Crest Pro-Health Mouthwash Stain Your Teeth Brown? Crest Pays For Your Cleaning

Here’s relief for users of Crest Pro-Health Mouthwash finding that the product stains their teeth brown and destroys their sense of taste. Jeremy writes:

I had that happen to me and I went to my dentist to have them cleaned. Since I had gone only a month after my last cleaning (1 free per 6 months) I had to pay. I emailed Crest about it and they said they would pay for it.

So if Crest makes your mouth look like you’ve been chewing tobacco sine you were 13, and your insurance won’t cover the cleaning, email them via this webform or call 1-800-285-9139 and see if Crest will pay for your teeth cleaning. No word on whether they’ll be helping customers recover their ability to taste anything.


Edit Your Comment

  1. arch05 says:


  2. arch05 says:

    wait, so they ‘said’ they’d pay for it, or they did? BIG difference.

  3. sirwired says:

    I must say, it is a big mystery to me as to why this problem has cropped up now. The active ingredient in Pro-Health, Cetylpyrindium Chloride, has been in mouthwashes for decades. (Cepacol is the biggest one, although plenty of others also use it.)


  4. morganlh85 says:

    Wouldn’t a RECALL be a much better idea?!?!

  5. KenSPT says:

    Taste is a highly overrated sense.

  6. arch05 says:

    I’m going to start signing my posts.


  7. morganlh85 says:

    @KenSPT: And when you think about it, losing your taste will lower your desire for food or sugary drinks, therefore making your teeth healthier. Obviously they did this on purpose.

  8. PirateSmurf says:

    why the hell is this crap still on the market, next thing you will see is lead toothpaste!!!

  9. FangDoc says:

    @PirateSmurf: Bad analogy. Lead toothpaste would hurt everyone who used it. This brown stain/ loss of taste thing seems to be pretty rare. In my practice I’ve seen maybe 10 patients who have developed the brown stain, and none who have lost their sense of taste. The overwhelming majority of ProHealth mouthwash users get no ill effects.

    Now, am I happy that Crest isn’t making this potential side effect part of their packaging? Hells no. Am I happy that they’re trying to dodge the question on their website? ZOMG no. But I don’t want them to pull a product that most of their current users have no problems with, any more than I want a nationwide ban on peanuts just because a small number of people are seriously allergic to them.

    I just want Crest to be honest with the consumers so they can make an informed risk/ benefit analysis.

  10. ghettoimp says:

    When my wife picked up a bottle of this several months ago, we both tried using it for a few days. Neither of us could really taste food for 12-24 hours after using it. I was so disturbed by this that I looked it up on Amazon and found all the negative reviews, and we threw out the bottle.

  11. redrover189 says:

    @FangDoc: The difference there, however, is that you don’t take peanuts off the market because usually, after a first exposure, people are aware they have allergies to peanuts. Also, products containing peanuts have warning labels on them.

    This toothpaste/mouthwash doesn’t really go out of it’s way to say, “Some brownness might occur on your teeth”, which is kind of a no-brainer because who the hell buys toothpaste that could turn their teeth brown?

    And I think the fact that ONE dentist seeing 10 patients with this problem is a fairly significant amount, even if your patient base is in the 10,000’s.

  12. Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

    Does the mouthwash have fluoride in it?

    If so, that’s the problem as excess fluoride in water also causes that.
    people that live in Deaf Smith County in the Texas panhandle have mottled brown teeth from naturally occurring fluoride in the groundwater.

    It’s not considered dangerous, just unsightly.

  13. frankie56 says:

    @sirwired: CPC has been used as an ingredient in other over-the-counter mouthwashes and rinses for many years. However, at a much lower concentration. In fact, the Crest Pro-Health rinse contains 40% more CPC than the Cepacol. Also, there may be something to this idea that the CPC in the pro-health rinse is combining with another ingredient (perhaps the die) to enhance and exacerbate the staining problem. It’s unbelievable to me that this product is still on the market after all of the problems with staining, loss of taste, and other issues. There is an OBVIOUS problem with this product. At the very least, there needs to be a warning on the bottle regarding the possible (and frequent) side effects.

  14. frankie56 says:

    I have another comment on this issue. And, just as a caveat, I am an insurance reimbursement specialist; I am not a dentist. However, based on my experience, the percentage of users experience brown staining from the Crest Pro-Health rinse is very substantial. No, not everyone will experience staining and/or significant loss of taste, but a large number will — WAY too large a number for an over-the-counter product, especially one with no warning label on the packaging!

    As for the reimbursement issue … I have heard of Crest OFFERING to reimburse patients for their dental cleanings (it can easily take two or more extensive cleanings to remove the Pro-Health stains), but I have never heard, as of yet, of anyone actually getting any real money from Crest. It seems they make the offer then drown you in red tape, drag their feet, and then never actually pay.

    Maybe there is someone out there who has actually been reimbursed, and I’m certainly not trying to discourage anyone from trying to get reimbursed, but all I’m saying is that I’ve never actually seen it happen.

  15. PirateSmurf says:

    @FangDoc: That is fine, I will stay with Listerine. I like the burn it means its working.
    Still even at 1% of users that is not good.

  16. mike says:

    Isn’t this because of the flouride in the rinse? From what I understand, flouride turns your teeth brown, but they are increadibly strong.

    Not that I want brown teeth, mind you, but still.

  17. Yogambo says:

    A note sent in by the wife returned the following from Crest customer relations:


    I’m sorry.Some people who use an antimicrobial product such as Crest Pro Health, may experience some tooth discoloration. This is true especially among those people who experience a lot of tartar. Unlike stains due to smoking or beverages which can discolor the entire tooth, antimicrobial tooth discoloration can occur in hard to brush areas like between the teeth and at the gum line. This type of staining is only temporary and on the surface of the tooth.We will share your information with our Health and Safety Team who will follow-up with you regarding your dental expenses.

    Thanks for writing.

    Crest Team

  18. frankie56 says:

    @sohmc: No, there is no fluoride in the Crest Pro-Health Rinse. The active ingredient is a chemical compound called “Cetylpyrindium Chloride”, or “CPC” for short. CPC is also used to make certain pesticides (and is not something that I, personally, would want to wash my mouth out with) and has been known to stain teeth. For more info on the chemical properties of CPC, check the wiki page for some links.

    By the way, FWIW, I would recommend that anyone who wants to use a mouthwash or rinse should either stick w/ an all-natural product (that’s what I do) or at least use a product that has been tested and approved by the ADA (e.g. Listerine). The Crest Pro-Health Rinse is NOT approved by the ADA, and given all of its problems, I personally would not give it a snowball’s chance ever to get ADA approval.

  19. nequam says:

    I use this stuff (mostly because I bought a 2-pack at Costco). I have not experienced the loss-of-taste thing. There is some staining between my four front lower teeth, but I am a heavy coffee drinker so I’m not sure which one is causing the stains (maybe both?). I also am an obsessive flosser and power brusher. Luckily I am getting a cleaning next week and I naturally don’t show my lower teeth when I talk or smile. That said, when I’m through with the remaining bottle and a half, I’m switching back to Listerine.

  20. redrover189 says:

    @frankie56: Bravo! Best thing said on here yet! It’s so true – why the heck would you trust something not certified/approved by the ADA?

  21. moosetoga says:

    I bought this stuff a couple of months back and dumped it down the drain after a couple of days’ use. It left this horrible chemical aftertaste that wouldn’t go away for hours.

  22. solidstate42 says:

    I unfortunately bought a two pack from Costco as well some time back. I didn’t really like this mouthwash because of the taste that lingered in my mouth well into the next morning. I’m so glad that I’m back to Act now.

  23. ideagirl says:

    @arch05: Maybe we should all do that?

    Best Wishes,


  24. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    @Greasy Thumb Guzik, @sohmc: If I understand this [] right, it has to happen when you’re young in order to affect the appearance of your teeth.

    Fluorosis cannot occur once the tooth has erupted into the oral cavity.

    Also, they wouldn’t be able to clean it off if it was fluorosis as the discloring is in the teeth not on the teeth.

  25. Hitchcock says:

    “No, not everyone will experience staining and/or significant loss of taste, but a large number will — WAY too large a number for an over-the-counter product, especially one with no warning label on the packaging!”

    Guess we should ban listerine too because of all the problems caused by alcohol too.

  26. magilacudy says:

    Hmm… I recently went to the dentist to get the Crest stains off my teeth, but my insurance paid for it. I wonder if I can still get reimbursed somehow. Especially since not all the stains were taken off completely (might be the dentist’s subpar work though).

  27. mathew says:

    I’ve had no problems with the Crest. However, I *have* had to have expensive gum surgery because of recession made worse by mouth dryness, which in turn is made worse by alcohol mouthwash. Maybe I should have asked Listerine to pay for my surgery?

