Last month CHOICE lifted the lid on whitening toothpastes.
They pointed out, quite rightly, that the ingredients in so-called “whitening toothpastes were no different from the ingredients in ordinary toothpastes.
This took me a little by surprise, for the simple reason that the “whitening” toothpastes did indeed used to contain whitening agents – notably hydrogen peroxide. And this was prominently advertised on the sides of these packets – “contains baking soda and peroxide.”
These came on the market perhaps a decade ago or so, and seemed a terrific idea. Peroxide is an excellent bleaching agent which decomposes to oxygen and water, so it leaves no residues behind.
But now, they have all disappeared. And that’s all brands. There used to be half a dozen different options as a choice for whitening toothpaste, all of which contained baking soda and peroxide.
So what happened?
Well, in the world of consumer marketing, the appearance of performance is more important than performance itself. And no doubt some bright spark in marketing for one of the companies decided that since they now had the market, they could cheapen the products by cutting out the baking soda and peroxide but still leaving all the bright and pretty colours on the outer packaging.
They figure that most people don’t comb through the ingredients and therefore the peroxide would not be missed by anyone.
This happens a lot – once a company gets a market, they reduce the quality to make it easier for them to make money, as the formulation is now cheaper. They just hope that no one notices.
I didn’t. I was surprised by the CHOICE article as toothpastes with these products most certainly did exist in the recent past. Did one brand change formula and the others follow? Don’t know.
So there you go – get an el cheapo toothpaste – don’t waste your money on the more pricey brands with the pretty packaging..