The method and design of toothpaste for consumer use has not changed much since it's original introduction in 1886. However, the current design has some drawbacks. Most people consider toothpaste to be generally safe to consume, yet every year poison control centers report thousands of calls regarding toothpaste overingestion. This is due in part to the lack of serving control with traditional toothpaste tubes. The other major drawback to traditional toothpaste designs is their environmental impact. Once empty, the tubes are disposed of in landfills and may take hundreds of years to degrade.
Just this week, Dental Development Systems Llc. had a patent published for a product aimed at tackling the issues of traditional toothpaste tubes. The new product entails pre-measured toothpaste droplets with an edible film that degrade upon contact with saliva. These droplets can contain a variety of types and flavors of toothpastes, and are pre-measured to the proper serving size from the factory. Additionally, the droplets may be shipped in a cardboard box lined with a waterproof, but biodegradable film to protect the droplets from liquid exposure during shipping. This designs provides consumers with a safer, and more environmentally friendly option then the traditional toothpaste tube delivery system.