Parla toothpaste tablets will be my primary choice of toothpaste from now on.
They have a great taste with a lasting freshness.
Designed by award winning dentists, I have a little extra peace of mind each time I use them.
The only thing really going against them really, is that they are not quite as good value as the more widely sold Denttabs.
Available with or without a subscription, there is a certain level of convenience that they bring if you desire such.
- Dentist designed and approved
- More natural ingredients and fewer chemicals
- SLS, palm oil, and gluten free
- Suitable for vegans – Vegetarian society approved
- Contains fluoride
- Less packaging
- More environmentally friendly
- More travel friendly
- Just the right amount each time
- More expensive than regular toothpaste
- Not that easy to source – primarily available direct from Pärla
- No refill option for the 1 month jar option
- 4 month supply option doesn’t quite fit in the jar
|Pärla Toothpaste Tablets||£9.90||View on Amazon|
A full detailed review is available to read further down the page. But first, here are a few answers to common questions to give you a quick overview and opinion of Pärla.
Does they actually work?
Like most other toothpaste tablets, they are simple and easy to use.
Take a single tablet, place it in the mouth, chew it and mix with your saliva. Once you have created the toothpaste, brush like you normally would for 2 minutes. Spit out the leftover paste, and that’s it done.
You get a nice minty flavour to the paste and your teeth and gums will feel lovely and clean after each use.
How much do they cost?
A month’s supply can cost just £5 if you sign up to the Pärlasubscription plan. The subscription is charged at £20 every 4 months.
You can otherwise purchase a single months supply for £6.95 + £2.95 shipping.
There are no additional shipping costs with the subscription plan.
Where can I buy it?
Pärla’s toothpaste tablets are sold primarily direct from Pärla themselves at www.parlatoothpastetablets.com although some dental practices and independent stores are beginning to stock them.
Use the code: PärlaXElectricteeth to get 10% off the cost of a 1 month jar when purchased directly from Parla.
You can find them on Amazon too.
How I tested the toothpaste
This review has not been conducted under any form of ‘clinical’ setup.
I have simply switched out my regular toothpaste for the toothpaste tablets made by Pärla to see what they are like to use and my experience with them.
I have made no changes to my normal routine. I am eating and drinking the same sort of things, I am still flossing and using an electric toothbrush.
The test lasted for 3 weeks.
During this time I used the Oral-B Smart 5 5000 electric toothbrush set to the ‘Daily Clean’ mode.
I brushed twice a day for 2 minutes each time and flossed once a day.
Summary How I tested the toothpaste
- The test lasted for 3 weeks
- Used Oral-B Smart 5 5000 toothbrush on Daily Clean mode
- Cleaned twice a day for 2 minutes
- Flossed once a day
- No changes in diet
The impact of our lifestyles on the planet is becoming ever more apparent. There is an increasing number of companies producing products looking to do their best to address this.
Whilst we need to make radical changes as a global population, lots of small changes can have a big impact.
Our oral healthcare routine is no exception to this and I have seen first hand an increase in the number of sustainable toothbrushes and toothpaste options.
Toothpaste tablets are the best alternative to replace regular tubes of toothpaste.
If you are not familiar with these tablets you can read our comprehensive guide on the best toothpaste tablets. But, essentially, they are an alternative to the tube of toothpaste that the vast majority of us use on a daily basis.
Up to 50% of a tube of toothpaste is water.
In order to produce a paste to stabilise it and make it preservable, you need many chemical ingredients.
In a tablet form, there is no water and less need for chemicals to stabilise and preserve them, therefore creating a smaller, lighter and more sustainable product.
Pärla, which means ‘pearl’ in Swedish is a brand of fluoride toothpaste tablets designed by 3 British dentists, Dr Rhona Eskander, Dr Simon Chard and Dr Adarsh Thanki.
I am sure you, like me, feel a little more comfortable when the products you are using have been tried and tested by dental professionals, let alone designed by them.
Pärla, may also not be a brand name you might be familiar with, but it is one that will become more recognised as the demand for the more environmentally friendly toothpaste tablets increases.
Taste, Packaging etc
Although called a tablet, these are not designed to be swallowed.
Instead, you take a tablet from the jar, place it in the mouth and chew it.
