RDA (Relative Dentin Abrasivity)

Asheville Dentist

Asheville DentistMeasuring abrasivity: Toothpaste abrasivity is measured using an ADA-standardized test. A laboratory takes a sample tooth, strips the enamel, irradiates it, brushes it, and measures the radiation in the rinsewater. The result is a number known as RDA, which stands for radioactive dentin abrasion or relative dentin abrasivity. In general, the lower the number, the less enamel/dentin gets worn away. The higher the number, the better the stain removal, however.

RDA Value Toothpaste
7 Plain Baking Soda
8 Arm & Hammer Tooth Powder
15 WELEDA Salt Toothpaste
30 Elmex Sensitive Plus
30 WELEDA Plant Tooth Gel
35 Arm & Hammer Dental Care
40 WELEDA Children’s Tooth Gel
42 Arm & Hammer Advance White Baking Soda Peroxide
44 Squiggle Enamel Saver
45 WELEDA Calendula
45 WELEDA Pink Toothpaste with Ratanhia
48 Arm & Hammer Dental Care Sensitive
49 Arm & Hammer Peroxicare Tartar Control
49 Tom’s of Maine Sensitive
51 Crest with Scope
52 Arm & Hammer Peroxicare Regular
53 Rembrant Original
54 Arm & Hammer Dental Care PM Bold Mint
57 Tom’s of Maine Children’s Wintermint
60 Biotene Gel
62 Supersmile
63 Rembrant Mint
65 Colgate Enamel Care Advanced Whitening
68 Colgate Regular
68 Crest with Scope Whitening
70 Colgate Total
70 Arm & Hammer Advance White Sensitive
70 Colgate 2-in-1 Fresh Mint
74 Crest Rejuvenating Effects Liquid Gel
75 Prevident 5000 Booster
79 Sensodyne
80 AIM
80 Biotene Paste with Fluoride
80 Close-Up
83 Colgate Maximum Strength
91 Aquafresh Sensitive
93 Tom’s of Maine Regular
94 Rembrant Plus
95 Crest Regular
100 Colgate Enamel Care Natural Whitening
101 Natural White
103 Mentadent
103 Arm & Hammer Sensation
104 Sensodyne Extra Whitening
106 Colgate Platinum
106 Arm & Hammer Advanced White Paste
107 Crest Sensitivity Protection
109 Colgate Tartar Control with Baking Soda and Peroxide
110 Colgate Herbal
110 Amway Glister
113 Aquafresh Whitening
117 Arm & Hammer Advanced White Get
117 Arm & Hammer Sensitive Tartar Control
120 Close-Up with Baking Soda
120 Crest Extra Whitening with Tartar Protection
124 Colgate Whitening
125-140 Prevident 5000+
126 Crest Maximum Sensitivity
130 Crest Extra Whitening
133 Ultra Brite
139 Crest MultiCare Fresh Mint
144 Crest MultiCare Whitening
145 Ultra Brite Advanced Whitening Formula
150 Pepsodent
155 Crest Rejuvenating Effects
160-190 Crest Pro Health Formulas
165 Colgate Tartar Control
168 Arm & Hammer Dental Care PM Fresh Mint
175 Colgate Luminous
200 Colgate 2-in-1 Tartar Control/Whitening or Icy Blast/Whitening
200 FDA recommended limit
250 ADA recommended limit


Consumer Reports has evaluated toothpastes (August 1998), but they make the error of considering only stain removal, not abrasion. Thus, high-abrasivity toothpastes such as Ultra Brite received the highest ratings. Consumer Reports’ test essentially measured abrasivity, and their conclusions ignored the problem of too much abrasivity. Be wary of unscientifically-based conclusions.

Pay attention to pressure. Dentists recommend brushing with no more than 150 grams of force (mass). Look at your old toothbrush. If the bristles look splayed, you are brushing too hard. The bristles on your old toothbrush should look just as parallel as on your new toothbrush.

If you have any questions, please contact our Asheville dentists.