The Reason Why Hotels Don't Provide Toothpaste

dulezidar / Getty Images
dulezidar / Getty Images

In recent years, hotels have stepped up their amenities by offering guests fancy soaps, shampoos, and even quaint sewing kits. But why don’t they have essentials like a mini tube of toothpaste (or a toothbrush, for that matter) in rooms? The answer is more complicated than it should be.

A little while back, Slate writer Daniel Engber did a deep dive into the lack of toothpaste and found out it’s a combination of guests not asking for it and hotels not wanting to spend money on the product. The article stated that toothpaste is “treated like a drug” in terms of regulations, and would therefore be more expensive.

“Toiletries cost less than an oral hygiene product … the cost-per-ounce is lower,” Tim Kersley, former senior vice president at Gilchrist & Soames, a luxury hotel toiletries brand, told Slate back in 2013. “[Non-toothpaste] toiletries have the maximum bang for the buck.”

According to some hoteliers, toothpaste isn’t “aspirational” enough, meaning upscale toothpaste brands don’t exist. “Following these strands of logic, we might deduce that there’s no toothpaste in your expensive hotel bathroom because it’s not expensive enough ... and that there’s no toothpaste in your budget hotel bathroom because it’s too expensive,” Karen Gardiner wrote for Bravo. (Apparently Hyatt hotels do offer tubes of Aquafresh toothpaste in certain rooms.)

Also, toothpaste isn’t a requirement for luxury hotels to get a lofty five-diamond rating from AAA. According to Slate, the rating guidelines state that a five-diamond hotel would be required “to provide two kinds of soap, shampoo, an additional bottled item such as suntan lotion, a hair dryer, a sewing kit, and a shower cap." Toothpaste is merely a "'suggested' amenity, not required."

Forbes reported that Marriott went through a meticulous process and tested 52 brands of shampoo, conditioner, body gel, lotion, and soap before deciding on the right products to offer their guests. Imagine if they had to test dozens of toothpastes, too? The article also noted that, “Some products are too costly to provide in each room; toothpaste and toothbrushes are among them."

“Hotels could give us toothpaste but they don’t,” Slate concluded. “No one knows why, and no one cares. It’s how things have always been, and how they’ll always be. We don’t get toothpaste in our rooms, because we don’t ask for toothpaste in our rooms; we don’t ask for toothpaste in our rooms, because we never knew we could.”

So maybe if more hotel guests demanded toothpaste in their rooms, more hotels would oblige that request. Ask and you shall receive?

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The Reason We Get Morning Breath

Morning breath is a common condition.
Morning breath is a common condition.
fizkes/iStock via Getty Images

If you’ve ever woken up to a dog panting in your face, you know morning breath can be a problem. But the dog might be suffering from you, too. Having halitosis, or bad breath, upon waking is a common occurrence. But what causes it?

According to Sally J. Cram, a Washington, D.C.-area periodontist who spoke with Everyday Health, foul breath in the morning is attributable to our mouths drying out while we sleep. Without moisture, bacteria that causes odor can multiply. Snoring or breathing through your mouth can worsen the issue.

Additionally, medications that cause mouth dryness can make the situation even more unpalatable, especially if they’re taken right before bed. Allergy sufferers get it from both sides. If they take allergy medication, they might create a desert landscape in their mouth. If they don’t, mucus from allergic reactions present a buffet for bacteria.

Diet is also important. Eating pungent food like garlic or onions before bed can have residual effects even hours later.

The steps to combat bad morning breath are pretty well understood. Brush and floss before bed and when you wake up, and don’t forget to scrub your tongue each time. (Bacteria like to collect on the back of the tongue.) If you use mouthwash, make sure it’s for the recommended duration—typically 30 seconds. Any less and you’re not giving it time to kill germs. You can also drink a little water before hitting the pillow. If bad breath persists, it might be time to visit a dentist.

[h/t Everyday Health]