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The Worst Dental Products Ever  

It’s safe to say that humans have made some pretty incredible inventions since the dawn of mankind. From indoor plumbing to electricity and, yes, even smartphones, these inventions have all made a major impact on the way most of us live our lives. The same applies to dental inventions – from high-tech dentist tools to products as simple as toothpaste, dental floss and toothbrushes, our oral health has never had it so good. But not every idea is a good idea. Here are some of the worst (and funniest) oral health products ever invented.

Clean Eating

Back in 1982, when frozen entrees (or TV dinners, as they were still called back then) were all the rage, Colgate (yes, that Colgate) decided to do its customers a solid and make Colgate Kitchen Entrees – food that supposedly cleaned your teeth while you ate. Kind of like those special bones you buy your dog, except these weren’t for dogs – they were for people. Unsurprisingly, Colgate Kitchen Entrees fell flat with consumers, and believe it or not, it even dragged down sales of their toothpaste for a while, too. Lesson learned? Let us worry about brushing our teeth after we’re done with dinner.

Not-Quite-Right Light Brush

Down in Australia there’s a light-up manual toothbrush on the market that, when squeezed, lights up for an entire minute while your child brushes. It’s decorated with stars, which twinkle and glow as your child scrubs away plaque and bacteria. Sounds great, right? It would be great if it lit up for, say, two minutes. Why? Because two minutes is the current recommended amount of time for brushing your teeth – and that’s the minimum! Sure, you could just reactivate the light after a minute, but wouldn’t it just be easier to run it for two minutes?


Back in the 1950s, Bofors, a Swedish weapons manufacturer (wait, what?), introduced its own line of toothpaste. An apparent early predecessor to microbead technology, Bofors went awry when it was discovered that the little plastic balls infused into the toothpaste were found to stay lodged in the body for months and eventually cause cancer. Oops.

Breath Assure

If you’re over a certain age, you may remember those ’90s commercials starring actor George Kennedy selling a pill called Breath Assure that, if taken regularly, could freshen breath from inside your stomach. Breath Assure claimed it could even sweeten the breath of someone who had just eaten garlic and onions, and that it lasted up to six hours. Unfortunately, these claims were debunked by the advertising branch of the Better Business Bureau, and on November 19, 1998, Breath Assure was officially banned from claiming, well, basically that it even works.

Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal toothpaste sounds like an excellent way to get sparkling, white teeth without using harsh chemicals. The problem is, it’s not. That’s because it is extremely abrasive and can really hurt your enamel – something you can’t replace.

While all these products had good intentions, they all missed their mark by a bit. But that doesn’t mean your teeth need to suffer. You don’t need special food to brush while you eat – you can just brush after you eat (in fact, you’d still have to brush after eating a Colgate meal anyway). And you also don’t need toothpaste with tiny cancer-causing particles, a brush that only times half your brushing session, or a pill hawked by a celebrity to freshen your breath. All you need is a toothbrush, floss, a tube of (non-charcoal) toothpaste and two minutes twice a day. Easy as that!

To schedule an exam with Dr. Hill, please call Hill Dental Studio at (469) 640-9550.

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