Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Brown your teeth with Crest Pro-Health Rinse

About two months ago, I bought one of those special giant Costco boxes of a mouthwash from Crest.  I've been long convinced by the evidence that anti-bacterial rinses like Listerine decrease your chances of tooth problems, particularly gingivitis, so for many years I've been using as directed, at least once a day.  (No, it doesn't cause cancer -- I checked).

Coincidentally, I also noticed recently that my teeth have been turning color: ugly brown stains all over my mouth.  I assumed it was caused by my Espresso Vivace habit, though it's strange that it appeared suddenly and with such force. But whatever, I'd rather have ugly teeth than give up my morning latte, so I ignored it until today when my dentist asked me if by any chance I was using Crest Pro-Health rinse.  Bingo!

Now I was stunned to see that Crest actually admits that this rinse can brown your teeth!  I'm shocked because Crest's parent company, Procter & Gamble, is ultra-ultra conservative about these things--they test their products interminably, and their healthcare divisions in particular are obsessive about consumer safety.  The web site notes that staining is extremely rare--affecting fewer than 0.001% of people--so I guess I'm just one of those unlucky mouths.

Incidentally, although I won't be using Pro-Health again (anybody want my extra, unopened bottle?), I disagree with people who think the FDA should order a recall. No doubt the product does work for some people, and it's easy enough for me to be informed about it, so it should be up to me (or you, dear reader) to decide whether to use it or not.  Some people find the alcohol-based rinses like Listerine too harsh (I don't) and if you're one of them, you should have every right to buy Pro-Health.

And as their web site notes, if you do happen to get stains on your teeth, you can fix it with Crest Whitestrips!

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