Pet Peeve #17: Discontinued Toothpaste

Sweet, sweet nectar. You refresh the expressions of life. I shall miss thee.

Have you ever found the perfect product…and then it got discontinued?

I went through most of my life using mint toothpaste, because that’s the only option that was out there (well, that and baking soda…but who wants baking soda in their mouth?). It was fine, but if you think about it, mint has a pretty strong flavor. I don’t like to taste anything particularly strong in the morning. No coffee, no crazy cereal with bumbleberries and pirates and flavor crystals…and no strong toothpaste.

So one day a few years ago I discovered a toothpaste called Crest Whitening Expressions Refreshing Vanilla Mint (CWERVM). It has a subtle, nuanced flavor, mild tanins, and just a hint of mint underlying an assaisonnement of vanilla. It’s for the sophisticated, delicate palate. It’s for the man who looks at himself in the mirror every day and says, “I’m not the kind of guy who talks to myself in the mirror.”

I’ve been using CWERVM for years, and I’ve genuinely enjoyed brushing my teeth with it.

But then, out of nowhere, Crest discontinued the flavor.

The first stage of a discontinued product is denial, obviously. So for the first week, I convinced myself that the reason I couldn’t find CWERVM on the grocery store shelves was that it was too dang popular. It had sold out, clearly.

But then I checked again the next week. Still no CWERVM. So I entered the anger stage, during which I brushed my teeth more vigorously than normal. That’ll show Crest to mess with me.

Finally I entered the stage of desperation and begging. I scoured Google for the one last existing tube of the sweet nectar that cleans my canines (incisors, not dogs). Alas, it’s gone. I can’t find it on any secondary markets. Is there a black market for toothpaste?

So basically, this is my way of saying: Isn’t product discontinuation the worst? Have you had this happen? I wish there were a way that you could quickly and easily tell a big company that you still like their product and want to buy it. Because I totally understand the discontinuation if I’m the only guy in the world using CWERVM. But if there are 500 of us or 5,000 or a million, isn’t that worth a production line?


57 Responses to “Pet Peeve #17: Discontinued Toothpaste”

  1. js says:

    I have had Toms of Maine shaving cream be discontinued. I too went into denial and then after requesting directly to Toms of Maine, I have had to start the search for a replacement. Alas so far I have tried 3 other products and still searching. I am thinking of writing Toms of Maine again and request this product. If only I had received a warning of this discontinuance, I would have ordered a case of the product. I still feel like there are some random tubs tucked away in some corner of some warehouse. How can I find them?

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      I COMPLETELY agree that we should get advance notice! Seriously, that’s just good business–it’s good customer service, good market testing, and good sales all wrapped into one. I would have unquestionably bought a case of that toothpaste if I had known.

  2. T-Mac says:

    Alas, I too have experienced the forced cold-turkey quitting of a product. Back in the glory days of aught-one, Nestea used to make a lemon sweet tea with some wonderful, intoxicating preservatives in it. It tasted like sugar and Heaven. All of a sudden, they discontinued the entire line–without so much as a word to me–in favor of some new line that didn’t contain chest cavity-cancer inducing preservatives. I wept openly for an extended period of time, cursed the gods…I’m told I even bit a gas station attendant’s ankle in a rabid rage when he told me they were sold out. It started a cycle of homelessness and mental deterioration, the likes of which can be found in a number of people with post-traumatic stress disorder. Sometimes I shake an angry fist at the sky and think about what might have been, had this horror of discontinuation not landed on my own doorstep me many a fateful year ago.

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      I’ve always thought that you might have achieved so much more with your life if that tea hadn’t been discontinued. You were so close!

    • Denise says:

      I know exactly the product you mean and was plesantly surprised on a trip to Alaska to find it in Canada and of course I brought all I could carry.

  3. js says:

    PS .. this has also happened with dental floss. New Product departments need to go unfunded and leave us to our favorite ______ ! — you fill in the blank.

  4. Christine says:

    I completely agree. I too was shocked/appalled/saddened by the loss of CWERVM—I was seriously addicted too it. I hadn’t had too much of an issue with regular mint toothpaste, until I had to try to switch back. Yuck! Luckily, about 4 months ago, I did find some CWERVM online at Alice.com (it’s not there anymore) and stocked up. I knew I couldn’t get it at my local grocery store anymore, but I was still in denial that they discontinued it. 🙁

    And if M&Ms could just bring bag Mega M&Ms again… they were perfect.

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      I had no idea so many people used CWERVM! Crest needs to know about this.

      All of this is giving me an idea for a new website: dontdiscontinueme.com

  5. Gabby says:

    I use the same toothpaste. Luckily for me I went to Sams Club and got a humongous discount case of it before it disappeared. I still have 2 tubes left and will accept major credit cards and favors.

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      Really?! Always three steps ahead of me. I’ll give you $500 for one of those tubes (sent by Western Union through Nigeria).

