You’ve probably seen the commercial–an actress with an audition in two weeks is warned by her agent to whiten her smile. The actress merrily goes on her way, flouting all her agent’s instructions to avoid coffee and red wine, but it’s all good, because she’s using Crest 3D White toothpaste, so her smile gets whiter anyway.
According to Crest’s packaging, their 3D White toothpaste can remove up to 80% of surface stains in 14 days, meaning that after two weeks of use, you’ll have a noticeably whiter smile. I am ordinarily not a sucker for packaging or advertising claims, but for some reason, this one pulled me in. It was time to buy toothpaste, and I found myself staring at the 3D White, which looked so much more serious than all those average tubes of toothpaste around it. I remembered the commercial actress and how white her smile was. So, despite the price–$3.50 for a 7.6 oz tube, which is double what I normally pay–I bought the heavy-duty toothpaste.
The first thing I noticed was that the 3D White didn’t taste the way I was used to toothpaste tasting. It was minty (Radiant Mint, according to the package), but not that fresh, clean-tasting bite of mint I associate with toothpaste. This tasted a bit medicinal. I decided that could be a good thing. After all, this was supposed to be serious toothpaste. My son, however, informed me the taste made him want to throw up, and he’d be going back to his regular toothpaste. I’d be conducting this experiment on my own.
I’ve used the Crest 3D White toothpaste for four weeks now. As toothpaste, it’s okay. My mouth is getting clean, though I do think it doesn’t feel as clean as regular toothpaste makes it feel. However, I see no change in the color of my teeth. They aren’t any whiter than they were four weeks ago, even though I’ve been using the product twice as long as Crest claims it should take to see a difference. Since that was the only reason I paid double for this toothpaste, I won’t be buying it again.
To be fair to Crest, they do only claim the 3D White removes surface stains. As my normal toothpaste includes baking soda and peroxide, the majority of my tooth discoloration is probably not surface stains. I suspect, though, that most people who are concerned about whitening their teeth also regularly use the lighter-duty whitening toothpaste and are thus in the same situation.
In any case, I’ve had my yearly reminder not to fall for commercial claims, and I’m only out $3.50 for it. I will finish this tube of Crest 3D White. But I wouldn’t recommend it to a friend.