Saturday, July 28, 2007

Toothpaste Wonderland

I went into Walmart yesterday to buy some items. I rarely go to Walmart, as I believe it will be the downfall of our economy. However, I was nearby, had some coupons that were about to expire, and I wasn't buying anything made in China (at least I hope not).

I had a coupon for 50 cents off of Colgate toothpaste. I always use Colgate, my parents always used Colgate. The taste of Crest never sat well with me.

When I walked down the toothpaste aisle, it was crowded. People were staring at the boxes of toothpaste. I thought, "What is the problem, just throw it in your cart already." I walked past all the toothpaste boxes until I saw the familiar red boxes. Then, I realized why there was such a crowd. There appeared to be dozens of different kinds of Colgate. There was Colgate Total, Sparkling White, Simply White, Sensitive, children's Colgates with a variety of cartoon characters, I could go on...

I'm not that old, but I do remember the days when there were just 2 choices, paste or gel. I remember when Aqua Fresh came out, and it was revolutionary because it swirled the paste and gel together, which gave us a third option!

When I got home, I went on Colgate's website and discovered they have over 35 varieties of toothpaste! Walmart appears to carry each one, and in different sizes.

My coupon was very specific. I needed to buy Colgate Cavity Protection. I found it on the very bottom shelf, and it was the one with the cheapest price. I believe it is their original toothpaste. The one that, according to their website, merely fights cavities, cleans teeth, freshens breath, strengthens teeth, leaves mouth clean, and has a great "regular" flavor.

Now what more could you ask for from a toothpaste? Are the other varieties really doing more than that? How on earth do you choose the one that is right for you?

Thankfully, the Colgate people have a "Let Us Help You Decide" section on their website. They are more than willingly to help you figure out just what kind of toothpaste you should be buying based on your needs. There are eleven "benefits" to choose from. I decided to pick, "vegetarian" out of curiosity.

If you are in need of a vegetarian toothpaste, the first choice that pops up is Colgate Shrek Bubble Fruit. Sounds yummy. The Colgate I bought was also listed as a vegetarian choice. Thank goodness I haven't been brushing my teeth all these years with animal parts.

I decided to take a look at all their toothbrush choices. There were 18 of those! They also have a "help you decide" section for brushes. Again, I pick "vegetarian", and all their toothbrushes were listed. So, I guess the bristles are not real animal hair. Whew.

So, the number of options, if you choose one of their pastes and one of their brushes is 630, just from Colgate alone. (Check my math Dad) That doesn't include choosing a hard, medium, or soft brush head, not to mention the variety of colors! I would think that could raise the options into the thousands.

This is just too much stress to put on the average shopper.


dad said...

thousands, maybe tens of thousands.

Sara said...

Maybe I could make this into a math problem for when we do our probability unit! I'll have to remember. SO much more interesting than the standard, "how many outfits can you make if you have 4 shirts, 3 pants, etc...."

Betty said...

I was excited when I saw that this entry had 2 comments. I though, ah-ha, so it's toothpaste that gets folks cracking enough to post their two cents. Hum....
Cousin Chuckie has done extensive research on Toothpaste. He is in his 70's and has a wonderful mouth of beautiful white teeth. Colgate Total is his choice. I was reprimanded when I bought it in the gel. I switch to paste. Then Marge Casey came to visit and refused to use my Colgate Total paste. She only used Colgate Total gel. Now I have Colgate Total paste and gel.