After 5 seconds or so, the tablet will have broken down and mixed with your saliva to create a paste.
This paste that has now formed is the replacement for the paste that you would usually find in a squeezable tube.
You brush your teeth just like you would normally, and at the end of the 2 minute brushing session, you spit the paste out. Job done.
I won’t lie that for first time users of tablets when you first bite into the tablet there is a slightly odd taste and sensation. It is not unpleasant, just different from what you are used to.
Pärla’s tablets are peppermint flavoured and I can confirm that minty taste is present.
Mint tends to be the go to flavour and it is not to everyone’s liking. But, it does give a nice level of freshness that lasts for a long time. The flavour is not quite as intense as some toothpaste, but it is not as dull as some others either.
I have used other toothpaste tablets, including Denttabs which presumably because of their ingredient formulation take longer to dissolve and form the paste. This can result in a chalky and clumpy mixture in the mouth for a few seconds, which isn’t particularly appealing. These Pärla tablets break down really quickly as you chew.
The paste that the tablet creates is really quite smooth and I did not detect any gritty textures as you might with some other more abrasive pastes.
What you may notice is that the paste formation is not quite as frothy as a regular toothpaste. This is normal and to be expected. It is because of the different ingredients. More froth does not mean a better clean of the teeth.
Another small thing to be aware of is the abrasivity of the toothpaste tablets.
Many kinds of toothpaste, particularly whitening toothpaste are more effective because they include ingredients which are more abrasive on the tooth surface.
In essence, the more abrasive, the more effective they are at cleaning the teeth, particularly removing the surface stains that many of us are worried about.
The downside is that over a long time the abrasive nature can potentially do damage to the enamel surface of the teeth.
The scale on which they are measured is the RDA scale, which stands for Relative Dentin Abrasivity.
The scores are then categorised as follows.
- 0-70 – Low level of abrasivity – gives a gentle polish.
- 70-100 – Medium level of abrasivity – gives a medium weight polish.
- 100-150 – High level of abrasivity – more intensive polish.
- Over 150 – Very high level of abrasivity – can be harmful.
The vast majority of paste will be in the low to medium category.
However, many whitening pastes are in the high category.
The exact score for Pärla has not yet been confirmed, but it is below 100.
This means they are safe for your teeth (you would expect that of toothpaste designed by dentists) but they do give a gentle polish to the tooth surface.
Pärla does not claim that they deliver any particular whitening results, so you should not expect whiter teeth in 7 days for example. Although, it is possible you will see improvements.
When using traditional toothpaste, you should need only a pea sized amount on your brush head, but many of us are guilty of using much more. It is essentially a waste.
When using a toothpaste tablet, you get just enough formula each time. Each tablet is a perfectly measured amount of ingredients.
And on the subject of ingredients, Pärla contains fewer ingredients and chemicals than a regular water based paste. This is because the lack of water means the solution does not need to be stabilised in the same way.
These tablets are free from:
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
- Artificial colours
- Artificial sweeteners
- Propylene glycol
- Palm Oil
They are also suitable for vegans and they have not been tested on animals.
They have actually been approved by the Vegetarian society for both vegans and vegetarians.
For the full list of ingredients within these tablets, refer to the ‘ingredients’ section of the review.
All of the ingredients are combined, pressed into tablets and packaged within the UK.
Toothpaste tablets are not exactly new, they have actually been around for many years.
But, really for the majority of people, they are ‘new’ as they have not gotten the mainstream attention that they deserve.
This is changing. It is being propelled by the more recent awareness of the environmental impact we are having as a society on our planet.
Toothpaste tablets have been predominantly used by those who desired more natural, sustainable and environmentally friendly products.
A consequence of being more natural has meant that many tablets to date have excluded fluoride.
I am not here to debate the merits for and against, but there is widespread support amongst dental and medical professionals for the inclusion of this in toothpaste. It helps keep the teeth healthy and resist decay.
Given that these have been designed by 3 leading British dentists it perhaps comes as no surprise that they have included fluoride in their tablets.
The key ingredient is sodium monofluorophosphate with a parts per million (ppm) count of 1450. This falls in line with NHS recommendations in the UK.
A popular alternative to regular toothpaste tablets they are becoming is as a result of the impact they can have on the planet.
