Colgate Phos Flur vs Act Braces Care

Colgate Phos Flur vs Act Braces Care
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Colgate Phos Flur vs Act Braces Care

Daughter #3 got braces about a year ago. At that time, the lady in the orthodontist’s office sent us on our way with a bottle of Colgate Phos Flur rinse, which she recommended using. She mentioned that, after this bottle, we could buy it at the office for $10 a pop. Forget about that, I thought. $10 for a 16.9 oz bottle of mouthwash? I don’t think so!

Colgate Phos Flur — Expensive

About a month later, the bottle was almost gone. I headed out to Meijer to shop for another, and holy cow! It was $12.99. And it was right next to other bottles of seemingly quite similar rinses, all priced half that amount or less. What’s up with Phos Flur, and why is it so great? I asked my daughter if she might consider using “regular” rinses, but she was hesitant. She’d known friends who’d had braces, and after the braces came off, they had little white spots on their teeth where the brackets had been. My daughter wanted to avoid this, understandably. I suggested that this might have more to do with basic brushing and rinsing than with any particular brand.

What does Phos Flur tout?

  • It’s orthodontist-recommended
  • It helps strengthen enamel
  • It helps prevent cavities

Okay, although none of these seem all that special to me. Definitely not $10/bottle special. Looking at the Phos Flur website, I found a bit more:


  • It promotes remineralization and strengthens teeth by forming a submicroscopic reservoir of fluoride on the tooth enamel
  • It provides 58% reduction in white spots

I will note that each of these benefits is footnoted to 1970s studies of using fluoride rinses. Heck, that’s prior to the time even I had braces.

I emailed Colgate, asking about coupons. They directed me to their website, which was offering a .75 coupon. Let’s say I wasn’t blown over by the generosity.

Act Braces Care

I did some research online, and discovered that there’s a competing product: Act Braces Care. Its advertised benefits:

  • Helps loosen particles
  • Helps prevent white spots and cavities
  • Soothes oral tissue
  • Freshens breath

Okay, so it sounds real similar. How about turning the bottles around and comparing the ingredients?

Colgate Phos Flur vs Act Braces Care

Both products have the same active ingredient: sodium fluoride. Colgate Phos Flur has .04% of it, while Act Braces Care has .02.

So, it appears to me that the fluoride is what’s working to prevent the white spots. Many oral rinses contain fluoride. I don’t know if there’s something special about the formulation in the braces-specific rinses that makes them more effective, or if it’s just a convenient way for the companies to make extra money (although I have my guess!). I checked a “regular” fluoride rinse we have in our bathroom, and its active ingredient — as you probably guessed — is .02% sodium fluoride.

I noted that, in stores, the 16.9 oz bottle of Colgate Phos Flur sells for around $13. I’ve found it on sale for as low as $9.99.


Do you have any insight into braces rinses? Sound off in the comments!





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