefruit Oil, Fair Trade Organic Black Pepper Powder.
Another plus is that these 'Sparkle' tabs contain absolutely no animal-derived ingredients, so are fine for vegans.
None of the Toothy tabs contain fluoride so if you think you need that added you can take supplements or use the toothy tabs alternatively with a high fluoride toothpaste.
Many people are against fluoride in toothpaste and so these do give the option for those who want to avoid it.
WOULD I RECOMMEND?
Yes I think these are a great idea, novel and earth friendly both in the ingredients and the packing. They are perfect for popping in your pocket or handbag with a foldway toothbrush (those that come in half and the top tucks into the handle) for freshening up on the move. I always have these in my handbag when we travel as I can brush my teeth on the plane or at the airport or wherever I find a basin.
I do like the flavour of these as they are really tasty combination of creamy vanilla with the warmth of pepper combined with the citrus elements which also make your teeth whiter. My teeth feel clean, they don't look white because my teeth are a bit discoloured from something and never look white despite all the whitener stuff I have tried. My mouth feels clean and my breath smells fresh though not minty at all.
I am not sure that I would rely upon these solely for my mouth and tooth hygiene as they are quite expensive compared to most toothpaste brands and also I do need the fluoride in the toothpastes to stop my teeth crumbling away according to my dentist.
They are however a positive in so many ways for the environment as there is so little packaging and what there is can be recycled easily. There are not many ingredients and all are pretty much natural.
They are perfect for travelling as they weigh nothing and can go in your bag as they are not liquid. They would be great for festivals and also keeping in your bag for emergency freshening up needs. I will always have at least one pack of these for the times I have mentioned but would not totally get rid of the regular extra strength fluoride my dentist has recommended that I use.
I have tried a few of these flavours from Lush and though this one is not the most traditionally toothpaste like flavour you may like it. If you have not tried these I would say give them a try, maybe try 'Dirty ' first but this one is also a pleasant flavour and not as in your face as 'Atomic' so this one would be a good one for your first try. The lovely people at Lush will advise you as to what each one tastes like and may even give you a couple to try if you ask nicely.
Thanks for reading. This review may be posted on other sites under my same user name.
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 Sparkle toothy tabs are flavoured with black pepper and lemon, designed as a palate cleansing tooth product with a pleasant warmth that helps to whiten teeth.
***Using the Sparkle Toothy Tabs***
These tabs cost £2.50 for a box of 40. 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.
When I first started using toothy tabs, my teeth didn't feel as clean as usual, but after using several packs I'm used to the sensation they provide. These toothy tabs don't smell of anything much but they have a distinctive taste of black pepper, which I like.
Using them, my teeth looked clean and felt clean too, notwithstanding the lack of foam. 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, Sorbitol, Lauroyl Sarcosine, Kaolin, Lemon Peel Powder, Sicilian Lemon Oil , Limonene, Black Pepper Oil, Grapefruit Oil, Fair Trade Organic Black Pepper Powder , Fine Sea Salt, Sodium Saccharin, Citral, 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. Lemon peel powder and Sicilian lemon oil are meant to help whiten the teeth, while sodium 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 lemon, black pepper and grapefruit.
***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 Sparkle tabs specifically?***
I would - these are one of my favourite flavours so far. I like the black pepper taste and find these toothy tabs to clean my teeth effectively with no aftertaste. While they do not work miracles, they help to keep my teeth comparatively white. I would recommend these to someone who is sick of minty toothpaste and wants to try something a bit different.
I bought these toothy tabs from Lush for £2.50 a week ago.
These tabs are solid toothpaste tablets that come in a slide out cardboard box. The box is a little bit bigger than a matchbox and it can be recycled after use. The tabs are 100% natural and they're handmade too. To use them you just take one from the box, crush it between your front teeth and brush like you would with any "normal" toothpaste.
I find these tabs easy to use and they taste pleasant. They have a sweet taste to them with a hint of lemon. I would call it a subtle citrus taste. The tabs also contain hints of black pepper which gives a warming sensation to your mouth after brushing. I can feel this effect and it's a nice effect. The tabs help to clean my mouth and freshen my breath but they don't foam up as well as ordinary toothpaste, so if you like a more "foamy" type of toothpaste then I wouldn't recommend these.