Toothpaste in itself is far from the worst offender, but the millions of tubes used each year all take their toll resources and carbon production.
The tubes used for toothpaste are difficult to recycle and up to 50% of the tube is actually water.
Simply removing the water from the tube reduces the overall weight and carbon footprint associated with transportation. A more detailed explanation of the environmental impact of tablets can be found in our guide here.
The most sustainable way to buy Pärla tablets is to sign up to their subscription plan.
It works out at £5 per month, but a charge of £20 is taken every 4 months.
Your first shipment will include a glass jar and 248 tablets (in a separate compostable bag), enough to last a single person, 4 months.
Thereafter, a further 4 months supply is delivered in a compostable bag. You empty the tablets into your jar and compost the bag.
Alternatively, you can purchase a single months supply of 62 tablets. These come only in a glass jar only. They cost £6.95, plus £2.95 shipping (to the UK). This option, therefore, is much more expensive.
You can use the code: PärlaXElectricteeth to get 10% off the cost of a 1 month jar.
There is no option to buy 4 months supply only, without subscription. However, you can cancel and amend your subscription at any time.
Without doubt a first world problem, but the jar provided with the 4 months subscription doesn’t quite hold all 248 tablets. It holds a little over 200. So, you will have to top up the jar, with the remaining tablets once you have used a few.
Even when you subscribe at £5 a month, this is about 2-3x the price of the most basic tube of toothpaste, so these toothpaste tablets are more expensive.
However, more premium toothpaste can cost £4-8 per tube, so in some instances, Pärla may be cheaper.
For the vast majority of us, it will be a premium to pay, but a premium that gives us the benefit of knowing we are using a less polluting option with the added convenience of being delivered right to our door, just when we need it. Plus they have been designed by dentists.
Sold primarily via their own online store www.parlatoothpastetablets.com, there are some dental practices and independent stores stocking them.
You can too find them on Amazon.
You will not currently find these in lots of stores on the high-street, although availability is likely to improve in time.
In addition to the UK, they do ship to the United States, Germany, Australia, Ireland, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates. Additional shipping fees may apply.
Another notable convenience of the tablets over paste is when it comes to travelling. If you are going away for a few days, you can take just the right amount of tablets away with you, rather than the whole jar. This cuts down on the space needed and the weight, particularly if you are planning on travelling light.
Having been using these tablets for nearly a month, I can say I am very pleased with them and I will most certainly be sticking with them. I actually like their flavour and texture more than the Denttabs I have been using for the last 6 months now.
I like the idea of being more considerate about the ingredients and having less chemicals within each tablet.
I also really like the fact that doing away with the traditional tube of toothpaste cuts down on wastage, particularly when toothpaste tubes can’t normally be recycled.
Yes, the consequence is that they are more expensive, but I can live with that personally.
If you can afford to make the switch, please attempt to do so. That said, I understand if you would rather opt for the more affordable option. If you do, please try and find ways of recycling your toothpaste tube.
- A low calorie sugar substitute that gives a sweet taste.
- Calcium carbonate
- Helps remove plaque and food particles from the teeth, without being overly abrasive, whilst also preventing surface staining.
- A natural polishing agent.
- Sodium bicarbonate
- Helps to remove plaque.
- Sodium methyl cocoyl taurate
- A gentle cleansing and foaming agent.
- Hydrated silica
- A natural abrasive to help keep teeth white, removing surface stains
- Accacia gum
- A plant based preservative to help improve shelf life.
- Yeast extract
- A naturally antimicrobial to inhibit bacteria
- Sodium monoflurophosphate (Fluoride)
- Helps to prevent tooth decay. 1450ppm.
- Magnesium stearate
- Stops other ingredients sticking together.
- Mentha arvensis leaf oil
- A natural minty flavour.
- Add a cool refreshing taste.
- A natural sweetener.
- Mentha piperita oil
- Peppermint flavour.
If it is not already clear, the way we test products here at Electric Teeth is not in the science lab breaking down and testing all components of a product. But instead, just like you would at home.
Individual ingredients within this paste may have different pros and cons associated with them. I am not here to specifically look at the arguments on either side, but to try and take a rounded view.
