What looks like a slimy blue slug and tastes like spit and sand?
Oral-B Pro-Expert toothpaste, that’s what.
Oral-B is a brand recommended by dentists. I used to have electric Oral-B toothbrushes – although I only used one at a time to vibrate my teeth and gums to a greater or lesser extent. There may have been associated teeth cleansing.
I think they probably had a reducing effect on the amount of plaque that accumulated around my teeth but it was negligible. I use an ordinary toothbrush again now and I haven’t yet been overwhelmed with plaque.
The Pro-Expert toothpaste was on a two for one offer, but secretly, I think it was the image of being an expert toothbrusher that really hooked me in. I mean, I always thought of myself as an amateur, even though I’ve been practising for years. I started earlier than most – aged about three – with strawberry flavoured Punch and Judy toothpaste. I ate quite a lot of it so I had to move on to Colgate, which didn’t taste as good.
A dentist would occasionally offer tips on better brushing techniques but there was no suggestion that I was good enough to be offered the chance to graduate from the bottom grade “normal” status.
Even Signal, with its go-faster stripes, l left me feeling lilke a sluggish beginner. I’d do the usual brushing every day but I was never spotted or picked out for higher things. No-one ever asked me “Have you ever considered going for Expert brushing status?”
Pearl Drops tooth polish only ever made my teeth pearl-cream, which, when you have dentition as visible as one of those ornery horses that turn the wrong way round and refuse to go, at the Grand National startline, isn’t really good enough.
Going expert would have been a real challenge, so going “Pro” and actually making money out of toothbrushing was just an impossible dream.
There must be a lot of pros to Pro toothbrushing. It would probably involve competition and travel and hey, all I’d need to take would be my toothbrush! Sadly no-one seemed to know how to attain dental success on such a scale, with or without the polish.
Obviously when the opportunity arose to become a Pro-Expert, I went for it. The design of the tube screams elite tooth cleaning. This toothpaste stands no flipping nonsense whatso-flipping-ever. It’s antibacterial with fluoride, it’s whitening for a healthy smile, and the list of words on the tube “Cavities, gum, plaque, sensitivity, enamel, tartar, whitening, breath” is impressive.
It’s actually all about words; using words like dangling a worm to catch a trout (illegal in a lot of waters because it makes the whole thing far too easy). The right words have associations which will tickle people’s subconscious and lure them to buy. By listing them, however, Oral-B are stringing together a bunch of words which, without explanation or claims, are wholly meaningless.
The whole “toothpaste selling an image” thing reminds me a bit of the eye-opening experience buying disposable shavers for son no 2’s legs (competitive racing cyclists don’t want woolly legs).
I found a bewildering world of plastic disposable razors ranging wildly in price. The more expensive the razor, the more macho the name. The brands seemed to be vying with each other to dream up the name that oozed super-max machismo.
It continues today. Choose between the Wilkinson Sword Quattro Titanium Disposable Razor, (fast, strong, smell that exhaust), the Gillette Mach 3 (Top Gun, F-14s, beach volleyball) , the Gillette Fusion Power Stealth (want to disable someone in a dark alley?) or the King of Shaves Azor Warp Razor (looks into shaving mirror and briefly turns into character from Deep Space Nine).
Yeah guys, you may be big and strong already but get a shed-load more of that testosterone. Oh wait. It’s a little plastic razor. Well, you can still dream with your silky-smooth chin held in your hands Rodin-style.
Reluctantly, I’ve had to give up my dream of being a Pro-Expert tooth brusher. That tube is heading for the bin. It doesn’t feel very pro or expert brushing my teeth with spit and sand.
I might try Macleans. It has the “clean” word in it. That has to mean something, right?