I’ve mentioned overpriced items before—items that seem to cost way more than they should given the ingredients and even the labor involved in their production. This group includes Starbucks lattes and specialty drinks (I buy them only when I’m away from my espresso machine of a morning), breakfast cereal (never buy it except when visitors come)—and toothpaste.
To show you how ridiculously inflated the cost of toothpaste is, here’s a tube of CVS’s generic “sensitive tooth” toothpaste, which I started using a couple of years ago when I had a crown put on my tooth and it was close to the nerve, which made the tooth sensitive. The dentist said to use Sensodyne, the brand-name equivalent of what’s below, and which, though costing more, has the same ingredients (again, always buy generics). Nevertheless, the CVS generic cost nearly SIX DOLLARS for a measly four ounces.
The “active” ingredients: potassium nitrate 5% (for sensitivity) and sodium fluoride 0.24% (for cavity prevention). All toothpastes except for special ones have about the same amount of fluoride.
Here’s my old standby: Pepsodent toothpaste. It has exactly the same percentage of sodium fluoride, a standard tube holds 5.5 ounces (38% more paste than the overpriced CVS stuff), and COSTS AROUND A DOLLAR A TUBE. It’s less than 20% the price of the CVS stuff.
When you buy the CVS stuff, you are paying around five dollars for that 5% potassium nitrate, and believe me, potassium nitrate is not that expensive (I used to run a lab and ordered chemicals). In other words, the CVS stuff is a world-class ripoff. Why do I buy it? Well, my tooth sensitivity stopped when I began using it, and I’ve just stuck with it. Now I’m thinking that I need to try a little experiment and go back to Pepsodent.
Other fancy toothpastes are also overpriced, as this article points out. Take Professor Ceiling Cat’s word here: if you don’t need whitening, and don’t suffer from sensitive teeth, or don’t need “organic” dentifrice, do yourself a favor and just buy Pepsodent. You could afford an overpriced Starbucks latte with the money you save on one tube!
What items do you think are overpriced. My ears are open.