The planet's biggest advertiser Procter & Gamble is taking teeth out of the beauty parlor and back into the hands of dentists as it tries to steal a march on its main rival Colgate-Palmolive.

P&G's new Crest Pro-Health toothpaste is being backed by a $100 million (€78m; £52.7m) US marketing campaign - created by Saatchi & Saatchi - that centers on a checklist of the brand's serious dental health benefits, rather than beauty promises and exciting flavors.

The P&G brand is up against best-seller Colgate Total, which has dominated the market since its launch in 1997.

Hypes Matt Doyle, P&G's director of global oral-care R&D: "The consumer always had to give up something else if they wanted the gold standard of a particular treatment. Now they no longer have to make that choice."

However, the imminent mixed media marketing push has failed to remove the sparkling grin from the face of Colgate. Observes a company spokesman: "The historically strong growth of Colgate toothpaste, and Colgate Total in particular, will continue [in the US] and around the world."

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff