Toothpaste Fun

My friend, Bill,  sent an excited e-mail about discovering this "really cool, really yummy" toothpaste called Fructodent.  Interestingly, I happened to be on my second experimental tube of the stuff...and found it to be worthy of every ounce of his enthusiasm.  In addition to being quite unusual and tasty, it comes in a fun-shaped tube that stands on its head.  The toothpaste pushes through some flexy-rubber opening which keeps the whole process slop-free and has the added bonus of preventing you from putting too much toothpaste on your toothbrush.  It calls itself "gourmet", which I find a little pretentious...but I'm willing to forgive them because it really is a nifty product.

Bill writes, "Well, here are my thoughts on my toothpaste. I don't like it. I mean, the whole process of having to apply the sticky paste to a small pad of bristles and then scrape your teeth with it every morning and night is just a pain in the ass. Aquafresh used to get me somewhat excited about brushing when I was a kid because it had those cool three stripes of toothpaste that magically swirled into one gel when you squeezed the bottle. But come on, Crest, Colgate, Mentadent, yuck! And while I give credit to Tom's of Maine for trying to make a granola-esque toothpaste, well, folks, it just tastes awful.
Thank the Toothpaste God for the Italian people behind Fructodent. Now I look forward to brushing! Green apples bursting in my mouth every night and every morn! And it fights cavities, gingivitis and other mouth ickiness. All of the delicious, crisp flavor of green apples in a surprisingly innovative toothpaste gel. Flouride included. "

I happened upon Fluoridex in a most peculiar way. You see, I have chronic dry mouth which caused me to have significant problemos with the dental units in m'mouth last year. My new dentist gave me a "prescription toothpaste" - ooh la la - to help prevent decay due to my dryness. Hmmm... maybe I should consider a douche. Moving on.
I think Fluoridex has twice the amount of fluoride than "normal" toothpastes like Fructodent. Parents - keep this product away from the kids - we don't want too many people with no decay!
It also has potassium nitrate in it. I don't feel like researching whether other toothpastes, like Fructodent, do or don't, but I'll assume they don't because the advertisers for Fluoridex make such a big fucking deal about it.
I must say, for a prescription toothpaste, it actually doesn't taste too poorly. It's minty. It's a turquoise-esque gel. Pretty standard. It pales in comparison to the flavorful burstings of Fructodent.
The one true irritating thing about Fluoridex - you can't eat or drink for at a 1/2 hour after using it. I know, I know - have it at bed, shouldn't be a problem - but, well, I don't like being told what to do by the Toothpaste God.
Hmmm... I'm thinking of venturing into dental floss next time.

So, it would appear that not only has the Tiny Tangerine Toothpaste site provided several select members of the public with chuckles, it has also managed to anger a fair, red-headed friend of mine. “How could I possibly put down Tom’s of Maine toothpaste on cyberspace?” she boldly asked me before a Hem (an amazing band) concert in Chicago’s uber-trendy Wicker Park neighborhood. In her eyes, the good people from the beautiful state of Maine manufacture the perfect toothpaste – crisp, effective and environmentally friendly.
So, with trepidation, I decided to give the toothpaste from New England another try.

I reluctantly purchased a tube of apricot-flavored Tom’s of Maine natural plaque tartar control plus whitening toothpaste. I couldn’t bear the thought of forcing myself to try anymore spearmint, wintermint or peppermint gels.
This paste contains xylitol, an ingredient Trident gum has recently begun to advertise as being in their chewy wads, as well. According to, “[p]ure xylitol is a white crystalline substance that looks and tastes like sugar. Also, “[x]ylitol is classified broadly as a carbohydrate and more narrowly as a polyol.”
I have no idea what that means.
Apparently testing confirms that xylitol is the best sweetener for teeth. (I wonder what parameters were used to determine this.) Regardless, sugarfree chewing gums and candies made with the carb. have been endorsed by six national dental associations.
Moving on beyond xylitol… I was pleasantly surprised with the tube that the toothpaste comes in. The plastic tube isn’t quite as malleable as those customary of such luminaries as Colgate, Crest and your generic supermarket brand. Thus there is less opportunity for mess.
I wouldn’t describe the toothpaste’s taste as bad. Rather plain, it surprises with an apricot-y afterthought. It would appear that the apricot (Prunus armeniaca L.) and mango (Mangifera indica L.) flavoring works well in the concoction.
The greatest flaw in the toothpaste is that it leaves the mouth feeling immediately dried out; as if the salivary glands are being sucked in. I don’t know what that’s all about. The fluoride-free formula uses sodium bicarbonate to provide the brusher with a sense of mouth freshness, and sodium lauryl sulfate as a dispersant. I suspect these ingredients are the culprits.

