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Do the White Thing

SpecialChem / Nanci McArdle – Jan 18, 2006

When Procter & Gamble rolled out Crest Whitestrips in 2001, consumers flocked to the stores, spending upwards of $30 for a convenient, effective way to whiten their teeth at home. And so began the craze. Soon shelves were lined with strips, gels and liquids that guaranteed whiter teeth in two weeks or less, and consumers snapped them up. Although sales in the whitening category declined in 2004, consumers still desire a whiter smile through the use of everyday oral care products. In addition to whitening kits on the market, toothpastes, toothbrushes and mouthwashes offer a higher level of teeth whitening than previously available. But they want more. "Consumers are looking for products that contribute to whole mouth health, not just whiter teeth," commented Michele Szynal, spokesperson for Gillette. "Whiter teeth are still important, but consumers want more, such as healthier gums and effective plaque removal." Gillette, of course, was in the news last month when it agreed to be acquired by Procter & Gamble for more than $50 billion.

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