Toothpaste confuses me

28 05 2009

I am confused by toothpaste.

Not by how to use it, of course: you put it on the toothbrush, dummy. I mean that I’m confused by the different kinds of toothpaste that are now available.

When I was younger, it was simple. You could buy regular or mint – or, if you were really feeling adventurous, that goopy gel stuff that got all over your sink. Once you had decided on that, the only choices remaining were large or small and Colgate or Crest. That was it. Problem solved.

When I went to buy toothpaste today, I was overwhelmed by the choices available. I could choose between Tartar Protection and Cavity Protection – which led me to wonder why I had to pick one or the other. If I want to fight off the scourge of tartar, am I making myself more vulnerable to cavities? Then, there are various kinds of special whitening toothpaste, which would no doubt give me a lovely smile but would likely leave me vulnerable to both tartar and cavities. That sounds too risky.

(Aside: I wonder – would a special whitening formula also work on bridgework? My front teeth are fake, thanks to being hit in the mouth by a softball when I was 12. If my teeth became pearly white, would my false teeth seem dull and brown by comparison? But I digress.)

Finally, there’s Total Advanced Health Professional Clean toothpaste (“for a dentist clean feeling”). According to the blurb on the container, this toothpaste helps to:

  • Prevent tooth cavities
  • Prevent tartar
  • Fight bacteria for 12 hours
  • Prevent gum inflammation
  • Prevent plaque buildup
  • Reduce gum bleeding
  • Strengthen enamel*

* This comes with a footnote attached: “Reinforces enamel by rebuilding weak spots.”

I couldn’t resist this one, even though it was slightly more expensive – I bought it. I look forward to having such a stalwart cavity and tartar fighter on my side.

I also suspect that all the kinds of toothpaste are pretty much the same, and that I have just proven myself to be gullible. Oh well.

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