Crest Refunds Teeth-Staining Mouthwash

For customer’s teeth stained brown by by Crest Pro-Health Mouthwash, Crest is refunding their bottles of mouthwash, but you have to push for them to pay for it. Reader Peter called the 1-800-285-9139 Crest number we posted about. “The rep was very aware of the situation & asked for some #s off the bottles I had. I had purchased 2 huge bottles from COSTCO,” Peter writes. “He offered to send some coupons. I told him that I wanted a full refund. He immediately said he would do so & is sending me a check for almost $16.” So not only will they pay for your cleaning if your insurance doesn’t cover it, they’ll give you your money back for buying the stuff. Good. Now how about taking it off the market?


Edit Your Comment

  1. Parting says:

    So why you would buy a product that stains your teeth? Even free is bad bargain.

    How long, until Crest stops making it ?

  2. SOhp101 says:

    If you bought them from Costco, go RETURN it at Costco. They offer full money back guarantee.

  3. coopjust says:

    I go to a very good dentist (very precise, no pain when I had a little bit of dental surgery done) but his office gets some sort of deal with crest where they push products nonstop. Use Aquafresh? That doesn’t clean your teeth as well. Use listerine? That causes motuh cancer (seriously, that is what they told me as they gave me a travel sized bottle of Crest Pro-Health crap- that started to stain my teeth which is WHY I SWITCHED TO LISTERINE! And the mouth cancer thing is a total myth.) It really bothers me. They even insist that any non-Crest floss leaves food behind…no floss is as good as Crest(TM) floss!

    That really bothers me…

  4. MickeyMoo says:

    @coopjust: There’s got to be an equally competent dental professional in your area that views you as more than just a marketing opportunity. That someone entrusted with my health care chooses to lie to me (mouth cancer, floss) in order to fulfill a contractual obligation with someone that sells them product that they then mark up to maximize profit would more than “really bother me”

  5. nequam says:

    I’m curious to see how many comments will be posted, demanding it to be removed from the market, by people who have never used the product. Some people have problems with it, some don’t. Obviously, the people with a bad reaction to it are more likely to be vocal than those who have used it with no problem. What I find amusing is that people who have never used will have such strong feelings. Just wait and see … : P

  6. linoth says:

    I’d rather find out the numbers in question so I can deal with the potentially bad bottles before I have to deal with stains, since I’ve never had a problem with Pro Health.

  7. Skankingmike says:

    i never had an issue, but i stopped using it because i noticed the loss of taste for a few minutes after using it thought nothing of it though.

    looks like it’s cancer causing Listerine for me

  8. zolielo says:

    I have this and have not had the staining problem. Anyone else have the problem in the OP?

  9. kidzmatter2me says:

    I use Crest Pro Health every day. I do notice some (not major) tooth discoloration, as well as a temporary (2 to 5 minute) loss of some taste sensation.

    However, the only issue I have is that I can’t use Listerine. The high alcohol content causes me to gag, even when I try very hard not to. I have a genetic predisposition for gingivitis, and if I stop using a mouthwash for even a few days I get soreness and bleeding of the gums very badly for a while.

    So the whole thing’s kind of a catch 22 for me: use Listerine and gag and vomit my way through it, use Crest and have teeth a little brown, or have bleeding gums. I hate hard decisions.

  10. SOhp101 says:

    @kidzmatter2me: Wow, even with flossing? That sucks.

  11. faust1200 says:

    @kidzmatter2me: Could you not dilute the Listerine? They also make Listerine with a “less intense” flavor now…but it’s the same alcohol content.

  12. sirwired says:

    Folks, Crest Pro-Health is not some new, scary drug ingredient. The active ingredient, Cetyl Pyrindium Chloride, has been in mouthwashes for many years. The only reason the tooth-staining thing is a big deal now, is because the predecessors that used the same ingredient, such as Cepacol, never sold as well.

    The tooth staining is not some newly-discovered side effect. If it happens to affect you, have P&G pay for your cleaning, give you your money back, and use something else. Chill. This is a much better deal than you’ll get from any other drug company (without a lawsuit) when you hit an unpleasant side effect.


  13. Juggernaut says:

    @coopjust: how good of a dentist could he/she be if they’re promoting a harmful/dangerous product. If they’re willing to sell out for that, what won’t they do?

  14. cakesandsteaks says:

    @faust1200: I had a dentist who called the 1-800 number on the bottle of Listerine and they told him it’s still 100% effective if you dilute it to one part water, one part Listerine. Another useful tip he told me is that you should not rinse your mouth out with water after you use mouthwash, since mouthwash needs to be on your teeth for a few minutes to actually be effective.

  15. freshyill says:

    @sirwired: THANK YOU!

    There’s a lot of whining going on about this, and if it affects you, then you’re right to be upset. I’m willing to be that for the VAST majority of users, this stuff works just fine. It works fine for me, and it works fine for everybody I know who’s ever used it.

