|Owner||Procter & Gamble|
Crest is a brand of toothpaste and other oral hygiene products made by American multinational Procter & Gamble (P&G) and sold worldwide. In many countries in Europe, such as Germany, Bulgaria, Serbia, Ukraine, Russia, Poland, Hungary, Latvia, Romania and Lithuania, it is sold as Blend-A-Med, the name of an established German toothpaste acquired by P&G in 1987 (formerly Blendax GmbH). In France, Italy, Sweden, Finland, Argentina, Belgium, the Netherlands, Brazil, the UK, Ireland, Australia, Nigeria and Colombia, P&G markets similar toothpaste formulations under the Oral-B brand.
Crest was introduced in the United States as "Fluoristan" in 1954, as it contained stannous fluoride. In 1955, the name of the product was changed to "Crest with Fluoristan". The composition of the toothpaste had been developed by Drs. Muhler, Harry Day, and William H. Nebergall at Indiana University, and was patented by Nebergall. Procter & Gamble paid royalties from use of the patent and thus financed a new dental research institute at this university ("The House that Crest built"). The active ingredient of Crest was changed in 1981 to sodium monofluorophosphate, or "Fluoristat". Today, Crest toothpastes use sodium fluoride, or "Dentifrice with Fluoristat"; Crest Pro-Health uses stannous fluoride again and an abrasive whitener together called "Polyfluorite". Crest is accepted by the American Dental Association (ADA), as well as by equivalent dental associations in other countries.
One notable ad campaign from the brand was in the late 1970s and early 1980s, where animated ads featured the "Cavity Creeps", a group of grey-colored, rocky humanoid creatures bent on destroying the city of "Toothopolis" (essentially an island city protected by an enormous wall of teeth), with their signature battle cry "We Make, Holes In Teeth!" They were defeated time and again by the "Crest Team", a group of people dressed in Crest-themed jumpsuits, who wielded giant toothbrushes and tubes of Crest to not only ward off the Cavity Creeps, but to protect the wall as well. The team would encourage kids at the end of each commercial to "watch treats and see your dentist" so they could fight cavities "like the Crest Team".
The Crest brand has also been associated with about twenty brands of dental care products, including toothpaste, toothbrushes, mouthwash, dental floss, and a tooth-whitening product called Crest Whitestrips. Examples of toothpastes include Crest Pro Health, Crest 3D White, Crest Tartar Protection, Crest Whitening and Scope-flavored toothpaste. From 2004 to 2010, Crest sold dental floss under the Crest Glide brand, which is now called Oral-B Glide. The original Crest logo was designed by Donald Deskey.
Crest Pro-Health mouthwash contains Cetylpyridinium chloride which is known to cause tooth staining in approximately 3 percent of users. Crest has noted that this staining is actually an indication that the product is working as intended, as the stains are a result of bacteria dying on the teeth. Crest stated that because of the low incidence of staining, there was no need to label Pro-Health mouthwash as a potential tooth stainer. However, after numerous complaints and a federal class-action lawsuit, which was later dismissed, the mouthwash now contains a label warning consumers of its potential to stain teeth.
The use of Crest Pro-Health mouthwash during pregnancy has been shown to be associated with a decrease in preterm births, presumably because the mouthwash reduces the severity of periodontal disease, which is directly linked to preterm births.
The company's Crest Pro-Health Rinse, launched with much promise in April 2005, is discoloring the teeth of about 3 percent of its users, the company said, because it is doing its job.
Tooth discoloration could actually be one indication, in some people, that the product is working: after the rinse kills germs in your mouth, the dead germs can collect on the tooth surface and create the appearance of a brown stain.
Brinker said P&G doesn't see a need for a warning label because the number of those affected is very small.
But NBC's Today show reported Wednesday that the complaints have led to a consumer lawsuit alleging fraud and to further study by the Food and Drug Administration, which approved the product.
Rossman's lawsuit seeks class-action status. It accuses P&G of violating the Michigan Consumer Protection Act by not putting a warning on the label.
A U.S. District Court judge has dismissed a proposed class-action lawsuit filed against Procter and Gamble charging that the company's Crest Pro-Health mouthwash causes staining and browning of teeth
The product does have a small print warning on the back label that reads: "In some cases, antimicrobial rinses may cause surface staining to teeth," but consumers have complained the warning label is buried in the product information.
Pregnant women with gum disease, also called periodontal disease, are known to have more preemies than women with healthy gums.
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