Less Than Complete

So I’m standing in the middle of the toothpaste aisle looking at all the choices, and I’m completely and totally confounded. Colgate Total. Crest Complete. Ok. Toothpaste that has all the things you want from toothpaste in it. Yay! Finally! Our search is over!

Or is it?

Ha. Joke’s on you.

Apparently those two are not complete or total enough, as a quick glance down the aisle will make that abundantly clear. Observe:

  • Colgate Total Advanced – so the original Total is somehow inferior?
  • Colgate Total Advanced Deep Clean – are you implying that if I use the regular version, I will get only a superficial clean?
  • Crest Complete Whitening + Deep Clean – cuz the original apparently doesn’t do these things already?
  • Crest Complete Extra Whitening + Tartar Protection – hmmm… even more whitening but not as clean? The Sophie’s choice of oral hygiene.
  • Tartar Control & Tartar Protection – since when does tartar need protecting? Did it anger a loan shark? Make bad choices? Is that why we need to exert better control over it? I had no idea. What’s next, Tartar Rehabilitation?
  • Sensitive – cuz your teeth are PUSSIES, that’s why!

But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. After all the hard work of overwhelming us with a dizzying array of choices, they were still unsatisfied. They stepped it up to the next level… or should i say “dimension?” Ladies and gentlemen, I give you…

  • the Crest 3D White range in the options of Vivid, Advanced and Glamorous – Glamorous!? dafuq?
  • the Crest Pro-Health range – because all other toothpastes are still in little league, apparently.
  • Crest Pro-Health “for me” – for those who never learned to share.
  • Crest Pro-Health “for life” – for the prison demographic? or the overcommitter mayhaps?
  • Colgate Optic White – um, is this for your eyes or your mouth? I bet there’s at least one person out there who has tried putting this in their eye. You know I’m right.
  • Colgate Sensitive Pro Relief – for help getting rid of the touchy-complainy professionals in your life.
  • Colgate Luminous – again I’m thinking this sounds a lot like a product for your eyes. Like perhaps there was a mixup with L’Oreal?
  • the all-new, super-exciting Crest Be flavor line – I have no words.

I would like to mention at this stage that I actually spent a non-trivial amount of time on each of these companies’ web sites looking at their product lines. It’s really quite amazing to me how much we, as a species, have chosen to throw an unfathomable amount of research, development, advertising and just plain effort into something as specific and first world as toothpaste. I mean, I’ve only chosen to cover 2 of the major players in the field and I’m already exhausted. It’s also quite amazing to me the amount of time I’ve spent writing this post looking at toothpastes online.

As a side note, Colgate Total has this wonderful product chooser feature on their site which, if you check all the boxes for the features you want in your toothpaste, will recommend their plain ol’ Colgate Total Advanced. I find this hilarious. Maybe I’ve been looking at toothpastes too long. Maybe I should go brush my teeth.

At this point I feel like you’re all dying to know what I use. My current toothpaste of choice is Crest Pro-Health something. I’m too lazy to go look and tell you what variant. I vacillate between that, one of the Colgate Totals and a ridiculously hippie, super hard to find in stores, orange flavored fluoride-free toothpaste. Also, I prefer gel. I have no idea why.

And now you know.


2 Comments to “Less Than Complete”

  1. This kind of thing overwhelms me too. A few years ago I spent 40 minutes pacing up and down the lotion/moisturizer section at Walgreens; confused, frustrated, bewildered at the dozens of choices and trying to decypher the periodic table of ingredients. Now I just use Alba Botanica Hawaiian Hand & Body Lotion for no better reason than it smells good; who knows if it’s actually good for my skin.

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