How Can You Tell If a Toothpaste Is Abrasive?
You can determine whether your toothpaste is abrasive by checking its ranking on the Relative Dentin Abrasivity (RDA) scale. The higher your toothpaste ranks, the more abrasive. Generally, dentists recommend choosing nonabrasive toothpaste that ranks 69 or below on the scale. Any toothpaste that ranks at 70 or above is considered to be too abrasive. If a toothpaste product ranks above 250 on the scale, it is not eligible to receive the Seal of Acceptance from the American Dental Association (ADA).
Why is toothpaste’s abrasiveness significant?
The abrasiveness of toothpaste is significant because an excessively abrasive product can damage your teeth. Each tooth is coated with a layer of hard enamel, which protects the softer dentin layer underneath. Although the enamel is quite hard and durable, it can sustain damage from abrasive products or brushing techniques. Abrasive toothpaste can easily erode the enamel, and once it’s gone, it cannot be regrown.
If you’ve been using abrasive toothpaste products for a while now, you may start to notice that your teeth feel sensitive, especially when you consume very cold or hot foods.
What makes toothpaste abrasive?
Toothpaste products are formulated with different ingredients depending on whether they have a purpose beyond cleaning the teeth. For instance, toothpaste intended to produce a whitening effect typically contains both chemical and physical whitening agents. When used in toothpaste, chemical whitening agents, like bleach, do not stay on the teeth long enough to whiten teeth effectively. That’s why whitening toothpaste also contains physical whiteners that abrasively scrub the teeth.
Silica is commonly used for whitening. Although it’s effective at scrubbing away stains, silica can also scrub away the enamel. That’s why it may be best to select toothpaste that contains other whiteners, such as activated charcoal.
Evaluating the abrasiveness of toothpaste products
Many people buy the same toothpaste products year after year out of habit. Yet, it’s worth taking a closer look at your toothpaste to see how it ranks on the ADA’s scale. Each one is required to reveal its RDA rank before it can be introduced to the market in the U.S. Any toothpaste with an RDA rank at 69 or lower is considered to be only mildly abrasive and is safe for long-term use.
Any toothpaste that ranks between 70 and 150 has a medium to high abrasiveness. Its use should be discussed with a dentist. Toothpaste that is over 150 is considered highly abrasive. The ADA advises against using these products long-term, as they can wear away the enamel.
Shop effective yet gentle whitening toothpaste at Terra & Co.
At Terra & Co., we pride ourselves on thoughtful formulations of oral care products that effectively scrub away stains while gentle on the enamel. In fact, our Brilliant Black Toothpaste made with tooth-whitening activated charcoal is clinically proven to be safe on enamel when used twice daily, every day.
We invite you to check out our whitening toothpaste for yourself and be sure to complement your non-abrasive toothpaste with our other sustainable oral care products, like our Brilliant Black Dental Floss and Brilliant Black Oil Pulling.