Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Toothbrushes & Toothpaste


Remember the summer of `07 scare about poison toothpaste from China? The FDA warned consumers to discard toothpaste made in China as it may be tainted with diethylene glycol, a component of antifreeze. Ouch!

As far as I know, a major recall of toothbrushes hasn’t happened yet
but, any day now I expect to see warnings about toothbrushes made in China. My guess it will be for lead in the plastic. But maybe the Chinese figure they have played out the And-the-secret-ingredient-is-LEAD! trick by now, so they will have to come up with some new and horribly cunning way to poison us. I’m not willing to wait for that day, so I am buying Made In USA dental hygiene products from here on.

Recently I asked my daughter-in-law to conduct an informal survey of toothbrushes on her next shopping trip. (She does most of the family grocery shopping.)

A couple days ago she went to a local Target here in Austin. She looked over each of the toothbrushes and here is the breakdown on their country of origin as sold by Target:

BRAND............ COUNTRY......... MODELS

CREST.............. China.................. All
REACH............. China................. All
COLGATE......... China....................2
......................... Switzerland ..........1
ORAL-B............. USA ....................4
.......................... Germany..............1

The results of this survey may be incomplete and totally anecdotal, but they do tell us
one thing for sure; toothbrushes made in the USA are getting harder to find. And also, that you can’t trust any product, no matter how well-known, to be made here in the US and not in China.

Crest and Reach are two of the biggest, most well-known brands of toothbrushes and they are made in China. These companies are sell outs. Their CEO's don’t care about you or me or our country. They only care about their profits. I don't know about you, but I am really getting sick of big corporations taking our $$, selling us crappy products and sending jobs overseas to China. It is really starting to make me mad.

I say, show these companies your displeasure by shunning their products. And while you're at it, call their customer service department and voice your anger, send an email or write a snailmail to them. I sent an email to Crest and Johnson & Johnson, and it made me feel a little better.

And if you are really fired up, how about sending an email or a letter or phone call to your government representative and/or the White House. (To locate the name and contact info for your government rep click here. For the White House, click here. And for your state governor, click here.)

Here is the snail mail and phone contact info for CREST:

Procter & Gamble Co.
Address: P.O. Box 599
City: Cincinnati
State: OH
Zip Code: 45201
Telephone Number: 513-983-1100
Fax Number: 513-562-4500
Toll Free Number: 800-543-7270
Johnson & Johnson, is the maker (or rather distributor, since the Chinese are the real makers) of REACH toothbrushes. Here is their contact info:
Johnson & Johnson
Address: 1 Johnson & Johnson Plaza
City: New Brunswick
State: NJ
Zip Code: 08933
Telephone Number: 732-524-0400


On a more positive note . . .

While shopping at Wheatsville, our local food co-op, my daughter-in-law discovered a Made in USA brand of toothbrushes. She bought everyone in the family a little surprise; a new toothbrush they could trust. The brand is POH. It is simple in design, inexpensive and safe.

So far, I have been very happy with my unpretentious, but well made POH toothbrush. The look and feel of the brush reminds me of my childhood.

As I do for any product or company I write about on my blog, I traveled to their web site to gather a little more information.

On the POH web site it says they have been supplying toothbrushes and dental floss to the US military PX’s and BX’s since 1961. Unfortunately for POH, they say they lost their floss contract with the Army/Air Force Exchange Service in 2006. I wonder what floss the Army/Airforce is using now? One from China maybe? hmmm.

While on their web site,
as a show of support, I ordered some POH dental floss (also cuz I need some floss). The POH floss comes in a metal and plastic canister which looks really cool and cost $3.00. I ordered several and some additional toothbrushes ($1 each) for the family. I’ll post an update after I’ve tried the floss to let you know how I like it.

As for toothpaste, there are two Made In USA brands that I have used (and still do). The first is Tom’s Of Maine, which is pretty easy to find in most stores. Tom’s toothpaste is, of course, all natural and comes in several flavors, both with and without fluoride. I have been using Tom’s of Maine since the 70’s and it is a good brand.

But my current personal favorite is Nature’s Gate toothpaste. I just started using the
Cool Mint Gel Natural Toothpaste and I like the taste better than any of the Tom’s of Maine that I have used so far.

BTW, the Department of Dental Hygiene, at Texas Woman's University in Denton did a comparative study of the plaque removal ability of toothbrushes in 1990. One of the brands they chose to use for the test was POH. I have included the text of the summary of the study. They compared the POH against the Alli-Croc (?) children’s toothbrush and the POH won.


