“Enamel-Hardening” Toothpaste

July 12th, 2006 by Potato

I recently had to restock basically all of my dental care products, having simultaneously run out of floss, mouthwash, toothpaste, and been long over-due for a new toothbrush. It’s pretty cool to see the confused look on the checkout girl’s face when I come up with $50 worth of stuff to prevent cavities, and 3 bags each of chocolate nuggets and Skittles.

I have really terrible teeth due to a number of issues (genetics, stress, diet, etc.) and buy any toothpaste that promises to help reduce tartar and gingivitis (so usually Colgate Total or Crest Complete — both contain fluoride and a mild antibacterial). While my teeth could be whiter, I generally avoid the innumerable whitening toothpastes since the whitening agents can weaken gums, and I just can’t risk that. This time, I saw a new product: Colgate Enamel Hardening toothpaste, and was immediately intrigued. However, the only ingredient it listed was old-fashioned fluoride, at the same concentration as Colgate Total (0.243%), so I have no idea what might make it “enamel hardening”. I actually asked the pharmacist (much to her obvious annoyance), and she said she’d never heard of this new toothpaste, and so couldn’t tell me one way or the other. I played it safe and bought more Total (which was also on sale; the new stuff wasn’t).

It’s still been bugging me though. Is it just a marketing gimmick, since almost every kind of toothpaste does something in addition to “fighting cavities” now (tartar control; whitening; plus mouthwash; etc.), did they just re-label their plain toothpaste, relying on the fact that regular fluoride toothpastes harden enamel (their old-fashioned cavity-fighting mechanism)? The Colgate website doesn’t have any information on this version of its toothpaste, and a Google search didn’t help either. Anyone know what the deal is? I’d hate for someone to be fooled into buying regular toothpaste when they might be marginally better off with another type.

Some quick site admin stuff: Area Man & Jonathan, both of your sites were last updated in mid-April. Until you can meet the admittedly onerous demands of blogging once a month, I’ve taken you off the links list. Likewise for my left-wing political parties: see you next election! Note that I will leave the link up for Fair Vote Canada, since we’ve actually got a referrendum coming up in just over a year (though, AFAIK, the citizen’s assembly has yet to be formed). Bakarocket doesn’t appear to have renewed the domain… This has left my links section very sparse, but I kind of like it that way. Topical links are generally provided within relevant posts, and most of the other sites I visit regularly don’t need the link (does Penny Arcade, BoingBoing, or The Weather Network really need a link?).

Highlight of my week: Answering “Did you go to Western before you started your PhD here?” with “Yes, I did my Master’s here.”

Low point of my week: I think I might have accidentally sold my soul last night for some sleep. I was really tired, and actually went to bed before the sun was fully down. I woke up a bit before 1 am though, and just couldn’t fall back asleep. With increasing delerium and sweating, I think I was actually begging out loud to just fall asleep; I’d do anything for sleep. Then there was a hint of a foreboding presence, and I fell asleep again (around 7 am). It could just be the sleep deprivation talking, but I’m really afraid that some dark transaction took place in those final moments that preceed unconsciousness, those seconds that you can never quite remember no matter how hard you try.

3 Responses to ““Enamel-Hardening” Toothpaste”

  1. Ben Says:

    Nights like that drive me crazy, they’re really some of the most enraging/frustrating experiences I’ve ever dealt with. I don’t know what your feelings are about prescription drugs, but if you’re looking for a once in a while kind of cure for these types of events, you should ask your doctor for some lorazepam (Ativan). They’re great, just pop one under your tongue on nights like that and poof, 20 minutes later you back in dreamland.

  2. Potato Says:

    Yeah, my dad had to take a lot of Ativan during his chemo, and they do work good… the problem is that they foster physical dependency freaky quick. A week or two straight of taking them to fall asleep, and you won’t be able to fall asleep naturally again (if you just take them once in a while then it’s not a problem).

  3. Ben Says:

    I only use them once or twice a month as a last resort (in instances where selling one’s soul for sleep may start to look like a more and more appealing option) because yeah, I’ve heard they’re really addictive…and the last thing I want to do is get hooked on them.