Every time you open a magazine you’re bombarded by commercials that promise the whitest teeth, the freshest breath and the greatest smile. It would seem that toothpaste is the answer to all our worldly problems. Finding the right toothpaste out of the hundreds on the store shelves can be a very daunting experience and a costly one, too. Especially if you’re throwing away a half tube because you don’t like it.
Dentists recommend a toothpaste that contains fluoride to prevent cavities. Most of the toothpastes I looked at contain fluoride, but I noticed that they contained different percentages. One contained .243%, another .24% and yet another contained .76%. This information was found by just randomly picking up a few boxes. Is there a certain amount of fluoride needed per day? That question could be best answered by your dentist. I’m not a professional, just an honest, unpaid, non-expert.
I picked up six brands of toothpaste. The prices ranged from .89 to $2.89 and the sizes were from 4.2 oz. to 6.0 oz. Interestingly enough, I found that toothpaste now carries an expiration date and it makes me wonder if it’s less effective or no good at all after it expires.
The brands that I purchased were: Arm & Hammer Peroxicare Advance Cleaning Toothpaste, Ultrabrite Baking Soda & Peroxide Whitening Toothpaste, Crest Whitening Expressions Cinnamon Rush Gel, Colgate Total Clean Mint Paste, Pepsodent Complete Care and Crest Cavity Protection Toothpaste. There were many, many other brands on the shelves including a few organic and store brands. I chose the ones I did because of attractive packaging, price and the fact that the drugstore devoted more space to 4 of the 6 brands. The Ultrabrite was on sale for .99 and Pepsodent was regularly priced at .89, the other four were $1.99- $2.89. I rated all the toothpastes using a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being th highest score.
My experiment began on Saturday as soon as I got home from shopping. I opened all six boxes of toothpaste and decided on a twelve day trial. My plan was to use each toothpaste three times a day for two days, along with nightly flossing. I was going to write down my judgments based on taste, cleanliness of teeth, and freshness of breath.
I started with the Crest Cavity Protection. This is a blue paste with a light mint flavor. It tasted like the stuff I used as a kid, and probably is the same formula they had 30+ years ago. It has the ADA approval, but my teeth didn’t feel clean and it didn’t provide breath protection. On a scale from 1 to 5, I’d rate this a 2.
My second choice was Ultrabrite Baking Soda & Peroxide Whitening Toothpaste. This was a white paste with a strong mint flavor. I’d only recommend this for adults. It left my teeth feeling clean, just like when you leave a dentist’s office. It offers superb minty fresh breath for over an hour after you brush your teeth. I didn’t notice any ADA approval. This toothpaste gets a 5 star rating.
I needed a little change from mint so I moved on to the Crest Whitening Expressions Cinnamon Rush. I noticed that Crest carries a line of different flavors in the Whitening Expression including: Lemon, Vanilla, Mint and Citrus. All are ADA approved. I chose the Cinnamon because it sounded the best. The Cinnamon Rush was a red gel with a medium cinnamon flavor. Not too strong, but definitely there. My teeth felt clean and it provided cinnamon fresh breath for over an hour. On a scale from 1 to 5, this gets a 5.
The next toothpaste on my list was Pepsodent Complete Care. This was a white paste with a mild mint flavor. My teeth felt clean but it didn’t provide any breath protection beyond about 15 minutes. I’d recommend this toothpaste to people who don’t like a strong mint flavor. It is not ADA approved. I gave this brand a 3 star rating.
On to the Colgate Total Clean Mint Paste. Colgate has the ADA approval and promises 12 hour protection. It has a refreshing mint taste and left my teeth feeling clean for hours. I wasn’t too impressed with the fresh breath claim because it seemed that even though my teeth felt clean for hours, my breath didn’t. On a scale from 1 to 5, this brand gets a 4. I would have rated it 4.5 but I felt it was overpriced at $2.89.
The last two days of my trial were dedicated to using the Arm & Hammer Peroxicare Advance Cleaning Toothpaste. It wasn’t ADA approved, and I caught myself wondering how important it is to have ADA approval. The Arm & Hammer was a gritty toothpaste with an effervescence from the peroxide. It kind of reminded me of a small explosion in my mouth. The mint was a nice, strong taste, but I needed to rinse 2 or 3 times just to remove all the grit. My teeth felt smooth and very, very clean after brushing, though. The breath freshness factor was good and lasted almost an hour. Arm and Hammer gets a 4 star rating because of the grit factor.
Of the six brands tested I picked two. I liked the Crest Whitening Expressions Cinnamon Rush because it provided clean teeth and fresh breath plus a wonderful cinnamon taste. My other choice was Ultrabrite Baking Soda & Peroxide Whitening Toothpaste. This toothpaste tasted good, left my teeth clean and breath fresh for hours and was a bargain at .99 for 6 oz..