I thought Colgate knew all about dental care! [Kicking Back with Jersey Joe] May06

Share This

I thought Colgate knew all about dental care! [Kicking Back with Jersey Joe]

After eating all that Easter candy, you better be brushing your teeth!  What would your mother say?  The name Colgate instantly makes you think of your teeth and dental care.  They’ve been on the front lines in the war against tooth decay and cavities for decades.  I truly thought they knew it all when it comes to caring for your teeth.  But, one of their popular products really misses the mark.

In 1806, the Colgate company began business in New York when William Colgate opened up a small store to sell soap, starch, and candles.  He suffered a severe heart attack shortly after opening which caused him to stop all sales for several years until he recovered.  Once back on his feet, he once again began selling his goods.

He passed away in 1857 and his son took over renaming it Colgate and Company.  In 1871, they began selling toothpaste in glass jars.  After a few years of work, in 1896 they began to sell their toothpaste in tubes.

In 1928 the Palmolive-Preet company, Palmolive known for its signature green soap, bought the company and decades later it finally became known as Colgate-Palmolive.   To this day they are in fierce competition with Procter & Gamble who sell similar products.

They also still have marketing and executive offices in New York to this day.  They used to manufacture their soap and toothpaste across the river in Jersey City, NJ, but relocated in the 1980s.  They still maintain a large, historic neon clock on the waterfront that can easily been seen from lower Manhattan on the site of their old plant.  While the clock still supports the Colgate logo, it is maintained by Goldman-Sacks as part of the clock’s relocation to build their skyscraper office tower.

Originally Colgate was the number one seller of toothpaste in America.  They held on to the crown for decades until Procter & Gamble added fluoride to their toothpaste.  Fluoride is well known to fight tooth decay and the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention considers it one of the ten greatest public health achievements of the 20th century.

Since getting into the dental care game, Colgate has expanded their products to include mouthwash and toothbrushes.  All of which are on sale at department, grocery, and drug stores around the world.

Years ago, my dentist began recommending his patients use a spin brush when brushing their teeth.  (Battery operated or electric, it doesn’t matter, as long as it has the spinning brush head.)  He suggested using one with soft bristles.  According to him, the spinning motion of the bristles can provide a better cleaning than your standard brush.  It doesn’t have to be a super expensive model, just about any spin brush will do.

Going down the dental aisle in any store, there are literally a hundred choices for toothbrushes.  Everything from the cheaper versions with disposable heads, to top line stainless steel models that sell for around $100.  Why would anyone want to pay for that?  The expensive models have not been proven to do a better job than any of the others.

Also, according to a recent survey, a toothbrush is the number one invention that Americans can’t live without.

Initially, I used the Crest brand spin brush.  It sells for $5.99 and is widely available in multiple colors.  The only other brand I saw that was just as popular was the Colgate spin brush.

On a whim, I decided to switch brands and go with Colgate’s.  Knowing that they have been in the dental care business for over a century, I thought it was a sure bet.  My dentist always gives me samples of their toothpastes and mouthwashes, so I thought why not?

For $5.99 I picked up a new Colgate spin brush.  I used it for the first time that very same night and it did a great job cleaning my teeth.  Not too hard, not too soft.  My mouth certainly felt refreshed after brushing.

But after only three days of brushing morning and night, I noticed that my spin brush was starting to lose power.  It would no longer spin on my teeth where it was supposed to.  Since it was so new, I immediately thought there was a problem with the batteries.  Each brush runs on two AA’s.

Replacing the batteries didn’t help, same result.  The brush would spin fine, but once I put it onto my teeth, it was done.

After about three weeks or so of use, the brush would no longer spin at all.  The bristles were also quickly losing their shape.  Maybe I just got a bad brush, I thought.  I was also recovering from a cold, so on my next trip to the store, I picked up a new one.  Besides, doctor’s say that after having a cold or the flu, you should immediately replace your toothbrush.

Again, a brand new brush, but it didn’t last long.  After just over a week, it would again begin to die and no longer spin on my teeth.  I replaced the batteries on this brush as well, but it had no effect.  After a few weeks, the brush was again totally dead and wouldn’t spin at all.  I never had this problem using the Crest brand.  I guess I’ll know who to go with on my next trip to the store.

It’s sad to see such a great company manufacture such a lackluster product.  I don’t see the need to spend $100 on a fancy toothbrush, when these $5 models should do the job.  Crest has it down, why not Colgate?  They can make soap, mouthwash, and toothpaste, but in the world of spin brushes, not so much.

THE 411

What: Colgate Spin Brush

Where: found at department, grocery, and drug stores worldwide

Cost: $5.99

JERSEY JOE RECOMMENDS: Part of the mission of this blogumn is to make life easier. In this case I hope that I can save you from wasting your money, as the Colgate spin brush doesn’t make life easier at all.  Also, these brushes are increasing in popularity, since more and more dentists are now suggesting you use one.

Unless Colgate undergoes some manufacturing work, I would say skip their brand and go for Crest’s.  They are the same price and last longer.  I’ve been using their brand for years with no problems.  Stick with Colgate for your other dental needs, but for brushing, they’re simply going down the drain.