Crest Pro-Health? Crest Pro-Horrid.

When 233 reviewers on give a product one star, you know something’s wrong with it.

Soon to be 234 after I’ve put in my two cents.

(the Amazon link)

Many of you will recognize this product, if not by name then by sight or use:

Crest Pro-Health Rinse

I grew up on Crest toothpaste. It was the standard of care in its time. Over the years, the market of dental products has exploded. Mouth rinses, washes, pastes that do this and do that. You nearly need a pharmaceutical reference guide to decipher the list of ingredients!

Remember two words: cetylpyridinium chloride.

And if you can’t, remember these: Crest Pro-Health.

I incorporated the rinse into a well-developed regime evolved through a lifetime of dental challenges and experience.

By the pleasant non-burning flavor, there seems no harm; by the Crest name, no foul.

I’m here to announce that the emperor wears no clothes.

After a month or two of use, I noticed something strange — subtle but strange about my teeth. They looked dingy.

Apart from Pro-Health, I had neither added to nor altered my care program. I continued with it, attributing the slight yet discernible yellowing to bad lighting or aging.

I continued to check the discoloration over time. Any former sparkle was definitely gone. Again, my teeth looked strangely old. But then so am I so went with that.

Then one day, the reflection of my teeth in the mirror sounded an alarm. They looked as if I’d been smoking 3 packs of cigarettes and drinking a gallon of tea a day since I was 10!

They were horribly dingy, stained and browned in the cracks and crevices.

My teeth no longer looked like an old person’s. They looked like the teeth on a decaying skull!

Putting one and one together, I hopped online and googled “Crest Pro-Health staining.”

The flood of hits floored me! Account after account after complaint after complaint after report after report after story after story of identical results. Identical.

I began reading and reading. Not only do great numbers report staining and browning caused specifically by the Crest Pro- Health rinse but many are commenting: How do I get rid of it? I will never buy Crest again! Why is Crest not owning up to it? Will Crest reimburse for the product? Pay for professional cleaning and bleaching?

To my findings, yes, there have been cases where Crest has paid for professional whitening — in limited number and behind closed doors. Yes, there have been cases where Crest has reimbursed for customers with receipts.

Crest, however, has failed to come clean about the truth of the product so heavily promoted for dental care and health. On the contrary, it is the cause of damage.

Like so many, I sought a solution.

The first was self-evident: Buy NO Crest products again.

Two, I switched for a long spell to the Arm & Hammer brand that brightens with baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. It helped (though could not return the teeth to their former youthful glory :)).

Three, ardent flossing to remove the brown staining between teeth was only partially successful; the odds I reckon diminish the longer that Pro-Health is used and allowed to do damage.

Four, to be safe, I buy no rinses containing cetylpyridinium chloride.

Five, I warn others of Crest Pro-Health — shoppers in the toothpaste aisles, clerks in the drugstores, dental office staff, blog readers, friends, family, the random person if things dental turn into a topic of conversation. Spreading the word is consumer activism and responsible activism.

There. It is written.

Crest Pro-Health? Hardly. Try Crest Pro-Horrid. Use at your own risk.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Flamingo Dancer
    Sep 23, 2011 @ 04:03:46

    And it is still on the market? What a terrible thing to have happen to you.


  2. lauowolf
    Oct 21, 2011 @ 19:58:36


    Get a bottle regular drug store hdyrogen peroxide.
    Rinse teeth, swishing a lot, with a half cup water with about two tablespoons (my guess the amount of a glug) of peroxide.
    Let it sit in your mouth for like a full minute, then rinse it out thoroughly.
    Do this about twice a week.
    It should help.


    • allycatadventures
      Oct 21, 2011 @ 21:48:32

      @lauowolf – I’ve done a laundry list of dental rinses, including peroxide. I’ve also changed toothpastes.Finally arrived at an alternative/holistic pairing that works nicely. In the meantime, I spread the word about the dangers of Crest Pro Health to anyone who cares to listen and learn, including in dentristy. 🙂


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