Promoting whole mouth health for patients

Dental Products ReportDental Products Report February 2019
Volume 53
Issue 2

How the New Colgate TotalSF toothpaste addresses changing patient demands.

Colgate will introduce a new formulation for Colgate Total in early 2019. The New Colgate TotalSFuses stannous fluoride with a proprietary stabilization process. The New Colgate TotalSF attacks bacteria around the entire oral cavity and helps to promote whole mouth health for patients. 

Dr. Barbara Shearer, director of scientific affairs for Colgate, North America, says the new formulation was designed to improve upon the success of Colgate Total while addressing changing patient demands for a holistic approach to their health. 

“People track their steps and are checking their blood pressure and doing all of these things around their general health,” Dr. Shearer says. “They are starting to evolve into the oral health, or what we call ‘whole mouth health,’ space. People today, instead of wanting to be cavity-free and have no bleeding gums, we are finding they want the highest level of oral health, or whole mouth health, they can achieve.”

Stannous fluoride has been used in other toothpaste but suffers a reputation for poor taste as well as staining teeth caused by its natural oxidation process. By adding zinc phosphate, the Colgate scientists stabilized the stannous in its active form and prevented oxidation. 

“The manner in which we have utilized the zinc phosphate keeps the stannous in its active form without the downsides of poor taste and staining,” Dr. Shearer says. “That is the ‘magic,’ and there are granted and pending patents globally to protect that technology.”

Most anticavity toothpaste uses sodium fluoride or sodium monofluorophosphate. Plaque  is removed through the mechanical cleaning. 

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Multi-benefit toothpaste, like the original Colgate Total, helps to remove the plaque and provide gingivitis prevention and anticalculus benefits, among others. The new Colgate TotalSFwith stannous fluoride delivers all of these benefits and enhances enamel strength and instantly neutralizes odors that cause bad breath. Using the formula over time also occludes the dentinal tubules, which decreases dental sensitivity. 

New Colgate TotalSFfights bacteria on more than teeth

Ordinary toothpaste is designed to clean the teeth. However, the teeth are only part of the oral environment. 

“If you think of the surface area of the mouth, the teeth make up only 20 percent, and 80 percent of the surface area in your mouth is the tongue, the cheeks and the gums,” Dr. Shearer says.

The New Colgate TotalSFtoothpaste helps kill the bacteria on the teeth, the tongue, the cheeks and the gums, or 100 percent of mouth surfaces. Specifically, the Colgate clinical report found a statistically significant reduction of cultivatable bacteria in saliva as well as the tongue, cheeks and gums for participants who brushed normally with new Colgate TotalSFwhen compared with participants who brushed with non-antibacterial fluoride toothpaste, after four weeks of product use.1

Dr. Shearer says it’s critical to fight bacteria on all the soft tissues in the oral environment. Bacteria around the gum line can cause gingivitis, and bacteria on the tongue can cause bad breath. Bacteria on the cheeks and in saliva can repopulate bacteria removed during brushing. 

“Being able to reduce that bacterial burden in the mouth is very important to help patients achieve their oral health goals,” Dr. Shearer says.  

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Taste is also important

Satisfactory taste leads to better patient compliance. One of the areas that Colgate is very proud of is its flavor. In addition to improving the taste by stabilizing the stannous fluoride, Colgate also spent time with the in-house flavorists, the flavor experts Dr. Shearer compares to the fragrance experts of the famous perfume houses. These experts concentrated on developing flavors that could overcome any remaining metallic taste from the stannous fluoride.

“We know through interacting with thousands of consumers and studies that we get very good ratings on ‘keeps my mouth fresh’ and ‘is a flavor that I like to use.’ That’s very important because if the patient doesn’t like the taste of it, they are not going to use it,” Dr. Shearer says.

Finding a new formula

Colgate Total was launched in the U.S. in 1997 and was the first toothpaste to go through the new drug application process with the FDA. Dr. Shearer says it was also the first multi-benefit toothpaste on the market with a patented formula.

Initially, there are significant advantages to having FDA approval; however, approval processes make it challenging to innovate.

For more than 10 years, the scientific team at Colgate looked for the next best thing for a multi-benefit toothpaste. Finding an ingredient that was better than triclosan proved to be challenging. However, the new formulation added three additional benefits to Colgate Total’s reduction of plaque, prevention of gingivitis and calculus buildup. The new benefits include sensitivity reduction, enhanced enamel strengthening and instant odor neutralization. 

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“People want more benefits from their toothpaste. With the new formulation, we are able to offer three additional benefits to go with the benefits we had before,” Dr. Shearer says.

With the product launch, Dr. Shearer says the team interviewed dentists, hygienists and patients about what they want. They also looked at consumer trends and what people think is essential regarding their health.

“People today have evolved. It’s not so much about being free from disease, but people are thinking about well-being and achieving a higher order of health,” Dr. Shearer says. 

The relationship between dental professionals and patients is also evolving. In the past, dentists and hygienists were authority figures and told people what to do. Today, patients are more informed than before and want to participate in the decision-making about their oral health. 

“When they come to the office, they have seen ‘Dr. Google’ and they have an idea,” Dr. Shearer says. 

Dr. Shearer adds that patients are looking for a partner or a coach rather than an authority. The Colgate team wants to help the dentist and hygienist communicate the idea of whole mouth health to patients. The support materials offered with the New Colgate TotalSFhelp dental professionals to coach patients to achieve the best whole mouth health possible.

New Colgate TotalSFwill launch in the consumer space at the beginning of next year. Until then, Colgate representatives have samples available.  


1.  Colgate Clinical Report 20180316BAC

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