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New and Improved in Oral Care

By Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor | February 18, 2011

Toothpaste sales see the benefits of innovation.

Consider that Jennifer shops for a $3 whitening toothpaste at the local drugstore as a substitute for a $125 professional cleaning at the dentist. Meanwhile, Jim tries a $10 specialty whitener as opposed to a $1,000 cosmetic procedure. These are just two examples of how today’s consumers are roaming the health and beauty aisles for at-home solutions for aesthetic dental quandaries.

Sales of toothpaste rose 2.2% to $1.34 million for the year ended Nov. 28, 2010 in supermarkets, drugstores and mass-market retailers (excluding Walmart), according to The SymphonyIRI Group of Chicago, IL. Sales of classic toothpaste formulations increased 2% to $1.3 billion, while tooth bleaching/whitening toothpaste rose 2.8% to $231 million. Mouthwash sales were nearly even at $694.3 million.

Looking ahead, the market is expected to post relatively decent gains, according to market research firm Packaged Facts, which forecasts retail sales to break the $10 billion mark by 2014.

On the Shelves

There’s no shortage of innovation in the oral care category. In fact, marketers are targeting all ends of the spectrum–from hipsters to Boomers and those in between with everything from trendy packaging to high-end ingredients.

P&G rolled out Crest for Me for kids ages 8-12.
For example, Crest and Oral-B recently released Pro-Health for Me, targeting the burgeoning tween demographic. For ages 8-12, the range features everything from a fluoride anti-cavity toothpaste to floss picks, all packaged with eye-catching graffiti-styled graphics.

“As tweens age and become more independent, they develop their own unique oral care needs,” said Kelly Heaps, brand manager, Procter & Gamble. “We found that adult toothbrushes were not always the best size for older children’s mouths and adult rinse and toothpaste flavors were often too strong. We created Crest and Oral-B Pro-Health For Me with the goal of providing tweens with all the oral care protection their parents want, but in flavors and packaging designed just for them. With Pro-Health For Me, the battle to brush just got a little bit easier.”
Also new at Crest this season is a new formulation of Crest Pro-Health Clinical Gum Protection Toothpaste. According to the company, the toothpaste now features a newly balanced stabilized stannous fluoride chemistry that provides an increase in antibacterial power, resulting in the highest level of protection against plaque bacteria that cause gingivitis.

Meanwhile, marketplace competitor Colgate-Palmolive has launched Colgate ProClinical, a new line of “professionally inspired” daily toothpastes. The range features three variants: Daily Whitening for removing surface stains, Daily Cleaning for polishing teeth and Daily Renewal for Enamel for fortifying enamel. Key ingredients include ProLuminex crystals, billed by Colgate as its highest level of high performance whitening silica; prophy silica micro-buffers, an ingredient similar to what dentists use; and ProMinerals complex, which is comprised of the highest level of fluoride available in a daily toothpaste without a prescription, according to the company.

For Colgate’s naturals brand, Tom’s of Maine, the latest innovation is Simply White Whitening Toothpaste. According to the company, it uses naturally sourced silica to help whiten and brighten teeth. Flavors include Sweet Mint and Clean Mint. The brand also debuted an alcohol-free and gluten-free Juicy Mint Anticavity Fluoride Rinse.

Also in the green sector, Nature’s Gate is offering a “new and improved” version of its toothpaste, featuring an exclusive “AntioxiDental blend” of seven botanicals. Available in a variety of flavors in both crème and gel textures, the new sulfate-free formulations also include a new biodegradable surfactant system derived from coconut oil.

The AntioxiDental blend includes ginger and bisabolol. Derived from the Candeia tree, both work synergistically to help reduce gum irritation and inflammation, according to the company. The toothpastes also utilize white tea, said to have a positive effect on reducing cavities, plaque buildup and periodontitis. Cranberry and pomegranate, both rich in antioxidants, stop bacteria from forming on teeth, inhibiting gum disease.

GSK Links with Dentsply International

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Dentsply International have entered into an agreement to create a portfolio of co-branded oral care products to be used in the dental office by patients suffering from tooth sensitivity.

