I realize it can’t be easy to work in the hyper-competitive toothpaste business. But brace yourself. A disruptive new breed of toothpaste manufacturers are aiming to change the way you brush your teeth. I’d like to get to the root of it.
But before I begin, let me be clear: I am pro-fluoride, not to mention anti-gingivitis. While I find the concept of Sparkle Fun-flavored Crest somewhat dubious, you’ll find no greater advocate of minty fresh breath.
Also, if I had to choose between a tartar control toothpaste approved by the American Dental Association and one that had earned the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, I’d choose the American Dental Association pick, gums down. That is just who I am.
Bottom line: I support good dental hygiene. But I draw the line when a toothpaste company expects me to purchase two – TWO – separate tubes of toothpaste to meet my daily brushing requirements.
The toothpaste I’m referring to is called Twice. It sells for $9 per tube. One tube, which is white and labeled “Early Bird,” invigorates your mouth with a “minty wake-up call” each morning. The other, which is black and labeled “Twilight” calms and soothes your mouth at bedtime. Featuring lavender, vanilla and peppermint flavors, it is “like a spa moment for your smile.”
OK, I was all ready to be outraged. But dang, that sounds lovely. Which is exactly what the makers of Twice – such a cute, clever name – want you to think! Plus, they give you a dollar off if you buy both tubes. I see they’re philanthropic as well. Ten percent of the profits go to help people lacking dental care.
Well, that’s just great. Now I’m going to have to buy some.
Instead, let’s consider another disturbing trend: charcoal toothpaste. Maybe you’ve seen it. I counted more than 20 different brands, including an absolutely NOT American Dental Association-approved coconut-charcoal version sold exclusively at high-end department stores. At $12 a tube, it includes no sulfates, phthalates, parabens, petrochemicals or talc. But it does look like a mud bath for your mouth.
I think I speak for tooth-brushers everywhere when I say: this is all Crest and Colgate’s fault.
Go back to a grocery aisle 30 years ago, and you’d find just two kinds of Colgate: Regular and WinterFresh Gel. Today there are 48 different varieties. Even so, they haven’t kept up with Crest, which now offers 58 types of paste designed for people of every age, gender and oral health condition.
They just couldn’t leave well-enough alone. And now they expect us to choose between Crest Complete Whitening + Scope Dual Blast and Crest Complete Whitening + Intense Freshness?
It’s too much. OK, not as much as a $9 “spa moment for your smile.” Still.