    That said, Crest is handling this pretty well. They’re fixing the problem they caused for the people it affects. As long as it’s not a health hazard, it would be ridiculous to take the product off the market.

  16. failurate says:

    @freshyill: Come on… There is blood in the water! *swarm* *swarm* *swarm* *bite* *bite* *bite*

  17. @freshyill: Worked fine for me too.

    But I switched to twice-daily ACT thanks to the lame story a few weeks ago where someone complained that the twice-daily version had half the fluoride (but sort-of looked like it was twice as much product). I’d been wanting that forever so I could drop the Crest.

  18. failurate says:

    Have you seen the new “Night-Time” version. Clear liquid, no dye added. Cetyl Pyrindium Chloride may be the culprit, but the original stuff uses some heavy coloring.

  19. lakuma says:

    I’ve been using Crest Pro-Health mouthwash for the past 2 months and never noticed any brown stains on my teeth. In fact it actually completely stopped my soreness in my gums. I’m completely happy with it.

  20. CUBSWILLWIN says:

    Hey, I got two bottles of these in a toothpaste value pack. Will I still be able to get a refund? I haven’t opened the mouthwashes since I saw the article. Could someone tell me?

  21. FangDoc says:

    @coopjust: There are a handful of reputable dental researchers who think that swishing vigorously twice a day with an alcohol-containing mouthwash increases your risk for mouth cancer because there is a correlation between alcohol abuse and oral cancer. However, most oral cancers today are due to Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). And no dentist should become any company’s shill.
    @kidzmatter2me: Try Tooth and Gum Tonic by The Natural Dentist, or Biotene mouthwash. Both are antibacterial and non-alcohol-containing, and I haven’t heard anything about negative side effects with either product.
    @Michael Belisle: The problem with ACT is that it’s only indirectly antibacterial. If decay tends to be more of a problem for you than gingivitis, then stick with the ACT. However, it is not as active against the bacteria that cause gingivitis as Listerine, Pro-Health, Tooth and Gum Tonic, or Biotene. High levels of fluoride do inhibit bacterial metabolic processes, but if you have gingivitis, you may need to use one of the aformentioned products as well.

  22. Saboth says:


    There are no bad bottles. The product itself is faulty. Some people merely react to the product in a way that stains their teeth…chemical makeup in the mouth/teeth I suppose. I was one of the people that had their teeth stained. It took an extra 20 minutes of cleaning at my dentist to remove it. Some people apparently do not react to the product in a bad way. My teeth do not stain from coffee/soda, etc., but this product stained them brown (fortunately it wasn’t permanent). There is a way around this though…if you use the wash first, THEN brush/floss and rinse thoroughly afterwards, it will not stain your teeth. Just dont rinse with the wash and then head to bed so it sits in your mouth all night.

  23. mtaylor924 says:

    I also use this stuff, and just as Saboth said, it only really stains my teeth if I swish right before bed without brushing afterward.

    If it stains your teeth, don’t use it. I plan to keep using it, as the small amount of staining and (very) temporary loss of taste aren’t a big deal to me.

  24. creamsissle says:

    @failurate: For some reason, the night version is always priced a bit higher when I’m shopping at Target.

  25. @FangDoc: Sounds about right. I didn’t like the alcohol in almost everything except else and just listened to my dentist when he said ACT or Prevident. Prevident was great, but filling the prescription was a pain.

  26. BugMeNot2 says:

    We use this product, and luckily haven’t had this side effect yet. Does anyone know how to identify the problematic bottles by batch number? What should we be on the lookout for?

  27. Anonymous says:

    I have made a formal complaint against Crest Pro Health Toothpaste and the P & G Co. et al. I used this product for approx 10 days and it has made my life completely miserable! Using this toothpaste has caused my entire mouth; gums, lips, teeth, tongue and cheeks to burn intensely as if I have scalded my mouth on hot food or liquid, metallic taste, tingly sensation and numbness, it has caused terrible, terrible, intolerable, deep jaw and tooth pain and sensitivity to both hot and cold and this is non-stop, there is no relief!! I am miserable! I have been to my DDS and an Oral surgeon because of being TERRIFIED that I had some horrible problem such as oral cancer. I have spent sleepless nights in pain and terror over this; I have lost days not able to function as a mother and wife due to worry and pain. My husband has had to take off from work to care for me emotionally and to take me to my DDS appointments causing him to lose money. I have had to pay out approx $500.00 out of pocket for emergency appointments with the DDS and the Oral surgeon. The Oral surgeon states that by using this horrible product it has triggered symptoms of ‘Burning Mouth Syndrome’ and he has no prognosis for me as to how long this will last, what I can do to help myself tolerate the pain and stress that using Crest Pro Health toothpaste has caused other than using medication to ease my stress! I refuse to take mind numbing and harmful medication to make it through the day simply because I used Crest Pro Health Toothpaste!! This is totally and completely unacceptable!! This product needs to be REMOVED from store shelves and P&G needs to be held responsible.