The agreement will allow Dentsply to co-brand its Nupro products, which contain GSK’s NovaMin technology, with GSK’s Sensodyne brand. This co-branding will provide a continuum of care for tooth sensitivity treatment from the dental office to everyday use at home, according to the companies.

According to Carlton Lawson, vice president Sensodyne, GSK, the agreement, demonstrates GSK Consumer Healthcare’s strategy to grow and expand its science-driven oral healthcare business.

”Through our agreement with Dentsply, sensitive teeth sufferers will be able to access an effective portfolio of Sensodyne-branded products providing continuous care from the dental office to the home. By leveraging both companies’ brands and capabilities, we aim to build awareness of the benefits of NovaMin and therefore further consolidate our position as the leader in the over the counter oral healthcare market,” he said.

The agreement also provides for the use of both companies’ technical, clinical and marketing resources to offer a comprehensive range of tooth sensitivity treatment options for the dental professional and the patient.

While the agreement allows Dentsply to develop a portfolio of professional tooth sensitivity products, in the short term, the firm will release two co-branded dental products containing the NovaMin technology: Nupro Sensodyne Professional prophy paste for in-office use andSensodyne Nupro Professional toothpaste, a toothpaste to be dispensed by dental professionals that contains NovaMin and high fluoride for enamel remineralization.

FireFly Toothbrushes Get Green Light from ADA

Dr. Fresh's FireFly children's toothbrush and its licensed counterparts have been awarded the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance, based on its finding that the product is effective for removing plaque and helping to prevent and reduce gingivitis, when used as directed.
The Firefly family of toothbrushes.

"This is the highest recognition an oral care product can receive, and a testament to the FireFly brand's leadership in the children's dental care category," said Puneet Nanda, founder and CEO of Dr. Fresh, Inc.

Nanda said the ADA seal will immediately be incorporated into packaging.
FireFly uses proprietary light-up timer technology to encourage compliance and develop good oral hygiene habits for life in young children, fighting the epidemic of early childhood cavities. Each toothbrush lights up and flashes for 60 seconds, the length of time dentists agree is required to thoroughly brush one row of teeth, upper or lower.

High-End Smiles

Also big for 2011 are upscale oral care products that consumers are turning to rather than costly dental procedures. After all, if one is springing for a $15 lipstick at Sephora, why not complement the look with bright white teeth (or vice versa)?
Supersmile rods promise to whiten teeth.

Consider Supersmile Professional Activating Rods. Invented by Dr. Irwin Smigel, the self-proclaimed “Father of Aesthetic Dentistry,” the products clean and condition teeth for maximum whitening results. First, the gel primes the enamel, then the synergy between the gel and the Professional Whitening System safely accelerates the whitening process for whiter teeth without harsh abrasives, according to the company. Key ingredients include hydrogen peroxide that whitens and sodium bicarbonate that cleans the surface of the teeth. A box of 16 rods retails for $50 at stores such as CO Bigelow, Ulta and Blue Mercury.

Another high-end product is Go Smile, which has quite a few rollouts this season. Its new on On-The-Go Teeth Whitening Pen
features the power of the Go Smile whitening product but now in a convenient, reusable pen. Go Smile Green Apple Luxury Toothpaste adds a “luscious twist on your everyday ritual,” according to the company. With whitening and cavity protection, plus a delicious aromatherapy blend, it's specially formulated to keep teeth bright and give your smile a refreshing sensory experience.

Another whitening product, Dentisse, uses a special refined kaolin, a natural white clay, which cleans and polishes to produce a healthier looking smile, according to the company.

“Consumers increasingly want professional quality and efficacy, while at home,” said Steve Wilson, sales manager, Dentisse, Huntertown, IN. “They have an ongoing appetite for newer, better and now...the consumer will continue in search of a life-changing solution to such embarrassing oral health social dilemmas. Time-limitations and the desire to spend more time at home are driving consumers to seek products that facilitate pampering and functionally effective personal care treatment off-the-shelf.”

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