OTC products promise whiter, brighter smiles


Brushes, toothpastes, rinses, whitestrips, and a gel pen -- lots of options for the dentally determined.

Have you always wanted a whiter, brighter smile without paying for professional whitening? If your answer is yes, you’re not alone. Plenty of your patients have the same desire. Many consumers are tempted by promises that they can achieve whiter enamel with products that both remove stains and prevent them. For them, a number of companies have announced new offerings in the over-the-counter categories of toothpaste, mouthwashes, and whitening kits.

Here’s a look at a variety of products that aim to improve adult smiles in an enamel-safe way, as well as some options for children’s oral hygiene.

Whitening toolkits

Colgate Optic White toothpaste by Colgate-Palmolive Co. is just one component of a whitening toolkit. Using the Colgate 360° Optic White toothbrush, brushing regularly with Colgate Optic White toothpaste, and rinsing with Colgate Optic White mouthwash will produce teeth that are “three shades whiter” within four weeks of use, according to the company. The toothpaste is available in three minty flavors - Sparkling Mint, Cool Mild Mint, and Enamel White. The mouthwash helps to remove surface stains, protects against future stains with 2% peroxide, and freshens breath, yet is safe for tooth enamel. One consumer who used the whitening toolkit said, “The toothpaste really works and has made my teeth whiter. I can definitely see a difference.” (http://www.colgateopticwhite.com/home)

GlaxoSmithKline has introduced a number of Aquafresh products, including Aquafresh Extreme Clean toothpaste, Aquafresh Whitening toothpaste, Aquafresh Iso-Active, and Aquafresh for Children. The Extreme Clean toothpaste is described in the vocabulary of the product as supplying “whitening action” for gentle whitening of teeth, “deep action” for hard-to-reach areas, “pure breath action” for neutralizing bad breath odors, and “revitalizing action” for an icy, cool feeling. GSK offers a money-back guarantee of up to $4 if consumers are not satisfied with its products.  Aquafresh Whitening toothpastes are available in three styles: Extreme Clean, Ultimate White, and Extra Fresh + Whitening, all geared to providing brighter, whiter smiles. Aquafresh Iso-Active toothpaste is a gel that changes into foam to penetrate hard-to-reach places in your mouth. It offers “Aquafresh Triple Protection - for healthy gums, strong teeth, and fresh breath,” according to the company. Aquafresh for Children (two years of age and older) comes in two flavors: Fresh ’N Fruity and Bubble Mint Paste, designed with a special stand-up pump for little fingers. (http://www.aquafresh.com/extreme-clean-toothpaste)

Procter & Gamble is presenting several products for consumers who want whiter, brighter teeth. Crest 3D White Advanced Vivid Enamel Renewal Toothpaste works to remove up to 90% of surface stains in 14 days, the company states. The foaming action built into its unique formula delivers whitening agents to each tooth. The product also promises to “strengthen and rebuild enamel below the surface” while fighting tooth decay and freshening breath. Crest 3D White Arctic Fresh Rinse can whiten teeth in just seven days with its triple-action formula, the company says. Its gentle foaming action helps to whiten teeth and prevent future stains when a toothbrush is used. Another option for professional-level results in seven days is Crest 3D White Intensive Professional Effects Whitestrips, which are formulated with the same ingredients that dentists use. The product’s advanced seal technology promises that consumers can expect “convenient, no-slip whitening,” the company claims. Individuals with gingivitis can consider using Crest Pro-Health Clinical Gum Protection toothpaste, which helps reverse the problem in just four weeks. The product also protects against sensitivity, cavities, plaque, and bad breath. (http://www.crest.com/crest-products/)

Image courtesy of Johnson & JohnsonFor daily whitening, consumers may want to consider Rembrandt Deeply White + Peroxide Fresh Mint Toothpaste, from the Johnson & Johnson Healthcare Products Division of McNeil, PPC., with its rapid-release peroxide that starts to work on contact, according to the company. It’s also available in winter mint flavor. For really tough stains such as red wine, coffee, and tobacco, consumers can try Rembrandt Intense Stain Toothpaste, which can be used daily. According to the company, it is “the #1-selling premium whitening toothpaste,” removing tough stains, preventing new stains, and strengthening tooth enamel. For fast whitening, consider Rembrandt Intense Stain, Stain Dissolving Strips, which dissolve on teeth in five to 10 minutes, with good results visible in two weeks. If the user wants to see a difference quickly, the company says that Rembrandt Deeply White 2 Hour Whitening Kit delivers results in two hours, with “Comfytray Applicators” that mold to the teeth for a custom whitening experience. By registering on the Rembrandt website, consumers can save up to $7 on these products. (www.rembrandt.com)

For instant whitening, some consumers might want to reach for Dr. Fresh’s Dazzling White, a professional whitening gel pen. The pen is a convenient and effective method for whitening on the go. Hydrogen peroxide, 6%, is used to remove stains within each tooth, producing effective results, the company says. Consumers need to follow the instructions carefully, avoiding the gums and lips. The whitening gel is applied and left on for 10 minutes before wiping off. After the mouth is rinsed, no food should be consumed for half an hour. Up to two applications are possible each day. (www.dazzlingwhite.com)

Children's products

Image courtesy of Sunstar AmericasKids can have fun and develop good oral hygiene habits with Sunstar Americas’ GUM Crayola SQUEEZE-A-COLOR toothpaste - the newest addition to the GUM Crayola line. This toothpaste is available in a variety pack of child-sized tubes, including three colors and flavors which kids can mix and match. Each package contains fluoride toothpaste with one of the following flavors: Melon Blast (red), Burst (blue), and Jazzy Apple (Green). Children two years of age and older can also brush with one of the colorful Gum Crayola toothbrushes, including Gum Crayola Pip-Squeeks Twinpack Toothbrush, Gum Crayola Timer Light Toothbrush, and Gum Crayola Power Toothbrush. (http://bit.ly/gumbrand)



Church & Dwight has introduced Orajel Toddler My Way! Fluoride-Free Toothpaste, a safe option for children just learning the daily toothbrushing routine. The product has no artificial colors or dyes and is gluten- and dairy-free. It also comes with more than 100 water-safe stickers that kids can use to decorate their toothpaste containers. Other options for toddlers include Orajel Toddler Training Toothpaste with Thomas & Friends, Orajel Toddler Training Toothpaste with My Little Pony, and Orajel Toddler Training Toothpaste with Little Bear. (http://www.orajel.com/Index.aspx)

Image courtesy of Chattem


Chattem recently released ACT Kids Anticavity Fluoride Rinse, featuring Scooby-Doo and the new Kiwi-Watermelon flavor. ACT Anticavity Kids rinses help to reduce children’s cavities up to 40% more than brushing with a fluoride toothpaste alone. It only takes about 60 seconds daily for the formula to work, making teeth up to three times harder, according to the company. It comes with a 10-mL dosage meter to help eliminate mess and ensure use of the correct amount. Chattem’s other rinses include Ocean Berry with SpongeBob SquarePants and Bubblegum Blowout. (http://www.actoralcare.com)



Image courtesy of Dr. Fresh

Last but not least, Dr. Fresh has announced that, just in time for February’s “National Children’s Oral Health Month,” it is launching Firefly Angry Birds Anti-Cavity Mouth Rinse, a sugar- and alcohol-free formula in bubblegum and berry flavors, with fluoride to help strengthen tooth enamel and prevent decay. Parents will appreciate the no-mess measuring cups, but it’s the colorful Angry Bird pump dispensers that’ll really grab the kids. (www.FireflyToothbrush.com)

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