From the NCBI/PUB MED database

Comparative analysis of the plaque removal ability of .007 and .008 toothbrush bristles. Beatty CF, Fallon PA, Marshall DD.

Department of Dental Hygiene, Texas Woman's University, Denton.

A two-phase study was conducted to compare the plaque-removal effectiveness of a .007 toothbrush and a .008 toothbrush when used in an unsupervised home-care program. In the first phase of the study, two children's toothbrushes, a .007 toothbrush (POH Junior #8) and a .008 toothbrush (Allie-Croc), were compared in a population of third through sixth grade children. The .007 group had a greater reduction of plaque from pretest to post-test than the .008 group in all grades, with statistically significant differences favoring the .007 toothbrush for fourth and sixth grades. In phase two a .007 adult toothbrush (POH #4) was compared to a .008 adult toothbrush (Oral B 40) in a population of nursing and dental hygiene students. Both toothbrushes performed equally well with a significant decrease in plaque and gingival inflammation observed from pretest to post-test regardless of toothbrush used. Any changes in soft-tissue abrasion were negligible and not statistically significant. Based on the results of this study, both brushes appear to be safe and effective and can be recommended with confidence.

PMID: 2095314 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


Running Behind said...

Love your site, and I will be stopping by often. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

My wife just finished(last night) fishing out bristles, plastic, and a tiny sharp piece of metal from my 3 year olds mouth. It was a "Wiggles" "zoothbrush" from P&G/Oral-b/Zooth. It broke open exposing her to choking/sharp metal hazards. I contacted the company and reported to CPSC. Made in China. Tom C.

Made In USA Blogger said...

Thanks for the input! Hope your son is OK.

I highly recommend you buy him a POH toothbrush. They are nice and dependable, and cheap. You can order them off the POH website. Try the link on my blog.

The floss is great too.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

I've enjoyed Tom's of Maine, too; however, it fell off my list when colgate purchased the company:

Anonymous said...

Just discovered your site. One thing I've noticed is that the prices on PRC products usually aren't that much less than on USA made ones and the quality isn't there.
I just found a USA made Stanley Takealong-$3 in a thrift shop and my 1976 vintage Aladdin thermos is still going strong.

Anonymous said...

I found your site very interesting. I would like to know if you have any information on electric tooth brushes? Any made in the USA?

Mandy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Two other toothbrushes made in the U.S.A. are Radius and Preserve (made in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, respectively). Both are free of phthalates, BPA and heavy metals such as lead. I've used both and give both a thumbs-up. The Preserve costs about the same as "regular" toothbrushes from China. A bonus to the Preserve is that it comes in its own portable travel case. The Radius (my personal favorite) costs about twice as much as the "regular" toothbrushes, but is designed to be used for up to a year. (We're supposed to be cleaning these things with hydrogen peroxide, rather than throwing them away every month!) The Preserve is recyclable. The Radius is not recyclable, but is so well-built, that you can "re-purpose" as an all-purpose household cleaning brush and get several more years of use from it.

Anonymous said...

Just to let you know, the flosser currently in Army/Air Force Exchanges is also made in the USA. Please check out our website, to check out our made in the USA toothbrushes and flossers.

Anonymous said...

I just spoke with a rep from Proctor and Gamble. I was informed that if the pkg. says distributed by Proctor and Gamble that that product was made in the USA. A new law has just gone into effect requiring any company to inform consumers where the country of origin is.

Anonymous said...

Just so you know. Oral B toothbrushes are not made in the USA anymore. I've been using them and now have to find new toothbrushes for my children. The Target brand toothbrushes are made in the USA. Thank you for all the suggestions. I will be looking at the products you recommended.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for all this valuable information. I have been increasingly alarmed at not being able to find products made in the USA or in countries I believe have stringent laws/quality control. I will not knowingly buy any products made in China other than clothing. Your blog is a valuable resource.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted you and your readers to know there is a United States company making toothbrushes and floss/picks. It is called Dr. DuMore's. They are located in Rogers, Arkansas. You may Google "Dr. DuMore" and order from their website.

Is It Still Made In The USA Blogger said...

Yes, I already posted a link to Dr. Du-More's toothbrushes and floss under Personal Items

Gary said...

Aqua-Fresh is made in the USA. But I see a link on a google search that say something about ingredients from Taiwan and then blended in the USA.

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Anonymous said...

Oral B toothbrushes are made in Iowa City, Iowa. ALL OF THEM....

Anonymous said...

