The Good: Works better than water, I suppose, Inexpensive
The Bad: Weak taste, Does not leave teeth feeling clean, Does not control tartar build-up
The Basics: Lackluster and weak, Crest Cool Mint Gel does not freshen breath or do much more than a toothbrush alone will do to clean one's mouth.
When it comes to toothpastes, the standards one use for a toothpaste ought to be important: how we evaluate a toothpaste is different when we are comparing it to other toothpastes or versus not brushing one's teeth or versus using mouthwashes. In the case of Crest Cool Mint Gel, one of the basic Crest Cavity Protection toothpastes on the market, I think the only way to heap praise upon the product would come from comparing it to not brushing one's teeth and it might be a dead heat for "average" with comparing it to swishing one's mouth out with clean water. There might have been a time when Crest Cavity Protection was the top of the line toothpaste, but now, with all of the other options on the market, Crest Cool Mint Gel seems not only inexpensive, it seems cheap.
My mother purchased the 6.4 oz. tube of Crest Cavity Protection Cool Mint Gel about a month ago and since my partner and I have returned from Las Vegas, we have been using it pretty steadily. I write "pretty steadily" because more often than not, we've been so unsatisfied with the product that we simply use Listerine mouth wash instead. Virtually every type of Listerine mouth wash does more than this toothpaste does.
Crest Cool Mint Gel is a very standard toothpaste. It comes in a classic tube design with a plastic top that unscrews from the tube. The 6.4 oz. tube is eight inches long by two inches wide and it tapers near the end with the nozzle. When the cap is unscrewed, there is a hard plastic nozzle which directs the product out of the tube and onto one's toothbrush. Toothpaste is easily dispensed from this type tube by flattening the plastic tube from the bottom toward the top and this also allows the user to get the most out of it.
To use Crest Cool Mint Gel, simply dispense a small amount onto the bristles of a toothbrush and bring the brush up to your mouth and spread the toothpaste over teeth using the brush. Then agitate the toothpaste into a foam to clean teeth entirely and expectorate the product (the process takes about a minute). Rinse mouth to remove any excess toothpaste and theoretically, the process should be complete and your teeth ought to feel wonderful.
The problem with Crest Cavity Protection is that it works at what it claims to (apparently) but it does nothing else. I have not had any cavities since starting to use the Cool Mint Gel. The thing is, I didn't suddenly develop any cavities for the week where I used a toothbrush alone. In order to objectively test the effectiveness of Crest Cavity Protection, I spent a week where I tested a theory and used a water-moistened toothbrush to clean my teeth. In that week, I noticed no difference between my oral health and the weeks I used Crest Cool Mint Gel. The reason for this is that Crest Cool Mint Gel is a remarkably ineffectual, mild product.
First, Cool Mint Gel does not significantly freshen breath. The gel tastes minty in about the same way as a strong green tea flavored with mint does. The taste of mint is in no way overwhelming . . . and it does not stand up to whatever germs one has on one's teeth, tongue and throat that might cause bad breath. After brushing with Crest Cavity Protection Cool Mint Gel, my mouth did not feel fresher and it did not leave me feeling any more confident about doing such basic things as kissing my partner. In fact, the question "Did you brush your teeth this morning?" has come up equally in the weeks of using Crest Cool Mint Gel as it did in the week where I brushed with just a toothbrush. It never is asked when I use a Listerine mouth wash.
Why then am I not simply endorsing using only Listerine or another mouthwash? Well, toothbrushes scrape plaque and tartar build-up off teeth. Here is where I became utterly unimpressed with Crest Cool Mint Gel: my teeth felt as strong and clean in the week I used just a toothbrush as they did when I used Crest Cavity Protection! The toothbrush does the work of cleaning solid matter off teeth and out of the gumline, not the toothpaste and as a result, a weaker toothpaste like this one does not enhance the feeling that the teeth are cleaner and experience has shown it is not actually getting my teeth cleaner.
Compared to other toothpastes that either freshen breath or provide tartar control protection, Crest Cavity Protection Cool Mint Gel is a complete dud. The toothpaste is so mild as to be ineffective and while other toothpastes might make the teeth, gums or tongue tingle from the active ingredients doing their work, Crest Cavity Protection is a flaccid toothpaste with cleaning power on par or below that of an empty toothbrush. The active ingredient is sodium fluoride and it should not be swallowed by children. I've noticed no effects (including feeling cleaner or like anything chemical is happening) by swallowing a discrete amount.
At least it's cheap and I didn't get any cavities while using it. Anyone looking for a good toothpaste, though, can keep looking beyond this mild, ineffectual one!
For other mouth care products, please visit my reviews of:
Listerine Total Care Fresh Mint mouthwash
Kiss My Face Triple Action Toothpaste
OxyFresh Dental Gel
For other health and beauty reviews, please visit my index page on the subject by clicking here!
© 2011, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.