  28. Eltigro says:

    I haven’t had the staining, but I have noticed a loss of my sense of taste.

    My wife and I had gotten a sample bottle of it with some toothpaste and I liked the taste. Next time we were at the store, we picked up a big bottle. Regular use made my sense of taste go a little off and my mouth would not feel right all day. I backed off on it and the taste came back. I still have the bottle, but I only use it occaisionally now.

  29. ImeldaFantazmo says:

    Comment on Crest Pro-Health Mouthwash Stain Your Teeth Brown? Crest Pays For Your Cleaning I have been using Crest Pro-Health for the last year on the advice of
    my dentist via my hygienist. I tried using it twice a day as
    recommended, but it killed my taste buds for hours so I used it only
    at night. The last time I went to the dentist my hygienist complained
    about how stained my teeth were. The only thing I drink that could
    cause stain is one cup of tea a day and I have been doing that for
    years with no problems. This explains it all! I have stopped using
    the Pro-Health and will explain to my hygienist the next time it was
    her fault I had the stains.

  30. queenofallgoodandevil says:

    I loved this product until I noticed nasty brown stains around my gums, and YES I used it EXACTLY as they said too (wow..I sure hope all the people who are bad mouthing those who this happened to would back off …and when it happens to YOU, remember all the snotty stuff you said ). When i called Crest they were less than helpful and only offered to refund the product price.. NO ONE said they would pay for a cleaning, this is horrible, how can a company who makes teeth products have this product on the market? w/ no warning label? you KNOW people wouldnt buy a mouth rinse if it clearly stated there was a problem w/ brown spots appearing. I don’t care if this is ”accidental” ”on purpose” or ”only happens to .0000001% of people using it” we should have been WARNED !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  31. Anonymous says:

    I split a large bottle with my fiance 6 months ago and have significant staining on my front teeth – both top and bottom. I just discovered that this was the culprit. I contacted crest to inquire about reimbursement for cleaning and I got a very similar email to the one Yogambo posted. Basically, they’re saying “It’s only temporary, you should use our products to remove it, and here’s a coupon for more of our products”. Needless to say I’m irate. It is absolutely unacceptable for them to not put a warning on the label. I’m seriously considering starting another class action lawsuit (there’s already one in Georgia) just so that they know they can’t get away with this s#*! Their disregard for their consumers is staggering.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Just got back from the dentist. I had lots of brown staining (luckily only on the back of my teeth) and it appeared really suddenly. Surprisingly my dentist looked at it and immediately asked which mouthwash I use. As of recently…Crest! I can’t believe they sell this crap!! Sure, it tastes like heaven, but I can’t go around with a mouth full of brown…

  33. opinion1 says:

    Crest ProHealth mouthwash has turned my teeth brown but I have not lost my taste. I called my dentist (whom by the way recomended the mouthwash to me and has it in his dental office for people to rinse with) and was informed that Im not due for an exam yet and have to wait if i want insurance to cover it. Needless to say i will be going in and paying for the cleaning out of my pocket because im not going to wait and walk around with brown teeth. I have no idea if this is related but im 30 years old, never had a cavitiy in my life, i started using this product and since have had 8 cavities and now nasty brown teeth. This product should be pulled off the market. I will be telling everyone I know what has happened to me.

  34. jakefl says:

    I just had my 6 month dental check up and cleaning at my Dentist today. My Dentist examined my teeth and noticed lots of brown staining on my teeth which where not present the last time he examined me. He asked me if I smoked, or if I drink coffee or soda. I never smoked a cigarette in my life or drank coffee and I have not had soda in about 10 years. I told him I was rinsing with Crest Pro Health every night at the recommendation of the Hygienist. He than mentioned this to the Hygienist and she stated that she heard that this was a side effect that has been found in a small percentage of users. Fortunately for me the stains where removed after a heavy cleaning. I cannot believe that Crest would sell a product that stains teeth and does not warn potential users about it. The purpose of using these products is to have nice clean and healthy looking teeth and not teeth that look like you smoke cigarettes and drink coffee and soda all day. Shame on Crest!

  35. Colliapie says:

    Wow. I’m really glad I found this page. I thought I was the only one having these issues.
    Whenever I use this stuff I can’t taste for the rest of the day, and my teeth are getting nasty brown stains. My orthodontists used to complement me on how nice I kept my teeth despite the fact that I had braces, but they haven’t said anything since I started using this mouthwash.
    I can’t believe they haven’t recalled this yet..