Tips for Safe and Effective Toothpaste Use

  • Abrasives remove plaque and daily deposits from the tooth.
  • However, toothpastes with higher abrasivity can cause irreversible damage, including enamel, porcelain, and root surface abrasion, especially if a lot is used on a regular basis.
  • Thus, it is important to know the Relative Dentin Abrasivity (RDA) of your toothpaste to ensure that it is safe and effective to use.
  • For example:
    • If you have porcelain veneers or crowns, you will want to avoid using whitening or tartar control toothpastes, which are especially abrasive. Over time, abrasive toothpastes dull the luster of your porcelain.
    • If you have recession and/or exposed root surfaces, these surfaces wear at a rate that is 8 times faster than enamel.
      Overtime, this abrasion can lead to tooth sensitivity.
  • Often, these abrasive toothpastes, which claim to whiten teeth and control tartar, are more expensive than their less abrasive alternatives.
  • Dr. McKay recommends using a pea-sized amount of toothpaste with an abrasive index of 60 or less. More toothpaste is not better.
  • Dr. McKay recommends that you first brush the inside of your lower back teeth, because that is the area that people often miss.
  • Where you start brushing gets the most wear, because the toothpaste is concentrated when you start brushing.
  • Dr. McKay recommends that you brush twice a day for two minutes each time and that you floss once per day.
  • Although the RDAs of the toothpastes listed below are subject to change, you may use the list to find the safest and most effective toothpaste for you today.
Legend
Very Low Abrasive — RDA 01 – 39
Low Abrasive — RDA 40 – 70
Medium Abrasive — RDA 71 – 99
High Abrasive — RDA 100 – 149
Harmfully Abrasive — RDA 150-260
RDA Your Toothpaste
80 AIM
91 Aquafresh Sensitive
113 Aquafresh Whitening
81 Amway Glister
117 Arm & Hammer Advance White Gel
106 Arm & Hammer Advance White Paste
70 Arm & Hammer Advance White Sensitive
65 Arm & Hammer Complete Care Plus Enamel Strengthening
54 Arm & Hammer Complete Care Stain Defense
35 Arm & Hammer Dental Care
168 Arm & Hammer Dental Care PM Fresh Mint
48 Arm & Hammer Dental Care Sensitive
42 Arm & Hammer Metadent Advanced
42 Arm & Hammer Peroxicare
52 Arm & Hammer Peroxicare Regular
49 Arm & Hammer Peroxicare Tartar
103 Arm & Hammer Sensation
117 Arm & Hammer Sensation Tartar Control
54 Arm & Hammer Sensitive Freshening
54 Arm & Hammer Sensitive Multi-Protection
54 Arm & Hammer Sensitive Whitening
8 Arm & Hammer Tooth Powder
78 Biotene Gentle Dry Mouth Repair
23 Biotene PBF Dry Mouth
63 Biotene Regular
85 Biotene Sensitive
60 Boiron Homeodent Natural Toothpaste
65 Clinpro
80 Close-Up
120 Close-Up with Baking Soda
110 Close-Up Paste/Gel
53 ClosysII
70 Colgate 2-in-1 Fresh Mint
200 Colgate 2-in-1 Tartar Control/ Whitening
200 Colgate 2-in-1 Icy Blast/Whitening
145 Colgate Baking Soda & Peroxide Whitening
120 Colgate Baking Soda Paste
110 Colgate Herbal
175 Colgate Luminous
100 Colgate Optic White
106 Colgate Platinum
68 Colgate Regular
63 Colgate Sensitive Enamel Protect
83 Colgate Sensitive Maximum Strength
125 Colgate Sensitive Pro Relief, Enamel Repair
165 Colgate Tartar Control
70 Colgate Total
124 Colgate Whitening
130 Crest Extra Whitening
95 Crest Kids
144 Crest MultiCare Whitening
130 Crest ProHealth
145 Crest ProHealth Enamel Shield
130 Crest ProHealth Night
130 Crest ProHealth and Scope
95 Crest Regular
107 Crest Sensitivity Protection
124 Crest Sensitvity Whitening and Scope
200 Crest White Vivid
18 CTx4 Gel Carifree
85 Dentisse
30 Elmex Sensitive Plus
98 Fluoridex Daily Defense
155 Fluoridex Enhanced Whitening
52 Healthy Teeth and Gums
103 Mentadent
101 Natural White
176 Nature’s Gate Paste
45 Oxyfresh
97 Oxyfresh Powder
95 Oxyfresh with Fluoride
150 Pepsodent (given as upper bound)
39 PerioSciences AO Pro Hydrating
51 PerioSciences AO Pro Sensitive
57 PerioSciences AO Pro White Care
53 PerioSciences AOPro Natural
110 Prevident 5000 Booster
85 Rembrant Intense Stain
63 Rembrant Mint
53 Rembrant Original
94 Rembrant Plus
79 Sensodyne
92 Sensodyne Cool Gel
104 Sensodyne Extra Whitening
94 Sensodyne Fresh Impact
90 Sensodyne Fresh Mint
37 Sensodyne ProNamel
104 Sensodyne Repair and Protect with Novamin
100 Sensodyne Tarter Control Whitening
44 Squigle Enamel Saver
70 Squigle Tooth Builder
7 Straight baking soda
62 Super Smile
93 Tom’s of Maine Regular
57 Tom’s of Maine Children’s,
49 Tom’s of Maine Regular Sensitive
4 Toothbrush with plain water
133 Ultra brite
145 Ultra Brite Advanced Whitening Formula
260 Ultrabrite Advanced Whitening
82 Under the Gum
45 Weleda Calendula Toothpaste
40 Weleda Children’s Tooth Gel
45 Weleda Pink Toothpaste w/Ratanhia
30 Weleda Plant Tooth Gel
15 Weleda Salt Toothpaste
62 Wintermint Supre Smile

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