How Abrasive Is Your Toothpaste?

Whitening toothpaste has become incredibly popular in recent years. Many people automatically buy whitening toothpaste without giving it a second thought. Unfortunately, many whitening toothpastes can be quite abrasive. Just how abrasive is your toothpaste? In some cases, actually abrasive enough to do long-term damage to your teeth.

To whiten effectively, whitening toothpastes contain a small amount of a bleaching agent but a lot of silica. The purpose of the silica is to rub stains off the surface of teeth. Because of the short amount of time toothpaste actually stays on your teeth, this silica is actually doing most of the whitening work, not the bleaching agents. The more effectively toothpaste whitens, the more likely it is very abrasive.

Over time, this abrasiveness can wear off dangerous amounts of teeth enamel. In fact, over time, this makes your teeth vulnerable to plaque and bacteria. Many dentists caution against long-term use of whitening toothpastes for just this reason. You may already be feeling the effects of this abrasiveness if your teeth are feeling sensitive but you have no cavity. Come talk to us at Kantor Dental to find out how we can reduce the damage.

How Can I Find Out If My Toothpaste Is Too Abrasive?

So is your current toothpaste too abrasive? There’s a simple way to find out. When toothpastes come to market, they have to disclose how abrasive they are. This abrasiveness is measured by an RDA (Relative Dentin Abrasivity) Value, or the toothpaste’s ability to cut dentin (the layer of teeth below enamel).

In RDA terms, anything under 70 is considered to have low abrasivity and should be safe for long-term use. An RDA score between 70-150 means the toothpaste has a medium to high abrasivity and it’s use should be monitored by a dentist. Once your toothpaste’s RDA is over 150, the abrasivity is likely dangerous in the long-term and should only be used for short periods of time. According to the FDA, no toothpaste should exceed an RDA of 200. The American Dental Association places the top limit at 250.

You can find the RDA of many popular toothpastes in the chart below. Check to see where your toothpaste falls. If it is over 150, you may want to consider switching to a less abrasive toothpaste to avoid damaging your enamel.

TOOTHPASTE ABRASIVENESS RANKED BY RDA VALUE
Type of Toothpaste RDA
Toothbrush with plain water 04
Plain baking soda 07
Weleda Salt Toothpaste 15
Elmex Sensitive Plus 30
Weleda Plant Tooth Gel 30
Arm & Hammer Dental Care 35
Weleda Children’s Tooth Gel 40
Arm & Hammer Advance Whitening/ Peroxide 42
Squiggle Enamel Saver 44
Weleda Calendula Toothpaste 45
Weleda Pink Toothpaste with Ratanhia 45
Oxyfresh 45
Arm & Hammer Dental Care Sensitive 48
Tom’s of Maine Sensitive 49
Arm & Hammer Peroxicare Regular 52
Rembrandt Original 53
Closys 53
Arm & Hammer Dental Care PM Bold Mint 54
Tom’s of Maine Children’s 57
Supersmile 62
Rembrandt Mint 63
Colgate Regular 68
Colgate Total 70
Arm & Hammer Advance White Sensitive 70
Colgate 2-in-1 Fresh Mint 70
Biotene 78
Sensodyne 79
AIM 80
Close Up 80
Under the Gum 82
Colgate 2-in-1 Tartar Control/ Whitening 82
Colgate Sensitive Max Strength 83
Nature’s Gate 87
Aquafresh Sensitive 91
Tom’s of Maine 93
Rembrandt Plus 94
Oxyfresh with Fluoride 95
Crest Regular 95
Oxyfresh Powder 97
Natural White 101
Mentadent 103
Arm & Hammer Sensation 103
Sensodyne Extra Whitening 104
Colgate Platinum 106
Arm & Hammer Advance White 106
Crest Sensitivity Protection 107
Colgate Herbal 110
Amway Glister 110
Aquafresh Whitening 113
Arm & Hammer Advance White Gel 117
Arm & Hammer Sensation Tartar Control 117
Close Up with Baking Soda 120
Colgate Whitening 124
Crest Extra Whitening 130
Ultra Brite 133
Crest Multicare Whitening 144
Ultra Brite Advanced Whitening Formula 145
Pepsodent 150
Colgate Tartar Control 165
Arm & Hammer Dental Care PM Fresh Mints 178
FDA recommended upper limit 200
ADA recommended upper limit 250