Try These Weird Alternatives to Toothpaste

We tested the teeth-cleaning powders and tabs below to see if they'd make us smile or frown.

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WTF Are These Things?

Lush, the vegan and eco-friendly brand responsible for those amazingly fun bath bombs, recently released a new line of dental care. You can forget about your normal spearmint toothpaste—the collection includes Tooth Powders and Toothy Tabs.

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There are nine strange, exciting flavors, including wasabi, passion fruit, chilli cola, cinnamon, strawberry, citrus, and iterations of classic mint.

How Do They Work?

The Powders: We suggest pouring or scooping some onto the cap of the jar (you'll see why, below). Wet your toothbrush and dip it into the portioned-out powder. Then, brush as usual and rinse.

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The Tabs: Pop a tab into your mouth and chew it until it coats your front teeth. Wet the bristles of your toothbrush, then brush and rinse.

But Like, Are They Weird?

Sparkle Toothy Tabs, $10.

A few of us here at Sweet put these toothpaste alternatives to the test, just to see if we could really imagine using these on a daily basis. Here's what we think.

The Powders

It Tastes Good

Tooth Fairy Tooth Powder, $10

Chanel Parks, assistant editor, @chanelinezp

"I pick Tooth Fairy because it's strawberry flavored and strawberry is my go-to flavor for everything. I'm hesitant to use the powder because I'm in love with my toothpaste for sensitive teeth. However, I'm not phased by the powder's consistency, and once it's on the brush, I get to work. I'm pleasantly surprised by the strawberry milkshake-ish flavor. My teeth feel fine post-brush, and I follow up with some floss and mouthwash, because that's my normal routine. I would use this again, unless my dentist notices a huge decline in my immaculate dental care."

It's Too Chalky

Rebecca Bates, senior editor, @re.beccabates

"I too use the strawberry flavor. I open it and the powder looks like magical fairy dust. It does, however, seem objectively unhygienic that I have to stick my toothbrush directly into the powder, because after one use that powder container isn't actually clean anymore. That said, it foams nicely, and the flavor kind of reminds me of the indeterminate fruity flavor my pediatric dentist used when I got my teeth cleaned. About a minute into brushing, the powder starts to taste chalky, and I don't feel like my teeth are as squeaky clean as when I use toothpaste."

It Has Weird Packaging

Ultrablast Tooth Powder, $10.

Caitlin Petreycik, senior fashion editor, @c_petreycik

"I am skeptical of the wasabi mint powder, because wasabi is such a strong flavor. But it doesn't taste like wasabi at all! Just mint. I do not like sticking my toothbrush in the jar of powder, and I wouldn't want to share a pot of this stuff with anyone—that situation seems like it would get gross real fast. The powder doesn't get too foamy, which I like. I end up brushing my teeth a bit longer than usual. My teeth definitely feel cleaner when I use my usual toothpaste, which is a bright artificial blue and filled with all kinds of whitening junk."

The Tabs

They're So Convenient

Miles of Smiles Toothy Tabs, $10.

Chantal Strasburger, assistant editor, @chantagold

"I love them! I'm not sure if I'm just unusually maladroit, but between unscrewing the toothpaste cap, squeezing it onto my toothbrush, brushing, and then spitting, I typically end up with globs of toothpaste either on my shirt, in my hair, or stuck to the basin of my sink. These simple, compact tablets are the solution! I pop one into my mouth, crush it up, and brush away. The pill immediately breaks up into a pleasant, minty foam—not a glob in sight. I give the Toothy Tabs two toothpaste-free thumbs up."

They're Weird, But Cool

Boom! Toothy Tabs, $10.

Stefan Marolachakis, senior editor, @stefanmymind

"The texture of the charcoal tablets is very chewable vitamin-esque, which I like. As I start brushing, I dribble black ooze down my chin, which is a little frightening. The sight of that same black liquid on my toothbrush isn't encouraging, either. But the taste is fine, and I am open to the idea of charcoal being the tooth-cleaning aid of the future. Overall, my experience is strange, but good. That said, I do brush my teeth with regular toothpaste afterward; I'm not fully confident that swirling black liquid around my mouth actually does the job."

Find all of the Toothy Tabs and Tooth Powders on

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