  6. Amanda S. says:

    Jamey, it looks like Ebay has some that you can purchase. Someone even has a lot of 5. Might be worth it if you don’t mind bidding and paying for shipping for your toothpaste. http://Www.medshopexpress.com appears to have some in stock. Also, http://www.buycheapr.com might have some too. Don’t give up, there’s still hope.

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      Although I feel a little weird buying toothpaste on eBay, I’m going to check it out. I looked at those other sites yesterday, and although it looks like they have some, they say they’re out when you actually go to checkout.

      • Griffin says:

        Thanks for all the info Jamey and Amanda – I just ordered 10 precious tubes from Ontario on eBay. With tax & shipping, $68… without hesitation, I’m there. But those 10 tubes (and the additional 10 I’m sure I’ll talk myself into by the time I’ve completed this posting) won’t last forever. Anyone wanna protest to Proctor & Gamble??

  7. Aaron says:

    What about the Walkman? I’ve had mine for years, and, believe it or not, I still use it. I’ve always worried about how I would replace it when it eventually dies.

    Then, I read that they discontinued it like 6 months ago. Hell, I thought it was discontinued a decade ago! Now I’m suffering thru the news all over again.

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      Wait, so you’re still listening to tapes? Why wouldn’t you just switch to an iPod?

      • EmilyRVA says:

        Walkman –> iPod is a hell of a jump. Baby steps. Start with a Discman.

        • Aaron says:

          I’ve got a Discman, too! It’s awesome!

          (Basically, I’ve got a lot of albums I love on cassette, and I’m too cheap to replace them all. I’d rather spend my money on new stuff than stuff I already love. Also, I was the last person in the world to buy a CD player.)

          • Jamey Stegmaier says:

            So I’m guessing you’ll hop on the iPod bandwagon around the time that everyone else is getting musical computer chips implanted in their ears. That’s about a year away.

  8. Sarah S says:

    this is my first visit and I just wanted to stop by and say Hi Everyone

  9. Carol says:

    Last week I attempted to replace my supply of CWERVM ….. you know the dismay I am now experiencing. Last winter I had bought a lot on sale but now :-((( I haven’t yet broken the news to my grandchildren. Called P/G with yet another request to start producing it again. Wonder how many requests they need to realize the need.

  10. Carol says:

    Has anyone found a close substitute?

  11. Scott P says:

    Crest Vanilla Mint toothpaste for me is the only flavor of toothpaste I have ever liked.

    For anyone who would like to get a few more tubes, I have several dozen left for sale. I ship same day from the USA.

    I have only supply left in US and better prices than Ebay.

    Prices are (free shipping):

    -3 for $35

    -5 for $55

    -10 for $110

    -20 for $200 (10% discount)

    Contact me for payment info scottypres at gmail

  12. My brother left a tube at my house accidentally awhile back. He says it’s the only flavor that doesn’t screw up a glass of OJ in the morning. I started using it in the mornings and found that it was pretty nice! (I still use mint at night.) I like that it doesn’t overwhelm my tastebuds for 2 hours after using it. I’m very saddened to learn that it’s been DC’d (via searching online for a place to buy more now that I’m running low). I’m still recovering from my favorite hairspray being DC’d very soon after I discovered it. This is almost as bad as Melrose Place getting canceled mid-season! NOW what??

    BTW Chapstik makes a Vanilla Mint flavor – hard to find too. Not DC’d and I wouldn’t recommend brushing your teeth with it, but it’s a nice flavor chapstik.

  13. Todd J says:

    I must say that I totally agree with you. It was the best toothpaste ever. I got a free sample from my dentist and have been searching for it ever since. Sad to hear that it has been discontinued, mistake for sure.

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      Todd–I posted this about a year and a half ago, so sadly the world has been without the vanilla toothpaste for way too long. I switched to Crest’s orange flavor, which is decent (less bite than standard mint), but it’s not even close to the splendor that was Crest Whitening Expressions Refreshing Vanilla Mint.

      • Dale says:

        I have just found this site because i was searching for the crest expressions orange flavor ! It was the only one i liked ! And i havent been able to get it for years now ! Not the orange scope !! Nasty but the orange expressions ! I was devastated when i couldn’t find it anymore .i have a serious problem ! I thought i was the only one with this problem ! I hate brushing my teeth because for 4 to 5 hours my taste buds are screwed ! I cant eat anything for hours ! Sometimes a day ! My friends and family dont understand me ! They can eat after brushing there teeth..my girlfriend thinks im crazy !! I tell her my mouth is ruined after brushing my teeth! She laughs at me !! thinks im being lazy !! lol Just like the vanilla mint ! The orange was mild ..and made brushing my teeth enjoyable ! I would brush them all the time! Now im screwed !!! I cant find it ! The vanilla was everywhere in south jersey ! But the orange was gone ! I thought i was the only one with this tooth paste problem !! All tooth paste !! Except the expressions !! I will keep my eye open for you for vanilla ! If i find it i will get it and send it to you ! No problem ! But can you do the same !! I need the orange !! My email is cancundreams2006@aol.com write me to exchange info ! Thanks !!

