Pros: Made in USA. Cleans teeth. Rinses off easily. Non-drying. Pleasant taste. Inexpensive.
Cons: Can be hard to find.
Pepsodent costs about a dollar. It's made in the USA (either in Ohio or Wisconsin), so buying it saves money AND helps to keep Americans working. According to their Customer Service, Pepsodent contains no ingredients from China.
The packaging promises that Pepsodent will:
-Promote healthy teeth with proper brushing
-Fight cavities, gently remove plaque and stains to whiten teeth
-Contains enamel-strengthening FLUORIDE for effective cavity protection
Active Ingredient: Sodium Fluoride
Why I Started Using Pepsodent
I discovered Pepsodent because the lining of my mouth started feeling extremely dry (even when I had a mouthful of water). Drymouth can cause gum problems, sore throats and cavities, so it shouldn't be ignored. I considered using Biotene (a product aimed at improving drymouth). Before doing that, I decided to test if my old toothpaste (Aquafresh) might be causing the problem. I stopped using any toothpaste for a few days (just brushing my teeth with water). My drymouth went away immediately. Aquafresh didn't used to cause me problems, so I tried a new tube, but it also left my mouth feeling dry--plus I noticed that it was really hard to rinse the paste off my mouth and tongue. I might have just gotten a bad batch, but I decided to hunt for a simpler toothpaste, preferably one with fluoride.
My family had been having problems with Crest's Pro-Health, so I decided to avoid any Crest. I like the philosophy of Tom's of Maine and that it's made here. I think they are a great company, but I was raised on strong-flavored toothpastes and I thought Tom's was too bland. Colgate costs several dollars and the ones I looked at were made in Mexico (I've since learned that they have some made in the US). I then noticed Pepsodent, a toothpaste that has been around since I was a child. I'd never tried it, but it was made in the USA, had fluoride and only cost a buck.
Pepsodent is a soft, white paste. It's a little thin, but doesn't drip and holds onto the bristles easily. Some toothpastes are so thick and dry they fall off if I tilt my toothbrush slightly. It has a sharp, minty taste (just what I like in a toothpaste). It lathers up easily, but not excessively--enough to get the job done and I don't feel like Cujo. It rinses off much, much easier than Aquafresh. It leaves my mouth feeling slightly drier than if I didn't use any toothpaste, BUT nowhere near as dry as Aquafresh did. My mouth feels clean and my breath minty fresh.
Pepsodent leaves my teeth reasonably white, but not the ultra white of bleaching/whitening strips. I think that Colgate Total Advanced Whitening leaves my teeth whiter. I drink a lot of coffee/coca cola/tea, so my teeth wouldn't stay bright white anyway throughout the day. I'm more concerned with not using anything too harsh. I don't have sensitive teeth (so I'm not the best one to judge), but Pepsodent seems gentle and doesn't have any grit that might cause extra wear on my enamel.
My husband prefers the sweeter taste of gels, so I got him Aim (also made in the USA by the makers of Pepsodent).
Reasons to Take Care of Your Teeth and Mouth
Less Risk of Heart Attacks Bad oral hygiene has been linked to heart disease. Brushing your teeth twice a day keeps down the inflammations that can increase your risk of heart problems.
A Healthy Mouth Is Sexy Who wants to kiss someone with bad breath and rotting gums?
Lower Dental Bills If you take care of your teeth you are less likely to need expensive dental work (fillings, root canals, crowns, gum treatments). When you have sound teeth and healthy gums, seeing a dentist once or twice a year for checkups is fairly cheap (especially if you have insurance) and MUCH more pleasant.
No Dentures There is a saying that goes "brush/floss only the teeth you want to keep." I like all of mine and want to keep them as long as I can.
Best Ways to Take Care of Your Mouth
Flossing helps to remove bacteria and keep gums healthy. According to my dentist, the simple act of inserting the floss between the teeth ONCE a day breaks up the plaque and reduces the chance that it will harden into tartar. (It works EVEN BETTER if you use the floss to scrape off the plaque/gunk and remove bits of stuck food.)
I've found that my dental checkups are much easier when I've been flossing daily. I undergo a lot less scraping (as there is less tartar for the hygienist to remove) with less pain and bleeding of the gums. Healthier gums don't bleed as easily and don't hurt when the hygienist cleans around them. Healthier gums have shallower pockets around the teeth, so the hygienist doesn't have to stick her cleaning devices as deep to clean.
Brush Twice a Day
Many people don't realize that in order for brushing to be effective they need to brush properly AND USE A GOOD TOOTHBRUSH. Smooshing toothpaste around the mouth with a worn, splayed-out toothbrush might feel good, but it's only a little better than not brushing at all.
Brushing removes plaque and bits of food. Brushing should clean the gums as well as the teeth and is important to keeping gums healthy. Diligent brushing can also quickly heal tender gums--if the pockets haven't gotten too deep. Dentists recommend using a soft-bristled toothbrush and changing it when it starts to get frayed. There are websites with detailed instructions on how to brush, and you can check with your dentist to see if you are doing it right.
Brushing your tongue (and rinsing the toothpaste off of it) helps to remove a lot of bacteria AND it freshens your breath.
It is important to brush before going to sleep for the night because the bacteria in the mouth increases overnight (some say it can double) and saliva production decreases while we sleep. Saliva provides a protective coating for the mouth. When we sleep the saliva dries up and teeth and gums are left unprotected. Brushing before bed leaves fewer bacteria around to attack the defenseless teeth and gums.
Other Things to Know
Don't overbrush. It is possible to do too much of a good thing and then you wear down your enamel prematurely. If you are worried about overbrushing talk to your dentist.
Don't eat toothpaste. It's meant for your teeth not your stomach. Some toothpastes are very harsh and can harm you.
Dental problems don't just go away. Some people ignore toothaches, hoping they will go away. Sometimes after several months the pain stops. This doesn't necessarily mean that the problem is gone. Sometimes it means that it's gotten so bad that it's killed off the nerve endings. The inflammation or infection can continue to spread and cause bigger, more expensive problems. If you have a cavity take care of it before it reaches the pulp and requires an expensive root canal. If you need a root canal, have it done before the decay infects your whole jaw.
Brushing is important for toddlers too. There was a segment on the news that said that 1 in 5 preschoolers has untreated cavities. The cavities could lead to an infection that in very rare cases could even spread to the brain. However, in most cases cavities in young children is more likely to just mean PAIN and risk of infection and/or losing the tooth early. (It's heart-wrenching to see your child suffering needlessly.) If caught soon enough, the cavities can be repaired with a filling, but parents can find themselves paying for expensive root canals and crowns in an effort to prevent the tooth from being lost. Some may think it's not a big deal because we are talking about baby teeth and they are going to fall out anyway. However, if the baby teeth are lost too soon the gaps can mess up the entire mouth by causing the permanent teeth to grow in wrong. A better alternative is to encourage your kids to brush and to take them to the dentist for checkups after they start to have teeth.
Fluoride. Not everyone agrees it's a good thing. I won't get into it here. Do your own research and decide for yourself. I like it in my toothpaste and hate it in my drinking water.
For More Info on Pepsodent
Pepsodent is Made in the USA (either in Ohio or Wisconsin) by Church & Dwight of New Jersey, who also make Aim (the gel toothpaste).
For Other Information
Heart Disease and Oral Hygiene