Therefore, I recommend that the residents of Kennebunk, Maine consult with the Italians behind Fructodent to see what chemicals help to prevent their toothpaste from depriving the mouth of the wondrous moisture only saliva can offer the tongue and gums.
Other than that, I suppose that I now officially endorse Tom’s of Maine as a manufacturer of pretty decent toothpaste. And that’s not easy in the world of Whole Foods.
P.S. For more information on Hem, check out

  OR   ???

This past weekend was glorious. My wonderful friend, Linda Tran (also the name of an acclaimed porn star) and her boyfriend, who has been dubbed Dudeman, came in to Chicago for a weekend. She, Dudeman, another friend Vanee, and me spent three fun-filled days of sharing stories, playing card games with odd names like Farkel, touring Millenium Park, taking an architecture cruise on the Chicago River, touring the Art Institute of Chicago and eating at an assortment of different restaurants in different ethnic restaurants.
Dudeman is a marketing/designer guru. So, I asked him what kind of logo he would create if a customer came to him with the idea of making marionberry (a big blackberry native to the Pacific northwest) toothpaste. He didn't think it would work.
Little did he know about fructodent.
I brought him my current bottle, Strawberry Mint, and he delightedly tucked it into his backpack, thinking it was a gift.
Not to be rude, I let him keep it, but now I have to buy another tube.
OK, maybe this story sucks.


Well, I finally did it. I got over my fear and dove into the waters of Mint & Licorice Fructodent.

Growing up I hated the taste of black licorice, or anything anice-y. It just tastes yucky, kind of like tobacco-stuffed up ones nostrils.

What's even stranger is that I had the most wonderful black labrador named Licorice growing up. But I digress.

I was really intrigued with the concept of licorice flavored toothpaste, and with the sticks that decorate the tube of paste. How could it possibly be good stuff? Why in Hell would someone manufacture such a product? (Duh, to appeal to weirdos like me.)

$3 later, a toothbrush and some lukewarm water later, I'm happy to report that the flavor is quite wonderful. It's sorta similar to that old Blackjack gum that you never see anyone buy at drugstores, but know you secertly love.

I'm also happy to announce that I found a way of contacting the good Italian stallions at Fructodent. Any questions we, the public, may have can be directed to:

But what to ask? And do I ask it in Italian?

Well, I don't have to decide this tonight.

Bueno sera.



I was thrilled to find out that my brother, Danny, decided to adopt a little puppy several weeks ago; a mutt... his dream dog. A cute sheperd/retriever/collie-ish thing. For several days, Danny debated over the name. He's fairly in touch with his Jewish roots, so he wanted the dog's name to be Yiddishkeit.

To my shock and horror, he decided upon naming the mutt Topol, after the man who first played the part of Tevye ("Fiddler on the Roof") on Broadway.

I pleaded with Dan to change his mind. For you see, Topol is also the name of a horrific toothpaste that I saw advertised endlessly on TV in the 80s for elderly folks with dentures. Gross paste the color of carnation Pepto Bismol.

I know the dog's gonna be great - but for Christ's sake - NEVER NAME A DOG AFTER DESIGNER DENTURE TOOTHPASTE!!!!