      • Mpet says:

        …and now Crest discontinued that orange flavor (Citrus Splash) too ?

  14. Griffin says:

    Hi, Crest Vanilla Mint lovers!

    I bought one of the last cases in existence with plans to make it last as long as possible. Then I found a new toothpaste and I have 9 or 10 tubes left.

    Is anyone interested in buying them?

  15. Griffin says:

    If you’re interested, I’ll put them up on eBay later today. My seller name is CoolMojo, but I’ve only sold one thing ages ago, so it’s gonna take me a bit to get it online.

  16. Ben says:

    This is my life in meta.

    I discovered a travel-sized tube with one desperate squeeze left in it, lying at the bottom of my sink cabinet yesterday, and that scab of hurt and loss broke open again. I went on a Google rage.

    I found this blog site, and also something about some old TV show I never watched involving Donald Trump. So I’m putting them together.

    https://www.imediaconnection.com/printpage/printpage.aspx?id=4505

    Adieu, adieu my tasty paste.

  17. Lynn says:

    Sadly, my stock of Crest Vanilla Mint Toothpaste is down to three tubes. I can feel the end coming and I am very sad. It is the only mint toothpaste I have ever liked. I called Crest and I emailed them over a year ago when I heard my favorite toothpaste had been discontinued. They told me there wasn’t enough demand. Very sad…

  18. Carolyn says:

    I was looking for something similar on crest and colgates website.
    crest is now making this one again – check it out and good luck! now, if colgate would bring back kiss-me-mint i would be thrilled !

    • Sara says:

      Carolyn, would you mind sharing the link of where you found it? I just went to Crest’s website and found the specs on the flavor, but not that it was in production or any info on how/where to buy it. Thanks!

  19. Karen says:

    I’m a little late in seeing this but years ago I found CWERVM and fell in love. It was the ONLY toothpaste on the market that did not burn my mouth other than the straight up baking soda ones. Seeing that it was always out of stock at the time of my grocery store visits I ordered 6 tubes through Amazon which lasted a long time. When I got down to my last tube I went on an exhaustive search in trying to find more and found out they discontinued it. I wrote the company and begged them to PLEASE bring it back. Got the same song and dance companies always tell you. If anyone has found a replacement for this non-burning toothpaste then please share.

    It never fails when I find a product I like it always gets discontinued. One of the other big ones that just bunched my undies was Johnson and Johnson discontinuing their Vanilla Jasmine Baby Powder. Luckily I was wise enough to order a case of that from Amazon (for fear of being discontinued) but now am down to my last one and it’s almost out. I also wrote them and got the standard “sorry.”

  20. Steph says:

    Sorry – I sold my last 9 tubes… changed to Pepsident myself. Good luck!

  21. Sara says:

    My heart just skipped a beat. Could it… could it be?? https://www.drugstore.com/crest-be-inspired-toothpaste-vanilla-mint-spark/qxp513612?catid=183827
    I’m totally ordering some and will report back.

  22. Jen says:

    It’s back! Crest has a new line, “BE…,” with three flavors that include vanilla mint. (Vanilla mint is the “be inspired” flavor, apparently.) I just found it today at Target and my mouth is happy again.

  23. I too loved the CREST vanilla mint toothpaste. The flavor was yummy, but even more important, the refreshing mint wasn’t so strong that it burned the mucosal lining of my mouth causing it to peel . I have some other friends who have this problem with super minty whitening toothpastes I real need the Vanilla -Mint to come back. Many of us do.

  24. Deneen says:

    I so understand your pain! They get me used to vanilla mint, and I ADORED that flavor!
    Now, it their Citrus Splash that has got me worked up because it has been DISCONTINUED. And I am still ticked of because I can no longer find cinnamon flavored dental floss!!!! 🙁

  25. Four of my favorites have gone by the wayside. My favorite multi vitamin that didn’t make me burp, Dr. Lyons tooth power, Crest Citrus Blast toothpaste and Soy Crisps that were made by Snyder’s. As far as black market is concerned, try ebay.

  26. Brandon Muller says:

    I agree! It was the best toothpaste ever. Felt like I was brushing my teeth with candy! Sadly, I missed the “Be Inspired Vanilla Mint Spark” reboot. Still have it on my Amazon wishlist where it shows I last purchased it in 2009. *sigh*

  27. Skylar says:

    I’m not alone! I found this article after lamenting to my friends about the exact same product. Too bad there doesn’t seem to be enough of us to get a petition to bring it back.

  28. Jasper says:

    STILL MAD AT CREST, BRING THIS BACK!!! Get rid of the “Expressions” branding and just remarket it as “Crest VANILLA.” Ashamed to say’s a I first saw this after seeing it pitched on The Apprentice. The flavor combo sounds gross but it was really good. Willing to buy the first 25 tubes!

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