I’ve been on the hunt for the best low-waste/no-waste oral hygiene routine for my lifestyle pretty much throughout my entire Invisalign journey. (I do owe you a full review post of my experiences with Invisalign, I promise that one will be coming.) It’s just easier, especially when I was brushing and flossing several times a day and needed something easy to keep in my purse or in my desk when I worked in an office during the Before Times. The increase in zero-waste/low-waste options definitely caught my eye because little tins or glass jars seemed easy enough to fit in my purse without taking up too much space or weighing me down. For the last four years or so I’ve been using silk or vegan silk floss in glass bottles, possibly the easiest swap I’ve ever made.
But toothpaste seems to be the biggest product for which I need to find a good portable low-waste dupe. It will definitely clear up real estate in my bathroom drawer and on the countertop. I’ve seen all the options and I will admit I’m intrigued and a little intimidated – tooth tabs, tooth powder, tooth soap!? it’s a lot to take in.
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Today is about my experience with Bite brand tooth “bits”.
I have spent the last 30 days using only Bite tooth bits for my toothbrushing needs, brushing twice a day.
I purchased the Daily Habits Set – a 5-piece kit that includes a jar of 248 fluoride-free toothpaste bits, a jar of 124 mouthwash bits, a glass bottle of floss, a bamboo toothbrush with a replaceable head, and a tin container for traveling with the toothpaste bits – and their bottle of vegan whitening gel. It was about $60.00 when I order it, which I know seems incredibly expensive for toothpaste. But it was a reasonable amount for me, given that it’s a 4-month supply. I go through a standard 5.5-oz tube of toothpaste every 4 to 6 weeks and I need a new 33.8-oz bottle of mouthwash every other month. So it works out well for me once I realize I’m getting everything I need for $15.00/month.
Let’s just get this out of the way – the aesthetics of the brand are minimalist and clean-looking. I personally like that style, so it was a nice little bonus for me.
The jars for the toothpaste bits and the mouthwash bits are the same style, just different sizes, which is nice if you like to have matching sets (I do!) and it helps with stacking them off to the side when you need them out of the way.
The bottles for the floss and the whitening gel don’t match quite as well, but they aren’t so different that it bothers me. The black lid on the floss versus the silver lids for all the other containers was an odd choice to me, but I assume it was to help differentiate their brand from other glass floss bottles. Though you’d think it saying “Bite” on the side would be enough.
I am mostly looking to reduce my plastic waste and limit unnecessary packaging in my personal care products. I do know that Bite markets that all of their products are vegan and free of any animal-derived ingredients but I am not currently focused on that as a must-have in my routine. The jars and bottles are glass with metal/tin lids and the travel container for the bits is a little tin with a slider top, so plastic is not something to worry about here.
Their toothbrushes and the brush that comes with the bottle of whitening gel have compostable bamboo handles and soft bristles made of castor bean oil. Read more here if you’d like more info about what that means and just how “green” that is compared to the plastic bristles in traditional mass-produced toothbrushes.
Just like the title says, I gave the toothpaste bits 30 days of brushing twice a day to give myself enough time to get used to the difference from traditional tubed toothpaste.
It did take me roughly a week to really get comfortable using the toothpaste bits. At first, all I could do was turn the bits into chalky chunks that didn’t seem to want to clean my teeth. But I didn’t want to give up without being able to at least brush my teeth once properly, so I kept trying different ways to get the bits to lather up and actually clean my teeth. Persistence wins out in the end and I was able to get the bits to actually clean my teeth.
My trick, if you’re having a user error moment like I was, is to bite down on the bit so that it cracks in two – which I think is useful for spreading it around your mouth – and then I use my front teeth to make sure that the two chunks break down more finely. Then I wet the toothbrush for about 10 seconds, making sure it’s very wet, before putting the toothbrush in my mouth and working the debris from the bits into a nice lather. It won’t lather up like a tube of Colgate does, but there is a lather that leaves your mouth feeling just as clean as regular toothpaste.
I did try to keep up with the mouthwash bits alongside the toothpaste bits, but they never really seemed to click for me. Per Bite’s instructions, you’re supposed to bite down on the mouthwash bit then take a sip of water and swish for 30 seconds or so before spitting out the liquid. Just like when I first started using the toothpaste bits, I kept ending up with chunks of the bit in my mouth, which then just floated around when I tried to swish. I’m still trying to make them work for me, but I mostly stick to my WaterPik for rinsing needs.
As far as the whitening gel goes, I’ve used it about a half dozen times. I haven’t felt the need to use it daily – the Bite site recommends using it twice daily for the best results. My smile may not be the sparkly white monstrosity like Evil Inspector Gadget, but it’s pretty white. I mostly just wanted to try out as much of Bite’s products as I could.
Once I got the hang of it, the bits were actually a great way of keeping up my oral-care routine. They left my mouth clean and subtly minty without being overly so. I haven’t had occasion to use the travel case yet, but I did stash a couple bits in there for a tooth-brushing emergency.
I would say that I was impressed with the toothpaste bits. Learning curve aside, it was easy to use and I felt like it was doing what it needed to get my mouth clean. Originally, I was a little skeptical about how well they would work for how small they are, but I definitely consider this a contender for my permanent oral hygiene needs. The portability of them just makes it that much easier to recommend to everyone. I can see how they would be useful for being out and about – plan all the road trips and camping trips you want when you don’t have to worry about plastic waste!
My overall review is as follows
Ease of Use: 4/5 – it’s the learning curve, I can’t believe that I would be the only one that had issues. I do wish the bits were just slightly bigger though.
Travel: 5/5 – like I mentioned, I have a handful of bits stashed in that little carry case for when I’m on the go.
Low-Waste: 5/5 – the bits themselves are awesome, there’s no need to struggle to get that last little bit out of the tube, I’m not too sure about the brushes since I don’t currently compost any waste
Taste: 5/5 – I can see some people saying this is too high a rating but I don’t need that much minty freshness to feel clean
Affordability: 4/5 – for a 4-month supply in the Daily Habits Set, this is a good deal
That’s my take on Bite Toothpaste Bits after 30 days!
I do still have a bunch of bits left so I may do another 30-day cycle after trying out a few other products, just to see if my opinions change.
Do you have any recommendations of products to try? Or other brands, to see if different formulas work better?
Let me know what you think of this series.
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