A class action lawsuit claims that Colgate’s Optic White toothpaste does not “intrinsically whiten teeth,” as advertised. The Colgate Optic White class action lawsuit was filed by Sharon Willis who says she purchased the toothpaste because she believed it would whiten her teeth. Willis states that she used the product as directed but it did not deeply whiten her teeth or affect any intrinsic stains. The plaintiff says she relied on the marketing claims that the toothpaste would whiten her teeth and therefore didn’t receive the benefit of her purchase because she did not receive a product that performed as advertised. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins discusses this with Scott Hardy, President of Top Class Actions.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Farron Cousins:                  Every toothpaste commercial you see today is going to tell you that their toothpaste is going to get your teeth whiter than ever before. Three shades whiter, four shades whiter, a whole new shade of white that hasn’t even been discovered yet with some of these toothpastes. But unfortunately as we’re finding out most of these claims simply don’t translate into results. Joining me now to talk about what’s happening is Scott Hardy with Top Class Actions and Scott, of course I am talking about the Colgate Optic White that claims it’ll get your teeth three shades whiter than they previously were when used as directed and got a bunch of consumers saying, well, I used it as directed, didn’t do anything, anything at all close to what you said it would.

Scott Hardy:                          Right, I mean, we’ve already received 483 comments I’m sure more by now and, of people that have said, hey, I saw these commercials, those commercials were all over TV talking about just like you said, three shades whiter. Use this toothpaste, you don’t need to go into your dentist for whitening, use this toothpaste and make your, make your teeth up to three shades whiter, but unfortunately there’s not enough hydrogen peroxide in the toothpaste to actually do it. There, you can just get your surface stains. Like if you just had coffee that day, it should be able to get the coffee out there.

But if you’ve been drinking coffee for years, you have deep stains embedded in your teeth and this simply can’t do it. You know, I think it’s interesting that they actually cite Colgate’s former vice president for clinical research talking about how the science actually doesn’t agree. That the peroxide does not come in contact with the toothpaste for long enough, which means your teeth just aren’t getting that white with this toothpaste, even though you’re paying a pretty penny for it.

Farron Cousins:                  Well see and that’s the other part of this too, is that these whitening toothpastes, you know, the, the better they claim to be, the more expensive they are. These are not inexpensive toothpastes. They’re, they’re, you know, six, seven, $8 per tube compared to, you know, $3 for just a regular gets your fresh breath, teeth cleaned toothpaste. So people are paying an exorbitant premium for these whitening toothpastes, all because it contains a little bit of hydrogen peroxide, which sells in giant bottles for less than a dollar. And Colgate is charging you, you know, several dollars more for just a tiny little bit of what comes in that hydrogen peroxide bottle.

Scott Hardy:                          Right, I mean, anybody who’s actually had their teeth whitened knows that you go into the dentist office, as you can assume, you are there for a while, you’re not there brushing your teeth for a minute and a half, two minutes and then magically getting whiter teeth. No, you are sitting in that chair for a long time as a dentist works on your teeth. And so it’s sad that Colgate is trying to market this product to consumers pushing out there that they can miraculously get their teeth whiter. When in fact, it really doesn’t appear to work much better than just regular toothpaste and just regularly brushing your teeth because when you brush your teeth regularly, you get off the surface stains. You know, it’s those deep stains that you’re not able to get off without a dentist assistance.

Farron Cousins:                  You know, if, if people really are looking for, you know, at least that little bit of hydrogen peroxide, which I’ll be honest, I use hydrogen peroxide everyday. I use it as a quick mouth rinse after I wake up. You gotta be super careful not to swallow any of it and then I brush my teeth afterwards, you know, it, it, it basically helps to, to clean out the bacteria that grow in your mouth overnight and give you the morning breath. It’s great. I love it. I would recommend that to everybody. Don’t go out and buy a super expensive toothpaste because it has hydrogen peroxide.

You’re much better off buying the bottle of it, using it as a quick rinse, but do not expect that according to science to whiten your teeth, you would have to hold it on there for hours in order for that to be the case. And if you want your teeth whitened, you’re best going to the dentist making those appointments, setting aside the time to do it because you’re probably not going to be able to get it from something you bought off the shelf at the drug store.

Scott Hardy:                          Right. These things, you know, you can get whitening trays that you sit there and you stick in your mouth and you sit there and sit for, you know, 15, 20 minutes, half an hour and that whiten your teeth over time. But just being able to buy toothpaste and whiten your teeth, I’m sorry, it just doesn’t appear that we have that technology just yet.

Farron Cousins:                  And my prediction is that if this is successful, it is absolutely going to spread. Colgate is not the only toothbrush, toothpaste brand out there claiming to give you whiter teeth. So if this is successful, we’re going to watch this one kinda grow and incorporate all of the other whitening toothpastes as well. Most likely may not happen, typically does. Scott Hardy, Top Class Actions, thank you very much and for everybody needing more information, follow the link in the description of this video. Head over to Top Class Actions, it’s all right there for ya. Scott, again, thank you for talking with me.

Scott Hardy:                          You’re welcome. Thanks for your time, Farron.

Farron Cousins is the executive editor of The Trial Lawyer magazine and a contributing writer at DeSmogBlog.com. He is the co-host / guest host for Ring of Fire Radio. His writings have appeared on Alternet, Truthout, and The Huffington Post. Farron received his bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of West Florida in 2005 and became a member of American MENSA in 2009. Follow him on Twitter @farronbalanced