To my knowledge, all are considered ‘safe’ and acceptable for use within the paste.
Fluoride remains as one of the more contentious ingredients within toothpaste and many toothpaste tablets exclude this.
As you would expect the dentists have included this in the Pärla tablets to ensure it resonates with dentists and those patients who have been advised to use products that include this.
Although the exact Relative Dentin Abrasivity (RDA) score has not been confirmed, it is understood that it is below 100 and certainly at the lower end of the scale, meaning less potential risk to your tooth surface with prolonged use.
The jars themselves do not include a list of the ingredients, but the outer cardboard boxes these come packaged in do.
The packaging does stipulate that these are not suitable for children aged under 7.
Although there is a physical address printed on the box, it is not printed on the jar label and there is no email address or contact telephone number.
These are not critically important, but I think it would be a nice touch if ever someone needed a rapid contact option.
On the outer packaging, not the jar is the universal 12 month symbol for cosmetics. Meaning once you have opened them, you want to use them within 12 months.
Is it eco-friendly?
Yes, this is one of the key drivers for Pärla and its creators.
It is one of the best options to date.
They have strived to make the product as good for you and me and the planet.
Cardboard packaging is used for the shipping boxes. Reusable glass jars are offered for the tablets and refills are delivered in compostable packaging.
The 1 month supply option is arguably a little less good for the planet. Particularly as there is no plan.
However, the jar could be reused for other things and it is a significant step in the right direction. Many people haven’t even heard of these tablets yet, so a 1 month supply is a good start.
The 3 founding dentists have done what they can to ensure the ingredients are ethically sourced and natural as possible. They have kept the tablets free of any unnecessary preservatives/stabilisers.
What we would like to see improved?
The number of improvements I would like to see are limited and in truth you could consider them a bit picky in the scheme of things.
It would be nice to have a bit more flexibility in the product offerings and subscriptions.
Fewer choices keeps things simple, but it would be great if you could subscribe to the 4 month plan, but not have the jar that comes with it. This could work well for those who want to then refill the jar they got with the 1 month option.
I think there is a potential value in changing the subscription to 3 months rather than 4. Whilst it is more cost effective over 4 months, the 3 month subscription could tie in nicely with a replacement toothbrush or brush head.
A real small complaint is that the jar supplied for the 4 month subscription plan is not big enough to hold 4 months worth of tablets. Yes, you will be using them, so eventually there will be space in the jar. But I was able to get a little over 200 tablets into the jar, despite having 248 provided. This is very much a first world problem I do admit!
A further improvement for the benefit of the consumer I do believe would be trying to get ingredient, expiry and contact information onto the label of the jar. By no means a deal breaker with the current configuration.
And perhaps lastly, maybe there is a need to offer a storage option for taking tablets when you travel. A small tube that would hold say 2 weeks worth of tablets.
In comparison to other toothpaste and other toothpaste tablets, I am very happy with the results achieved with Pärla.
I experienced no sensitivity or discomfort during use and for me, these tablets are as good as any other conventional toothpaste product.
I won’t deny that for most people, the first few uses of a toothpaste tablet can seem quite odd. It is a sensation and approach we are not used to. Most of us have only ever known toothpaste in a tube.
Having tested many different products, to me, they are really no different to regular paste.
There is really very little not to like.
They are in my opinion much more convenient than a tube of toothpaste, particularly if you travel.
With each use, you get a lovely minty fresh feeling and you know that each tablet creates just the right amount of paste for each brushing session.
You do also get the satisfaction of knowing there are fewer chemicals in each tablet.
Admittedly they are more expensive (2-3x) than a typical tube of toothpaste and they are not widely stocked.
But, these are a more sustainable option. The most cost-effective approach is the subscription, which will deliver the tablets to your door every 4 months, so you don’t have to go out and buy them.
Designed and promoted by British dentists, there is the psychological benefit that you get of knowing these are good for your oral health and you are supporting a smaller business rather than one of the multinational corporations.
Pärla from now on will be my toothpaste of choice.
|Pärla Toothpaste Tablets||£9.90||View on Amazon|
Do you own or have you used Parla toothpaste?
Are there certain features that you really like or dislike?
Let us know what you think about this toothpaste and let others who may well be considering purchasing one know your opinions before they do.