I haven't noticed a significant difference to my teeth after a week but they do feel a lot cleaner and they look a little brighter. The tabs do help to whiten and brighten teeth without damaging the enamel on your teeth so they are a more gentle solution to whitening as whitening can be rather a harsh process.
They're a nice idea and a fun way to brush your teeth but I don't think everyone will be turning to these!
Something that most toothpaste manufacturers don't seem to realise is that not everybody loves or even likes the taste of mint. I'm one of those people who really doesn't like the taste of mainstream toothpaste, whether it be spearmint, cool mint, ice blast or just bog standard mint. My dislike of the taste of mint makes brushing my teeth a nauseating business accompanied by much gagging. At least that was the case until Lush brought out their range of solid toothpaste in the form of Toothy Tabs and more specifically the Sparkle Toothy Tabs. My first introduction to these tabs was via a very generous sample I was handed by an assistant in my local store, where I was handed a fairly small box containing not one or two but a total of eight little tabs that gave me four days to test them and decide whether they were worth spending the little extra on, or not. Before I go any further I'm going to tell you that I did, indeed buy a box of these, so you already know that I'm still using them and actually quite like them.
Under normal circumstances the packaging of toothpaste wouldn't really be something to comment on, after all a tube is a tube, but as this is a very unusual type of toothpaste there really is something to say about it. The 12 grams of toothy tabs come supplied in a very small cardboard box that is no bigger than a matchbox. This box is made from recycled cardboard which obviously can be put into the recycling when empty, meaning that it is far more environmentally friendly than your standard tube of toothpaste. The box is opened by pushing the inner box through the sleeve (again much like a box of matches) to reveal a small opening through which the tabs can be dispensed. In terms of decoration the box certainly is functional rather than stylish, being simply black with white writing, telling us that these are Sparkle Toothy Tabs along with an ingredient list and directions for use. What I particularly like about this packaging is how compact it is, it takes up far less room than a standard tube of toothpaste and can be easily slipped into a handbag for freshening up the mouth on a night out. I would also imagine that one of these boxes would be brilliant if space is at a premium when packing your hand luggage for a flight. What I don't like about the packaging is that being made of cardboard it's not at all water resistant and the tabs do not react well to getting wet, which is a bit of a problem considering that they are used in what is probably the dampest room in the home, that is the bathroom. In order to keep mine dry I don't actually keep the box in the bathroom, but instead I keep them in my bedroom.
Within each box there are 12 grams of tabs, which equates to approximately 40 tabs for a fairly reasonable £2.50. Although on first appearance this seems quite expensive for a toothpaste, a small tube of high end toothpaste easily costs the same amount or more. Each tab is fairly small (about the size of a parma violet, if you remember those sweets), a yellowish colour with black specks and has very little scent. To use these tabs you simply put one in your mouth, chew it and then brush with a damp toothbrush. When first putting one in your mouth there is very little taste and certainly no foam but once the toothbrush is introduced it does foam up at least as much as conventional toothpaste if not more.
As I brush my teeth my mouth is filled with a thick white foam that easily lasts the recommended three minutes brushing time. Taste-wise this is very difficult to describe, initially there is very little flavour, but as brushing continues there is a slight hint of citrus mixed with a touch of bicarbonate and salt and then as the end of the brushing time approaches there is a definite flush of pepper that warms the mouth and especially the tongue. After brushing my teeth they feel smooth and clean, my breathe is fresh and the warm tinges my tongue for about five minutes. While I wouldn't say that this is the best toothpaste I've ever used for cleaning and whitening my teeth whilst freshening my breath, it's not the worst either with the bonus that as it doesn't taste of mint, it doesn't make me gag. It doesn't particularly change the taste of either drink or food afterwards either.
==The Green Factor==
As these toothy tabs are the brain child of Lush, it's only to be expected that they contain as few artificial ingredients as possible. Normally I wouldn't bother going through the ingredients individually, but as this is advertised as being a safer, more natural tooth paste and it does contain a few chemicals that I wasn't aware of, I did do some research.
