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Mouthwash 101

So, you like the idea of trying something new: a solid mouthwash that fizzes like a mini bath bomb on the tip of your tongue for exquisite freshness and flavor. But before you take the plunge, you’ve got a few questions you’d like answering. What do they do? How do they work? When do I use them? Why should I use them?

Don’t sweat it; here’s everything you could possibly need to know about solid mouthwash – and then some.

What are solid mouthwash tabs?

Pretty much what it says on the recyclable bottle – a little tablet packed full of mouth-watering ingredients that dissolve in your mouth to flavor and freshen your breath. The use of a mouthwash should be the final step in the oral hygiene process both in the morning and in the evening. It’s a useful addition to brushing and flossing, and should not be used alone as a substitute.

What are the benefits?

When using liquid mouthwash, the amount of product you take into your mouth can vary, and so mouthwash tabs have been carefully formulated and tested to be the perfect concentration of ingredients when taken with a sip of water, whether big or small. Just remember to spit!

Lush has three mouthwash tabs to try with a variety of benefits. Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster contains a shot of lemon oil that offers warbling refreshment for the palate, quinine packs the same mouth-watering taste that’s found in tonic water, while aniseed and heaps of fizz give your mouth a feeling to remember. Inspired by the Japanese custom of gargling, Ugai deeply refreshes with antibacterial tea tree, refreshing sea salt to freshen the mouth and prevent dryness, while green tea gives a quenching, herbal flavour. Finally, Crème De Menthe offers a double-shot of mint for an intoxicating blast of icy coolness.

What are they packaged in?

Products in the dental industry contribute to a great deal of landfill waste and so these solid tabs are packaged in recycled and recyclable plastic bottles which can be recycled at with your domestic collections. These compact bottles contain roughly 80 solid, self-preserving mouthwash tabs, which are perfect for stowing away in handbags, backpacks, carry-ons or jet-packs for galactically good breath on the go.

Why do the tabs contain ingredients like citric and malic acid? Could they erode the enamel on my teeth?

Citric acid helps to form the solid shape of the tab, and creates fizz when combined with sodium bicarbonate. Malic acid increases the flavor of the mouthwash tab and therefore the effect of the ingredients used, for example menthol and peppermint oil. That extra flavor enables your mouth to feel fresher and enhances the experience.

The pH of saliva ranges from 5.6 to 7.9, with an average value of 6.75, and enamel erosion starts in earnest below 5.5. When developing and testing the mouthwash tabs, we found the pH of saliva after using a tab was between pH 6.45 and 7.0—not in the danger zone of acidic erosion. That’s because sodium bicarbonate is alkaline and neutralises the effect of citric and malic acid, as well as deodorising and refreshing your mouth.

Why don’t mouthwash tabs contain fluoride?

Lush does not use fluoride in the oral products we make. The use of fluoride has always been controversial and therefore we do not feel comfortable adding it to our products. To take care of your teeth, a good diet, regular brushing, flossing and trips to the dentist and hygienist is advisable.

Can I use mouthwash tabs in combination with my regular toothpaste? Will they reduce the effects of fluoride toothpaste?

Lush mouthwash tabs can be used to refresh the breath in combination with a fluoride toothpaste if you choose. We would recommend waiting 20 minutes after cleaning with fluoride toothpaste before using a solid mouthwash. This is the recommended length of time, which should be left between cleaning the teeth and swilling with water or mouthwash. If you are using Lush toothy tabs or powders (which do not contain fluoride), you can use the Mouthwash Tabs straight away.

Do Lush mouth care products meet ISO (The International Organization for Standardization) standards?

The ISO standards for tooth products are being worked towards. The oral products Lush has invented are solids rather than the pastes or liquids referred to and so do not easily fit into the framework of the standards. For example, the ISO standard for mouthwash only relates to liquids which means they can be difficult to fulfill.

Our toothy tabs have RDA values available (which test for abrasivity) as a laboratory has agreed to undertake testing for us using human teeth. Will mouthwash tabs help to prevent tooth decay? Mouthwash tabs have been developed as a handy, portable way to refresh your breath rather than a product used to clean the teeth or gums. They were not designed to replace toothpaste, and should be used in conjunction with toothy tabs and powders, as well as good dental hygiene practices such as using interdental brushes, flossing and cleaning and regular trips to the dentist.