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“I wonder if Arm & Hammer Advance White toothpaste takes the enamel off my teeth because it seems more abrasive than other toothpastes. However, I do like the clean feeling it gives my teeth.”
There are many ways to look at this question.
The ADA has done research on this topic, attaching a RDA Value number to different toothpastes depending on their level of abrasion. RDA stands for Relative Dentin Abrasion and all toothpastes have to be assigned a RDA value in order for them to be approved by the FDA.
According to the results of their standardized tests, a number value between 100-150 is considered highly abrasive. Arm & Hammer Advanced Whitening gel has been assigned a RDA value of 117, putting it in the highly abrasive category. However, the FDA has a Recommended Limit of 250, which means that even though the toothpaste is considered highly abrasive, it is still within accepted safe values.If you are looking for a toothpaste that is less abrasive, Colgate Regular has been assigned a value of 68 which puts it in the l0w abrasion category.
It is also important to understand that not only your toothpaste is a factor in tooth abrasion. Certain acidic foods can cause break down of your tooth enamel as well. The image below comes from the Sensodyne Pronamel Website, and outlines the different groups different foods according to Acidity level. It could be a good source to check to see just how acidic some of the foods you are ingesting can be and just how much acidity you are subjecting your teeth to. Remember, the higher the acidity of certain foods, the more acid wear you have acting on your teeth.
Arm & Hammer maintains that all of their Arm & Hammer brand toothpastes were developed for a daily oral hygiene program, that they are low in abrasion and safe for everyday use. They say on their website,
“ARM & HAMMER®conducted tests not only under expected use conditions but also under exaggerated use conditions. For example, in some studies we had the subjects brush every hour up to 5 times during one study day. After brushing they were examined by trained dental professionals.”
It might interest you to note that “ARM & HAMMER®Baking Soda toothpaste helps maintain the mouth’s natural pH level as it neutralizes food acids immediately after use.”
Why is this? Because baking soda acts as a natural buffer. So, all those foods that have a low pH level, meaning they are highly acidic (and breaking down your enamel), can be neutralized by following their consumption with a toothpaste that contains baking soda.
We hope this information can help you make informed decisions about your oral health care! Let us know if we can answer any more of your questions!
-The Dental Team at Exquisite Smiles Oak Park
Some of our sources for this answer for Further Reading:
Dental Designs of Salt Lake Blog: http://dukeslc.wordpress.com/2008/11/20/toothpaste-abrasion-ratings/
Arm & Hammer FAQ Website: http://www.armandhammer.com/FAQ/PersonalCare.aspx
Sensodyne Pronamel Article, “About Acidic Foods”: http://www.pronamel.us/what_is_acid_erosion/about_acidic_foods.aspx#acidity