The very first ingredient listed is Dicalcium Phosphate Anhydrous, which sounds pretty scary but on Googling proves to be the anhydrous form of a compound that is often added to toothpastes as a tartar control agent or a dietary supplement added to foods. From the limited research I have done, there is no evidence that there are any health problems associated with this compound and indeed even ingesting it will be of limited benefit rather than harm.
Next in the list is Sodium Bicarbonate, otherwise known as baking soda, which is often added to whitening toothpastes due to its gentle abrasive qualities. As well as helping clean your teeth with it's abrasive action it also "softens" water which will help make any foaming action more effective. Following on from the sodium bicarbonate we have cream of tartar, a by-product of the wine making industry commonly used in baking, I'm really starting to wonder whether the creator of these tabs simply got all their baking ingredients out and then played with them. As well being used in baking Cream of Tartar (or Potassium bitartrate to give it it's scientific name) can also be used as a cleaning agent. As with the previous two ingredients I can find nothing to suggest this causes health issues (much as you would expect from something that is commonly added to food).
I'm now becoming positive that the inventor had a baking cupboard just like mine as the next ingredient is glycerine, another completely safe product that I'm assuming is used to hold the different dry ingredients together in a tablet form. The next ingredient, Lauroyl Sarcosine, sounds a lot more scary, but is again considered safe and is used as a foaming agent (a very effective one in this case). Kaolin, a mud otherwise known as China Clay is also in the mix, although I personally can neither see or taste it. Although it is used as a cleansing agent in other Lush products, in this case I believe it is used to add bulk.
The next batch of ingredients are all to add flavour and breath freshening qualities and include lemon peel, lemon oil, limonene (occurs naturally in essential oils), black pepper oil, grapefruit oil and black pepper. These all work together, along with the ubiquitous "flavour" to produce an unusual but not unpleasant taste that I far prefer to any mint flavour. It's worth noting here that the black pepper is fair trade, meaning that the growers get a fair price for it. It's also worth pointing out that if you are allergic to grapefruit (like my mother) then this is not suitable for you. Citric acid is also added to this mix, where as well as helping preserve the tabs it also imparts lemon-like fragrance along with citral, the component of many citrus oils that provides the scent.
The final ingredients are fine sea salt which is cleansing and antiseptic along with again having a mild abrasive action to help clean your teeth and Sodium Saccharine an artificial sweetener. Over the years there have been concerns about the safety of sodium saccharine, with it causing cancer in rats. Although further research has stated that it does not cause cancer in humans, saccharine is a sweetener that I do try to avoid and to be honest I'm a little disappointed that Lush felt fit to add it.
All in all, while most of the ingredients are natural and from what I can gather safe, I am disappointed by the addition of saccharine, which is only really there to make the taste more palatable. I do, however, like the fact that the packaging is made from recycled cardboard which can be either recycled or composted when empty and the fact that there is no waste. As each tab is perfect for one three minute brushing there's no worry that I'm using too much (or not enough) and no struggling to get the last little bit out of a tube. So these are far more environmentally friendly than conventional toothpaste and also much kinder to me. In common with all Lush products these are also suitable for vegetarians, and indeed these are also suitable for vegans. As a final bonus I can use these safe in the knowledge that no bunnies have been harmed just so I can have clean teeth as these haven't been tested on animals.
Lush Sparkle Toothy Tabs are an innovative and pretty decent way of cleaning your teeth. They taste reasonably good, have a mild citrus flavour with a kick of pepper that warms the mouth. They also make my teeth feel very clean and smooth, although I really can't say that I've seen a huge improvement in whiteness. The packaging is also a brilliant concept, it takes up barely any room in my toiletry bag, leaving more space for other essentials (such as mascara). I also love the fact that there's no chance of using too much or too little, each tab is perfect for one tooth-brushing (don't try using half though, because half doesn't produce enough foam). Once you get used to the concept of a "dry" toothpaste, these are brilliant and so much better for the environment. Oh and I simply love the fact that they don't taste of mint, it's brilliant that someone has finally realised that not everybody likes the taste of mint.
So I'm going to give Lush Sparkle Toothy Tabs four stars out of five, as I love everything about them apart from the addition of sodium saccharine and would recommend everyone give them a try. Once you've got used to the fact that they taste of citrus rather than mint, they are simply wonderful.