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There are too many types of toothpaste

February 24, 2007

There are way too many types of toothpaste out there.  Competing brands are understandable, as are different flavors, and specialty toothpastes for sensitive teeth or dentures.  After that, there is no reason to go any more granular.  The main purpose of toothpaste is to keep teeth white, prevent cavities, and freshen breath.  These three goals in oral care are acceptable to everyone.  There is no reason why a person would specifically want one or two of those characteristics and not want the other.  Outside of a smiling burglar who works the nightshift, why wouldn’t anyone want whitening agents added to their toothpaste?

It is understandable for one company to attempt to lure customers from another company, but there is a great deal of unnecessary variety across the product line of a single manufacturer.  One company does not need to produce ten different combinations of fluoride, tartar control, baking soda, peroxide, whitening, etc…but when you go to the grocery store, that is exactly what you see.  If any of these ingredients benefit any of the three primary toothpaste goals, then why not just combine them all into the same toothpaste?  Is it going to explode?  How much could it really cost?  If you can figure out a way to put baking soda (a base) and peroxide (an acid) into a single toothpaste, then mixing in the rest of the ingredients should be a piece of cake.

Companies aren’t going to sell more toothpaste by forcing the customers to choose between separate ingredient combinations.  A person that uses X amount of toothpaste in a year will use X amount no matter what.  No one buys more toothpaste than they need.  When a new toothpaste comes out, you don’t toss out your old one…you simply wait until it is empty and then buy a new one.  If a company just came out with one toothpaste that had all of the ingredients mentioned above in it, that would be the only general toothpaste that anyone would need to buy and they’d corner the market.

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