five things you need to know about abrasives in toothpaste

five things you need to know about abrasives in toothpaste

You’ve heard of exfoliators for your skin, but now it’s time to talk about exfoliators for your pearly whites! Abrasives in toothpaste (at least, the safe + high-quality ones) are ingredients that are coarse enough to break up the plaque on your teeth but gentle enough to keep your enamel healthy.

Remember the enamel? We talk about it all the time. It’s the hard outer shell of your tooth that protects the vulnerable, essential stuff underneath (nerves, tissues, etc.), allowing your tooth to withstand physical, thermal, and chemical interactions.

Because your enamel is so important, abrasive ingredients often get a bad rap. There’s a very delicate balance between cleaning the enamel and avoiding enamel wear + tear that must be maintained to achieve effective oral care.

Plus, there are so many toothpastes on the market that utilize harsh, low-quality abrasives that ultimately have a net negative effect on your oral health. That’s why we feel like it’s so important to discuss the details about abrasives in toothpaste....and how the abrasives in Davids are natural, safe, and effective.

1: abrasives in toothpastes can be beneficial

So, you might be wondering, if abrasives pose any threat to the beloved enamel, why not just ditch them altogether? Well, because they bring a lot of benefits for your teeth (when done right).

The main role of an abrasive ingredient is to break up + remove plaque from your enamel, kinda like exfoliating your skin removes dead cells and toxins. Removing plaque from your tooth’s surface is the number one defense against tooth decay. This stops the bad bacteria from getting comfortable and settling in on the gooey film on your teeth...eventually eating through your enamel and causing a cavity. This is one reason why it’s so important to find safe abrasives that get the job done without harming your enamel in the process (that would defeat the purpose).

Plus, abrasives in toothpaste are proven effective in removing surface stains + polishing your pearly whites. Using safe, gentle abrasives in your toothpaste is a win, win!

2: toothpastes are scored by Relative Dentin Abrasivity (RDA)

Relative Dentin Abrasivity (RDA) is a standardized scale used to measure the potential damaging effects of abrasives in toothpaste. The ADA recommends using toothpaste with an RDA rating below 250. Depending on the flavor, Davids falls between 101-111, which is well within the safety recommendation!

You’ll notice on any toothpaste abrasiveness chart that products with big whitening claims like “extra whitening” and “ultra-bright” are generally higher on the RDA scale. That’s because these toothpastes utilize harsher abrasives to get rid of surface stains. Be wary of these toothpastes, as their whitening effects may come at a much bigger price: the health of your enamel.

3: tooth wear involves a lot more than abrasive toothpaste

When it comes to damaging your enamel, there’s a lot more at play than simply the RDA of your toothpaste. Pamela Maragliano-Muniz, DMD, explains that there are three primary factors that contribute to tooth wear.

  • Abrasion: interaction between the teeth and other materials (aka, abrasive toothpaste)
  • Attrition: tooth-to-tooth contact
  • Erosion: wear due to acids from your environment and/or diet

A scientific survey reveals that out of the 100 cases of problematic tooth wear, 58% were attributed to erosion alone. In contrast, zero cases were attributed to abrasion alone. In fact, research shows that normal toothbrushing with products within RDA limits will cause virtually no wear on the enamel over the course of a lifetime.

4: you know your mouth the best

When it comes to deciding what’s “too abrasive,” hone in on how your mouth actually feels when you use abrasive toothpaste. Here are a few tips to help:

  • When you try a new abrasive toothpaste, make sure you’re using the same toothbrush. That way, you know if it causes discomfort it’s actually because of the toothpaste....not because your toothbrush bristles are too “hard” for your mouth.
  • The same tip above goes for mouthwash, floss, and other oral care products. You want the toothpaste to be the only variable in this experiment.
  • Avoid rigorous brushing when using abrasive toothpaste. Practicing mindfulness during your oral care routine can help with this!
  • Write down if you feel any discomfort after several uses. Common discomforts associated with enamel wear include tooth/gum sensitivity, bleeding, pain when consuming hot/cold items, and gum recession.
  • Visit your dentist to have them examine your mouth. Relay the notes you took on the discomforts associated with your new toothpaste and ask for a recommendation.

That being said, many Davids users have confirmed that our natural toothpaste works wonders for their sensitive teeth...with no discomfort! The high-grade, micro-abrasives in Davids are sourced and derived from nature, ultra-fine, and non-gritty. They allow for a smooth and creamy paste that’s ideal for people with sensitive teeth....yet still effective in reducing plaque and whitening your teeth.

5: Davids contains the highest-quality mild abrasives

The quality of abrasive ingredients plays a critical role in the safety + efficacy of your toothpaste. This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised by how many companies are getting away with low-quality abrasive ingredients (even some natural brands)!

The sourcing, handling, and processing of the ingredient are critical...which is why we take so much pride in using high-quality, naturally sourced, naturally derived, and 98% USA-origin ingredients. This sets our ingredients apart from the rest and squashes any worries you may still have about abrasive toothpaste. Let’s take a closer look at the mild abrasive ingredients in Davids.

  • Hydrated Silica: While Davids uses the highest quality, USA-made hydrated silica with ultra-fine particles, others use low-quality imported silica with large abrasive particles. What is hydrated silica? It’s a derivative of silica, a natural material that makes up 12% of the earth’s surface. Hydrated silica in toothpaste works to remove surface stains to whiten and polish your teeth.
  • Calcium Carbonate: Another natural material, our calcium carbonate is mined from a quarry in Pennsylvania and processed to uphold the strictest purity standards. It works to assist hydrated silica on the quest to exfoliate, clean, and whiten your teeth.
  • Baking Soda: Made with naturally occurring minerals and materials, baking soda is a common, mild abrasive used to remove surface stains and neutralize acids on your teeth (you know, the acids that caused 58% of tooth wear in the study mentioned in the previous section). Baking soda alone is rated as a seven on the RDA scale...only three scores above brushing your teeth with plain water!

Our careful intention with selecting and producing these abrasives can make all the difference in cleaning, whitening, and protecting your enamel. That’s exactly why we (and a lot of other happy customers) believe Davids is the best natural toothpaste out here.


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