A TikToker who goes by Silly (@sillyazz45) on the popular social media platform launched a viral debate on the economics of toothpaste choices. He joked about being from an “Aquafresh” family, after showing off the pricing of “bougie” Crest offerings and other shiny packaging on the shelves of the store he was in.
“Boy, you figure out your financial status buying toothpaste, huh?” he says in the clip. The camera then cuts to a shelf displaying a variety of different oral care items and different tubes of toothpaste.
“We ain’t no Crest family. We more like a Aquafresh family,” he jokes before picking up a tube of Aquafresh.
A variety of industries around the world suffered adverse supply chain issues brought about by government-issued social distancing and self-isolation mandates in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This caused the prices of many items to skyrocket, erasing any semblance of security folks may have felt they had as a result of PPE loans and COVID-19 relief stimulus checks. Toiletries, like deodorant, razors, and toothpaste, were also affected by the supply chain shortage, creating a more overstated gap in “budget” and “luxury” brands, i.e. Aquafresh vs Crest.
A 6-pack of 5.6 ounces of standard Aquafresh toothpaste costs $8.99 on Amazon, and a 5-pack of 8.2-ounce tubes of standard Crest costs $13.63; the brands cost .27 cents and .33 cents an ounce respectively. The differences in pricing that the TikToker is referring to are probably with the more “premium” offerings that Crest has, like its 3D White offering, which sells for $1.01 an ounce, a massive leap between “regular” formula Crest toothpaste.
There have been a lot of think pieces about “classism” when it comes to toiletries and hygiene, and social media is flooded with a litany of different personal care items that carry their own designer branding and identities.
And while some may say that bragging about the type of toothpaste you have near your bathroom sink is a weird flex, a lot of viewers in the TikToker’s comments section also believe there are clear differences between brands and the hierarchical connotations associated with them.
Some commenters offered up helpful solutions as to where folks could find some of the toiletry brands they prefer for less money.
“Dollar tree… you’re welcome,” a viewer suggested.
Others expressed their shock and disbelief at the pricing of personal care essentials like toothpaste and deodorant.
“gotta work half an hour to buy some toothpaste i’m SICK,” a top comment read.
“The price on deodorants is what kills me,” another user offered.
“That and deodorant,” a viewer wrote.
And then there were those who didn’t see the problem with Aquafresh, stating that the brand “gets the job done.”
“Yeah we fancyyy like Aquafreshhhhh lmaooo,” a user stated.
“Nothin wrong with Aqua Fresh, gets the job done,” another wrote.
“So I’ve seen many dentists suggest the cheap crest cavity one, there’s really no need for the other ones,” another shared.
Like the aforementioned TikToker suggested above, there are many dental professionals who wouldn’t necessarily equate higher pricing of toothpaste with higher quality or that it’s necessary to spend more money on toothpaste to maintain a high level of oral health.
NBC News compiled a list of some of the most recommended brands of toothpaste on the market, and surprisingly, the first one mentioned on the list was the bargain brand Aim. This is an affordable option (but not the cheapest brand on Amazon) but is usually one of the more cost-effective kinds of toothpaste when purchased at a brick-and-mortar store.
The Daily Dot has reached out to the creator for further information via TikTok comment.