Getting Down To The Roots: What’s In Your Toothpaste? (& How To Squeeze The Tube):

Did you know that the actress Julia Roberts doesn’t use toothpaste? Probably not, unless you’ve ever lived in the same house as her. But does that mean, if you by chance meet her, you should keep at a discreet distance from her? According to Sarah Pope, a columnist for the “Healthy Home Economist”, Roberts shocked “InStyle” magazine by telling them in an interview that she just uses baking soda to brush her teeth – because “it’s what her grandfather always did and he had only one cavity in his entire life”. So that’s how, notes Pope, “Roberts maintains the beautiful smile that has made her famous. And don’t expect her to be promoting any brand of toothpaste on TV any time soon”.

Unlike, for example, the Colombian singer Shakira, who has featured in TV commercials for Crest 3D White Toothpaste, the American actress Brooke Shields, who has marketed Colgate-Palmolive dental products on the basis that they provide “Advanced Protection and a Healthy Mouth” and the English TV presenter, Katy Hill ,who “insisted in a TV commercial that Arm & Hammer’s Advanced Whitening Toothpaste could deliver a shiny, bright smile – just like hers”.

In the case of this last one, as the Daily Mail reported, the ad had to be withdrawn “after 43% of people who used the toothpaste said their teeth looked the same or darker afterwards” Johnny Depp, however, (as rumoured by the “CelebsNow” website) refused to endorse a special “Captain Jack Sparrow” toothpaste as part of the merchandising for the third “Pirates of the Caribbean “ movie: “How can a guy with gold teeth (he apparently asked) sell toothpaste? It’s like a bald man selling shampoo”.

The fact that Julia Roberts doesn’t use toothpaste removes at least one potential source of domestic friction with her husband, the cameraman Daniel Moder. A survey by “UK Bathrooms” has indicated that among the main causes of petty arguments between cohabiting couples are: “Uneven sharing of chores such as the washing-up, the choice of television channels, wearing shoes in the house – and the best way to squeeze the toothpaste tube.

The Guardian journalist Guy Browning considers that squeezing it from the bottom and then carefully rolling it up is “sensible and environmentally friendly”, whereas squeezing it in the middle is “reckless and wantonly self-indulgent”. When the Tellwut Research organization investigated this issue, it discovered that 13% of those questioned squeeze from the top, 35% in the middle, 44% from the bottom, 2% don’t use toothpaste, 1% never brush their teeth and 2% don’t have any teeth so don’t need toothpaste.

The Avenue86 Blog has conducted a “Toothpaste Personality Test” so you can “find out what your toothpaste says about you”. It’s conclusion? If you squeeze the tube from the middle, “You are usually very impulsive, in a hurry, like to party and have a lot of fun”. From the bottom: You are very thrifty and “need to liven up a bit”. From the top: You are very stubborn, quite carefree but can “lose your cool” if someone annoys you.

A subscriber to “Warn International”claims he can recognize immediately which category his office colleagues belong to: The ones who squeeze from the top “never put paper in the photocopier, never put another pot of coffee on and never wash their own cup”. Those who squeeze in the middle “are usually in a bit of a rush, their office is untidy yet functional”, and those who start from the bottom of the tube tend to be “fastidious in their work habits and use every last piece of whatever resource they purchase”. The obvious solution for couples .as “” has pointed out, is for them to buy two tubes: “It won’t cost you any more than sharing the same one and as an added bonus you can also each pick your own preferred taste or variety of toothpaste”.

That of course raises the question as to which is the best, safest and most effective toothpaste. The American marketing expert, Brandon Gaille, based in Houston, Texas, has detected a “consumer trend away from the basic fluoride and white toothpaste options” towards fancy, coloured and flavoured choices. The leading manufactures – especially Colgate-Palmolive and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) – continue to be locked in a fierce battle for global market share, often using allegedly misleading slogans such as “Number 1 Recommended By Dentists”, “It Stops Cavities Before They Start”, “Fights Germs For 12 hours” (all from Colgate), “Most Recommended Toothpaste For Sensitive Teeth” (Sensodyne /GSK) and “Look Mum. No Cavities” (Crest).

While Colgate has complained to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) about GSK’s “unsubstantiated” claim that its “Sensodyne Rapid Relief Toothpaste” works in 60 seconds, it has itself been reprimanded by the ASA for “falsely depicting that its toothpaste products are endorsed by the nursing profession”. The company achieved particular notoriety in 2001, just before the Iraq war , when US President George W Bush and UK Prime Minister Tony Blair acknowledged that their “special relationship” extended to both of them using Colgate toothpaste.

In the London Evening Standard on 23rd May, the newspaper’s “lifestyle correspondent” Kate Hilpern quoted Karen Coates, dental adviser at the Oral Health Foundation, as recommending that we should “Ideally, brush for two minutes with toothpaste which contains between 1,350 – 1,500 ppm fluoride, using a soft-to-medium-headed toothbrush”. This view has been challenged by others who believe that “although fluoride might help prevent cavities, it is also linked to numerous health problems such as rashes and impaired glucose metabolism.

“Eluxe Magazine” and the “Hollywood Homestead” website suggest we should all avoid toothpastes which contain “harmful chemicals like triclosan, sodium lauryl sulphate (which is also used in shampoos) and saccharin and instead opt for “natural alternatives” such as “Jack & Jill Organic Banana Toothpaste”, “Lavera Toothpaste” (contains sea salt and minerals as well as propolis and echinacea extract) and “Aloe Dent Triple Action Toothpaste”. Anyone concerned that these items are unlikely to be stocked in their local pharmacy has been assured by “Eluxe” that they are easily obtainable online.







Filed under: Healthcare, Society | Posted on May 29th, 2017 by Colin D Gordon

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