As long as they've been around, Lush have excelled at rethinking everyday bath and body products as novelties. Bubble bath in a solid orb? Body scrub molded into a palm-sized square? A heart-shaped bar of lotion? Check. Now they've transformed the most basic self-care ritual of all with a "solid toothpaste alternative" called Toothy Tabs.
Toothy Tabs are small pellets about the size of aspirin tablets, packaged in a container not unlike an actual aspirin bottle. You pop one "tab" into your mouth, chew it lightly so that it breaks up a bit (don't swallow!), and then start pushing it around with a wet toothbrush. The tab will dissolve into a gently abrasive foam that really does an effective job. (At my last routine check-up, after I'd been using Toothy Tabs for several months, my dentist praised me for keeping my teeth so clean.)
Best of all, as far as most of us are concerned, Toothy Tabs are available in a variety of formulas and flavors. I've tried three so far: Sparkle, Oral Pleasure and Limelight. Sparkle might be my favorite so far. It's flavored with a blend of lemon, grapefruit and black pepper essential oils, and after using it for about a week, I'd forgotten that I was ever accustomed to mint-flavored toothpaste in a tube. Sparkle's mix of citrus and spice is bright and snappy, just right for morning brushing. There's a better chance that my mood, as well as my teeth, will "sparkle" after I open this bottle.
Of course, I also had to try Oral Pleasure when I spotted it on the shelf. Not because of the name, which is surprisingly obvious (and crude) for Lush, but for the ingredients: natural essences of orange, rose and vanilla. That sounds like a perfume I'd wear! Unfortunately, Oral Pleasure isn't quite my thing. The flavor of the "sweet wild orange oil" overwhelms the floral and gourmand notes, and that taste, in combination with the powdery feel of the Toothy Tab melting in my mouth, reminds me of St. Joseph Chewable Aspirin for children.
If you're on the fence about Toothy Tabs, you could ease into the concept with one of the mintier varieties, which are closer to "traditional" toothpaste in flavor if not in format. Limelight tastes as green as it looks, with a fusion of lemon, lime and spearmint oils. The mint is balanced with the tart citrus fruit, so that you'll taste something familiar along with something pleasantly surprising. Overall, it's a zingy blend that leaves my mouth feeling nice and fresh.
I originally tried Toothy Tabs because I was ruling out conventional toothpaste in order to pinpoint an allergy; the allergy turned out to be caused by something else entirely, but now I'm hooked on Toothy Tabs and I'm still using them most days of the week. Like many Lush products, they're practical yet they make me smile. And don't we all need that little extra boost sometimes?
Lush Toothy Tabs in Sparkle, Oral Pleasure and Limelight sell for $9.95 for a 50g bottle. They are available through Lush stores and the Lush website.