Some time back, my dentist gave me free samples of SENSODYNE toothpaste. The tubes were really small – only .8 ounces – but included the banner “Repair and Protect!”

“Repair!” Now that caught my eye!

My 70-year-old teeth could use a little repair!


As the sample tubes were used up, I decided to replace them. Shopping for the retail version proved scary. New tubes of Sensodyne cost anywhere from $4.75 to $5.39!!!! Woe is me! What was an old geezer on Social Security to do!

I kept looking. I kept staring at the displays, hoping the price would go down the longer I stared.

I went online. No relief there. The Sensodyne prices were fixed no matter the source.

Then, one day, I got the revelation to try my dollar store. I wasn’t expecting to find Sensodyne for a dollar, BUT, after writing down its ingredients, I hoped to match them, if not the brand name.

Voila! My local Dollar Tree had almost exactly what I was looking for – NATURAL WHITE SENSITIVE EXTREME Whitening Fluoride Toothpaste! 4.5 ounces for a buck!


The ingredients weren’t exactly the same – no need for a lawsuit – but close enough. .24% sodium fluoride instead of .15% but 5% potassium nitrate in both brands.

One sobering thought. As I was reading the ingredients, I saw the warning, “Do not use longer than four weeks.” Oh, crap. Just when I thought I had found nirvana. That’s okay. I’ll use a tube until it is gone, then switch to a different brand – also from Dollar Tree – and then go back to Natural White.

But the warning caused me to reflect on a different toothpaste my dentist had ordered as a prescription. What ingredients were inside it?

Their is the story that fluoride was invented from aluminum tailings.  The tailings were not only useless, but dangerous.  Until someone came up with the bright idea of turning them into fluoride and convincing the powers that be this new chemical could prevent cavities!  It’s true!

Long ago, I head the adage, “Don’t eat anything you can’t pronounce.” If that was true for food, it should hold true for toothpaste, right? The ingredients on the prescription will scare any health-conscious person.

smile3In addition to 1.1% fluoride, COLGATE PREVIDENT 5000 Booster Plus (prescription only) contains fumeric acid (acid!), hydrated silica, mica, poloxamer 338 (?), sodium benzoate, sodium carboxymethylcellulose, sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium saccharin, sorbitol, titanium dioxide (!!), tricalcium phosphate, water, and xanthun gum.

Maybe I can start a new adage, “Don’t use anything your spellchecker won’t pass!”

On the web site it comes with a slew of warnings including, “Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility,” etc.

By the way, the prescription stuff costs about $19 for 3.4 ounces.

Oh, my aching teeth!




One thought on “Smile

  1. Brenda (a former dental assistant) said, “The sensitive tooth paste can start to irritate your gums so I think that’s why you can only use it for 4 weeks. And hopefully after 4 weeks, your teeth are less sensitive and you can go back to your old tooth paste.”


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