The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

March 21, 2019

Why I Love Plastic-Free Bite Toothpaste Bits

Ever since Lush reverted to packaging its Toothy Tabs toothpaste tablets in plastic containers instead of compostable cardboard boxes, I’ve been brushing my teeth with plain baking soda mixed with essential oils. (I pour a bit in the palm of my hand and run my wet toothbrush through it.) This method is fine, and cheap, but I missed the convenience of the tablets, especially while traveling.

Finally — well, okay, I may be a few months late to this party — finally for me, there’s a replacement for Lush Toothy Tabs that doesn’t come in a plastic container and is actually BETTER than the Lush product I used to love! (Bite sent me two bottles to review.)

What are toothpaste bits?

Bite toothpaste bits are little vegan tablets stored in a glass bottle that foam up and quickly become toothpaste when you chew them. Right now, there are only two varieties: Naturally Whitening Mint and Fresh Mint with Activated Charcoal. So, yeah, if you don’t like mint, you’re out of luck for now. But I gotta say, when I popped these tablets in my mouth, I got a burst of flavor that took me by surprise! Super minty fresh goodness — so much better tasting and feeling than the Lush variety.

And I’m happy about the ingredients:

  • Organic mint flavor
  • Kaolin clay
  • Dicalcium Phosphate
  • Sodium Bicarbonate (but not enough to leave a salty taste)
  • Xylitol
  • Erythritol
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate (This creates the foam and is supposedly safer and less irritating than SLS)
  • Activated Charcoal (only in the charcoal version.)

What about the packaging?

According to Bite’s website, the mission of the company is to end plastic waste.

Accordingly, they shipped my bits in a plain padded paper envelope with paper tape and no plastic.

Subscribe and Save Money and Fuel

So, what about shipping all that glass? Glass is heavier than plastic, so it requires more fuel to ship — one of the arguments that the plastics industry likes to make to advocate for the eco-friendliness of its product. Bite has addressed that concern by offering a subscription model. Your first order comes in a reusable glass bottle with metal lid. Similar to Dental Lace refillable dental floss, all future refills come in lighter weight marine-degradable, compostable packaging.

But don’t expect to get your bits over night. Unlike Amazon, which offers super fast, next day shipping, Bite has calculated the climate impact of various modes of shopping (driving to a brick and mortar store vs. buying online with standard shipping vs. buying online with expedited shipping) and come to the conclusion that faster shipping means less consolidation of deliveries and therefore, more fuel use. So, Bite simply doesn’t offer 2-day shipping.

We all just need to slow down anyway.

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3 years ago

Anyone found a good floss pick that isn’t plastic? I just can’t seem to use floss by itself and get the job done.

3 years ago

I had a discussion with my dentist about using a zero waste packaged toothpaste and she said it was important to buy something that doesn’t have clay or charcoal (whitening ingredients) because using this causes your enamel to be eroded. The whitening toothpastes are not good to use and have been over marketed.

Morgan Thomas
4 years ago

Just to be clear, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate is another name for Palm Oil

Sarah Kim
4 years ago

Thanks for this! Have you tried Unpaste tablets? If so, what are your thoughts on one vs the other? Thank you.

4 years ago

I’ve been using this from our local We Fill store:
Glass jar to start and then they have refills of 60 tablets in a biodegradable packet. Vanilla mint is the best flavor :) and I see that they have a sensitive teeth variety too.

Maeve Murphy
4 years ago

Does anyone have any thoughts on the toothpaste bits for very sensitive teeth? I used to buy toothpaste in glass jars, but my teeth are very sensitive and switching to Sensodyne has really helped. Unfortunately Sensodyne comes in plastic tubes (boo), but my teeth feel much better (and yes I take good care of my teeth and am getting regular dental care). I’m willing to try the bits but any advice/experience regarding sensitivity is welcome.

3 years ago
Reply to  Maeve Murphy

I must use Sensodyne also; I hope someone can offer a solution as I have not found one.

Stephanie Church
4 years ago

Hi, Have you found any toothpaste tablets with fluoride? I have kids and don’t want to loose the fluoride in regular i toothpaste but don’t want to buy plastic tubes anymore. I’ve struggled to find any. Thanks.

Lisa Sharp
4 years ago

Remember that time you tried tooth soap things to me? Nothing like making your friend throw up in the name of the environment.

Marcy Capoferri
4 years ago

I open a couple of activated charcoal capsules into some baking soda and mix in a small jar. I add a tiny little spoon, then sprinkle it on top of some coconut oil for brushing my teeth.

4 years ago

Great post! I have heard so many great things about this product when I was searching for toothpaste (as I am on my own journey towards zero waste!). I am currently using a tooth powder from Primal Pit Paste, and it is great! Thanks for sharing :)
-Jenna ♥
Stay in touch? The Chic Cupcake

christopher bryant
4 years ago

I used clove and fennel seeds ground up for my homemade tooth powder, with the artificial sweetener it is a real taste explosion. Thanks for the tip on the foaming ingredient, that was all that was missing..!

Jeannie Pham
4 years ago

I definitely am down to give this a try! I’ll have to wait until I run through the THREE tubes of David’s Natural Toothpaste that I just bought though lol (it comes in metal tube, with a plastic cap). DAvid’s isn’t perfect, but these toothpaste capsules seem to be a good contender! Bay Area misses you :-)

4 years ago

I have to ask about fluoride. Every dentist I know reccomends toothpaste with fluoride. These alternatives don’t seem to have flouride. What are your thoughts on this?

4 years ago
Reply to  Chris

Chris, I feel the same way-dentist wants me to be brushing with a fluoride product. I just saw that the Bite company DOES plan to offer a version with fluoride later this year (2019), so we should start watching for that, I guess!

4 years ago

Love this. Thank you. Will give it a try.

4 years ago

Thanks, Beth! I recently became aware of this product as well and was thinking about trying it. So appreciate your review and the added info on the company and how they send refills, not new bottles. Must try!

Karen A
4 years ago

I started using Dental Lace last year and bamboo toothbrushes and I have been looking for an eco-friendly toothpaste, but I want one that has fluoride. Do you know of any fluoride-containing toothpaste that comes like this?

4 years ago
Reply to  Karen A

I feel the same way-my dentist wants me to be brushing with a fluoride product. I just saw that the Bite company DOES plan to offer a version with fluoride later this year (2019) though, so we should start watching for that, I guess!

4 years ago

The Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate is a name for Palm Oil? Is it sustainably farmed?