Saturday, April 17, 2010

Spiff it up Sunday - The Pearly Whites

This week for spiff it up Sunday I'm all about the teeth. 

Most of you probably don't know that I am a bit of a toothpaste connoisseur.  Even as a child I was never really satisfied with the toothpaste that my parents bought.  The taste was wrong or they didn't bubble correctly or they were a weird color....You get the picture.  Of course back in the day there were only about 3 types of toothpaste to choose from, not the cornucopia of dental hygiene products that we have today.  This week's topic took me to the toothpaste isle at Target where I counted more than 35 different types of toothpaste.  (The world's largest collection of toothpaste contains more than 1800 different tubes and is available for public viewing in Saginaw, Michigan.)  So clearly your toothpaste options are petty wide open. 

Since my gums can only  take a limited amount of cleansing I limited my testing to three different types of toothpaste, Arm & Hammer Peroxi-care, Tom's of Maine Natural total care, and Citrus flavored Toothsoap. (Disclaimer - the Toothsoap was provided to me free of charge by the manufacturer.)  I judged each product on a number of factors including flavor, bubbles, grit, cleaning and other.

Let's start with the Arm & Hammer Peroxi-care.  Frankly, this is pretty much your standard toothpaste.  There were no real surprises here since I've been using similar products for the past 35 years.  The taste was extremely minty, take your breath away minty.  I have to admit that I, personally, am not a fan of the over the top's just too much for me.  The bubbling factor was fair, the bubble were sort of loose and dribbly, not exactly what I prefer, but at least there were some bubbles.  It was not particularly gritty, but as the whole point of toothpaste is to be somewhat gritty, there was a minor grit factor which was enhance by the presence of baking soda.  This toothpaste did a fine job of cleaning my teeth, nothing spectacular, but pretty much your standard job. Other things to consider with this produce include the fact that it is sweetened using saccharin.  This product also contains fluoride, which can be a double edged sword.  Fluoride is poisonous and can be fatal at high concentrations, but is also reduces cavities at lower (non fatal) concentrations.  Depending upon your feelings about fluoride this may be a pro or a con.

The second produce is the Tom's of Maine Natural Whole Care anti-cavity and tartar control plus whitening fluoride toothpaste....did  they miss any thing in that product name?  The flavor of the Tom's of Maine was much much milder than that of the first product.  This is probably because it is sweetened with Xylitol (A natural sugar substitute) insted of Saccharin.  Where this product really lost me was in the bubbles - or lack there of.  There were absolutly NO bubbles when using this me old fashioned, but I like the bubbles.  Tom's of Maine was not at all gritty, and seemed to clean as well as the regular toothpaste.  I like that this product is all natural and actually wasn't as expensive as I had expected.  While I couldn't get past the no bubbling thing I will say that we ave use the kid's strawberry stuff for our kids and they absolutely LOVE it.

Finally we have the toothsoap.  This product was not really what I expected.  First off, it's not a toothpaste it is a soap.  It comes as a liquid that you drip onto your toothbrush.  I got the citrus flavor, but this product comes is a load of flavors, everything from your standard spearmint all the way out to honey BBQ.  The flavor was not at all overwhelming, it was probably the mildest of all three products that I tried.  To be honest, the soapy taste does take a little getting used to, but I found that eventually I sort of enjoyed it.  One of the big selling points for me was the bubble action.  The Toothsoap sprang into action creating thick, dense bubbles....just the kind I prefer.  It was not at all gritty as it is a soap and not a paste.  But the final straw was the cleaning power.  I came out of brushing my teeth with this stuff feeling that I had just left the dentist...without all the scraping.  It was really quite lovely. 

So in conclusion I have to go with superior bubbling and cleaning of the Toothsoap.  Second place it a toss up as the non-bubbling Toms and too minty A&H are pretty much tied in my book.  If you are interested in trying some toothsoap for yourself, you're in luck!   I'm giving a bottle of toothsoap to two lucky readers.  Leave a comment below telling me what your most important factor in tooth cleaning products is for entry.  I'll announce the winners on next week's Spiff it up Sunday post!


  1. It has to make me teeth feel clean...really clean though, not like they've got some type of waxy, glycerin stuff on them. Great post - {fingers crossed!}

  2. that's so weird! I can not image brushing with BBQ flavor toothpaste!

  3. I want to feel clean but also want it to fight plaque.

  4. I would love to try it. I do not like cin. tooth paste at all but I do not like it too minty either. I like mild and some bubbling but not rabid dog amounts. :) We seem to use the vanilla stuff allot because the kids like it too.

  5. I need my toothpaste to whiten teeth, freshen breath, taste nice (but not bbq!), and fight plaque. Lots of requirement there, can't stick to just two, lol.

  6. Interesting obsession, fascinating contest! I guess I should enter, since I've become a consumer of red wine, as of late!