A quick answer for those of you who don’t like to read long blog posts with all the information. “Yes and no”. For everyone else, here’s why:
Toothpaste dots were an idea someone came up with awhile back to have toothpaste on hand for camping and hiking. (Maybe someone famous actually came up with them for a humanitarian cause, but this is my blog and my story and I’m sticking to the camping/hiking thing because it’s all I could find and the only thing I ever see it related to). They take up little space, are almost weightless, are better than packing a tube of toothpaste that will inevitably burst and put toothpaste over the entire contents of your bag, no matter how many layers of plastic you encased it in (Murphy’s Law).
The idea is to put one of these dots in your mouth, chew it up where it rehydrates and becomes toothpaste again, and you can brush your teeth without the unnecessary tube of toothpaste (that, again, will just explode into a gigantic mess in your bag no matter what you do).
How to Make Toothpaste Dots
1. Squirt some toothpaste on a nonstick surface.
2. Sprinkle with baking soda.
3. Let air dry until they are no longer tacky.
4. Turn over, sprinkle with more baking soda.
5. Let air dry until they are no longer tacky.
6. Store in an airtight container.
You can dry in a dehydrator, but do so at a lower temperature to make sure you’re not actually cooking the toothpaste and actually dehydrating all the way through.
But here are some things those websites and Pinterest fails to tell you about toothpaste dots.
- If you have an aversion to strong minty flavors, these things are going to be AWFUL to chew up
- You need to use the cheapest toothpaste possible. The colored gels don’t work well at all. Even the more fancy toothpastes tend to be a little soft to work quickly. We found that the cheap plain toothpastes worked best, both in keeping a form and drying.
- You need some water on hand. Maybe it’s just because I fall under Little Known Fact #1, but I have to use quite a bit of water to help rehydrate the toothpaste and to help with that taste. My mouth doesn’t instantly salivate upon popping one of these babies into my mouth. It becomes the Sahara Desert. Then, again, I’ve never been one of those people who can brush and spit and not rinse, and I’m not a fan of strong mint flavors.
- Make sure they are REALLY dry or they might become one huge lump of toothpaste in your bag, in which case you’ll want to be sure to have a survival knife handy so you can try to chip some loose.
- Make them kind of small. Trust me.
The premise really is a great one. You can pack a bunch of toothpaste more easily, without the potential mess. You can pack a lot of toothpaste weightlessly. They are ideal for camping/hiking/72 hour kits and emergency packs. This is definitely an easy project to do together as a family. The kids will have great fun being a little bit messy!
You also have these options: Toothpaste Tablets (these are even berry flavored in case you hate super-minty, too!), Fresh’n’Go Toothbrushes (but you still have to worry about the burst and subsequent mess), toothpaste powder or skip the toothpaste and just brush!
You might also want to check out: Forget Something in Your Kit? Dental Preparedness for Emergencies