By Cailey Rizzo
September 09, 2019

Staying at hotels is wonderful for many reasons. But one of the simplest and purest joys of the experience is the fact that you get to use new toiletries.

And, in this arena, many hotels will try to stand out, stocking their showers with luxury brands they hope you’ll take home (or in many cases, reducing their plastic use by containing them to wall dispensers). But despite all these marvelous products that are probably an upgrade from home, it’s exceedingly rare to find a hotel that will offer an toothpaste in the room.

Hotel toothpaste
Credit: ThamKC/Getty Images

While some may be befuddled (and disappointed!) to discover toothpaste is not in the toiletry line-up, there’s a very specific reason for it. The answer, like most hotel reasoning, is boring, regulatory and self-contradictory.

Most simply put: hotels aren’t graded on their toothpaste selections so most won’t include them. However, hotel-ratings firms like AAA don’t grade hotels on their toothpaste selection because most hotels don’t include them. So it’s a bit like, which came first: the chicken or his appalling oral hygiene?

After an in-depth investigation, a reporter for Slate found that hotels don’t include mini toothpaste bottles mostly because most guests don’t ask for them.

Another report from Forbes says that toothpaste is too costly to provide in each and every room.

But still, others believe it’s because toothpaste is not an “aspirational” item. While there are many fancy or cool brands in the body wash market (like Aesop or Hermes or Malin + Goetz), the list of “hip” toothpaste brands is noticeably smaller.

So, until there’s widespread demand for in-room toothpaste (or perhaps until toothpaste is more chic), you’re going to need to continue calling down to the front desk if you’ve arrived without your own personal tube.