P & G is one of the largest companies that continually and unnecessarily do animal testing. I don't care if they do have products made in the USA, I refuse to purchase anything with the P & G label.

Thank you for this blog site. I really appreciate your efforts.

I'm trying to buy green, and buy USA made products. Thanks for helping me.

Anonymous said...

Look for Proctor & Gamble products that are made in Germany. Their top of the line power toothbrush heads are made in Germany. Also Crest Pro Health is a German brand of toothpaste that is re-labeled as Crest Pro Health toothpaste and is made in Germany. Top of the line Razor cartridges like the Gillette Fusion ProGlide are also German made vs. their cheaper, low quality Mexican made disposable razors... The list goes on. These quality products are sure to please.

Anonymous said...

Crest does make toothpaste here in the USA, the crest for kids with the sparkles is made in north carolina. some of there products are made in mexico but i have yet to see china on their toothpaste. i called the company since i didn't see where the kids crest sparkle toothpaste was, they stated that if there is no country of origin, it is made in north carolina. i only buy this brand/flavor for my kids. toms of maine, burns their mouths.

for adults, sensodyne is made in the usa too. it is all i use!!

Erin said...

Another USA toothbrush company is from Tess Oral Health, located in Eau Claire, WI. They make custom personalized toothbrushes and imprinted toothbrushes. Their website shows how they're made in their Eau Claire facility.

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Beti said...

Thanks for the info regarding Dr Dumore. I'm about out of my floss picks and was hoping to find some made in the US. I just placed an order!

Also, someone above mentioned Preserve toothbrushes. An extra benefit is that they are made from recycled yogurt containers.

Anonymous said...

Oral-B has a manufacturing plant in Iowa City, Iowa where nearly ONE MILLION manual toothbrushes are manufactured EVERY DAY, including; the entire Stages children's line, Complete, Cross Action, Vitalizer, Advantage, Advantage 3D, Indicator, Cavity Defense, Pulsar, and others. Oral-B brushes imprinted with your dentist's name are also produced at this plant.

Anonymous said...

All of the Butler
gum products are made in their plant in Chicago except for a couple of items. You can buy toothbrushes, floss and most dental hygiene products from this company and be sure they are made in the US or in one case (Expanding floss) made in Great Britain. All products are marked with the company they are made in on the packaging. You can make an appointment and tour the plant if you want to-and see that they are made there.

Anonymous said...

Arm & Hammer toothpaste is made in USA

Andrea Isais Freeman said...

I just opened my last bag of Dr. Du-More's flossers...went online to buy more. They no longer make them! I called and they said they stopped making them because they couldn't keep up with the China made ones!! Sad!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the information. Good to know on my next shopping trip it will be all made in the USA.

Denis Neporent said...

If your teeth and dental hygiene are not healthy and in good condition it is not recommended to use any of the best whitening toothpaste products.
Always check with your dentist if you are unsure. While whitening toothpastes are great to brighten up your smile,
to keep it that way you must maintain consistent and proper brushing habits.
This in fact is as important if not more important than the toothpaste itself.

Anonymous said...

Oral- B is made in the US, well some of them 1 or 2 brushes are made in China then either the us or some European country

Anonymous said...

CVS brand has one called Basics it says made in the USA and it's only 99 cents. That is the toothbrush I buy for the reasons you mentioned. CVS brand Basics - I think - might have to ask but it is definitely 99 cents and made in the USA!

kallet lusaza said...

This is hard to remove and can ultimately lead to gum disease, so it is important to try to prevent it. For overnight relief, try dabbing plain white toothpaste on the offender. This is why we can't just have one single best whitening treatment.

Anonymous said...

Tess Oral Health in Eau Claire WI ( has fantastic made in USA toothbrushes for adults, teens, and children. The "Home Use" section of the site sells all of them is smaller quantities for families. Check it out.

Yamie Chess said...

So proud that our educational toy company, Yamie Chess ( is one of the few U.S. toy companies who (a) don't outsource and (b) make all our stuff at home in Michigan, from midwest natural resources.

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Smart Khan said...

These companies are sell outs. Their CEO's don’t care about you or me or our country.
Dr. Ann White said...

Really CVS brand has one called Basics it says made in the USA and it's only 99 cents. That is the toothbrush I buy for the reasons you mentioned. CVS brand Basics - I think - might have to ask but it is definitely 99 cents and made in the USA! For more information click here. Thanks!

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Unknown said...

I bought an Oral-B a few months ago.....a few bristles have fallen out. Disgusting junk. I hope they go bankrupt !!

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