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