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Fighting tooth and nail

Published on .

1960 P&G wins American Dental Association acceptance for Crest with fluoride, helping propel the brand, launched in 1955, past Colgate for the first time within a few years.

1990s With all competitors having long since adopted fluoride, whitening toothpastes from Colgate, Unilever's Mentadent, and Church & Dwight's Arm & Hammer chip away at Crest's lead.

1995 P&G launches Crest Gum Care in advance of anticipated FDA approval of Colgate Total. The product fights gingivitis but tastes bad and stains teeth, and gets pulled.

1998 Colgate launches Total as it passes Crest for toothpaste leadership.

2000-06 P&G narrows the gap with a series of whitening, cosmetic and flavor initiatives, but Colgate begins to rebound by 2004, focusing again on ads behind Total. Such products as Crest Whitestrips (2000) and Crest Pro-Health Rinse bring Crest nearer to passing Colgate for overall oral-care leadership in the U.S.
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