Non Abrasive Toothpaste: What’s the Difference Between Abrasive and Non Abrasive? (2023)

Your toothpaste has a very important job to do. It needs to work in conjunction with your toothbrush to thoroughly clean your mouth. Without your toothpaste and your toothbrush, plaque and tartar will build up on your teeth. This buildup has the potential to cause serious damage which may, in some cases, be irreversible.

Non Abrasive Toothpaste: What’s the Difference Between Abrasive and Non Abrasive? (1)

Almost all toothpastes use abrasive ingredients to help give your mouth a good scrub. Some toothpastes are more abrasive than others, and this is something that most consumers don’t realize or aren’t aware of. In some cases, toothpastes can be far too abrasive. Abrasive toothpastes can be a serious problem.

Before you brush your teeth again, make sure you aren’t harming them by using the wrong toothpaste. The wrong toothpaste can do just as much damage as failing to brush your teeth at all.

What is an RDA Value?

RDA stands for Relative Dentin Abrasivity. The RDA scale is a scale that is used to measure how abrasive a toothpaste is. A rating of 70 or below suggests that a toothpaste is only mildly abrasive, which is the ideal range. A rating between 70 and 100 is a medium abrasive, 100 to 150 is highly abrasive, and 150 to 250 is considered dangerously abrasive.
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and the ADA (American Dental Association) each have separate RDA limit recommendations. The FDA suggests that 200 should be the maximum RDA for toothpastes, and the ADA boosts their limit to 250.

Most toothpastes on the grocery store shelves have an RDA score of less than 150, but 150 is still far too high for the average person. Ideally, toothpastes will have an RDA rating of somewhere below 100. The closer to zero the score is, the less potentially harmful a toothpaste will be.

(Video) Best Non Abrasive Gel Toothpaste For Crowns And Veneers In 2022 | Nonabrasive toothpaste #toothpaste

Why Do Toothpastes Need to be Abrasive?

Abrasive agents help to remove things that have developed in or stuck to places where they shouldn’t be. Consider exfoliating your face. When you have a bunch of dead skin sitting on the surface of your face, you can’t really wash it. The useless dead skin acts as a barrier that makes your skin look unpleasant and prevents the rest of your skincare products (like moisturizer or acne washes) from doing their job.

When you scrub your face with an exfoliating wash, you’re using an abrasive agent to remove all the things that build up on the surface. With a nice clean slate, all the rest of your products will work. Your skin will be healthy and free.

Abrasives in a toothpaste accomplish the same goal. Food and bacteria build up, leading to tartar and plaque. Abrasive agents help to fully scrub them away, leaving behind a fully clean tooth that will respond better to toothpaste. When you’re fighting plaque and tartar, some level of abrasivity in your toothpaste might be good. For most people, high abrasives are entirely unnecessary.

What Ingredients Make Toothpaste Abrasive?

Have you ever seen a toothpaste that boasts the power of baking soda? Baking soda is a very mild abrasive agent. It begins with a slightly grainy texture, working up to a gentle cleansing foam. Baking soda will gently buff away light buildup on the surface of the teeth with a very low RDA rating. Baking soda doesn’t pose much of a risk to your mouth.

Charcoal toothpastes utilize a similar philosophy. The grainy texture of charcoal begins as mildly abrasive and then turns into a softer texture with water and scrubbing motions. The charcoal has just enough grit to loosen anything that may be beginning to grow on the teeth.

There are other safe and gentle dental abrasive agents that boast lower RDA scores. Calcium carbonate, magnesium carbonate, phosphate salts, and derivative of silica are common abrasive ingredients in low RDA score toothpastes.

(Video) Abrasive toothpaste removes enamel

The Consequences of Abrasive Toothpaste

It seems like abrasive toothpastes are great and wonderful and necessary. This is true to an extent. First, consider what a toothbrush does. Even a soft bristled toothbrush is slightly abrasive. All those bristles are designed to scrub and scour the teeth, and the mere act of brushing the teeth is slightly abrasive.

Now combine an abrasive agent with an abrasive brush. You’re really scrubbing your teeth. Both the toothpaste and the toothbrush are working together, and they’re doing more than just removing plaque or tartar.

Your toothbrush and your toothpaste don’t discriminate. They can’t tell the difference between plaque, surface stains, and your tooth enamel. Once all the surface buildup on the tooth is gone, the abrasive agents are still working. They’re breaking down the enamel on your teeth.

Tooth enamel is a finite resource. When you’re out of enamel, it won’t come back. The teeth become thin, weak, and sensitive. They may begin to erode or crumble over time. Drinking hot or cold drinks might cause pain, and the weakened surface will cause those drinks to further stain and erode the teeth.

Before you brush your teeth with a highly abrasive toothpaste, consider the fact that you may be doing permanent damage. Good dental hygiene habits may be enough to prevent significant plaque buildup without the risk of scrubbing away every last ounce of enamel you have.

What Happens When My Enamel Is Gone?

Some toothpastes can work to help remineralize the teeth, fortifying what enamel remains. These toothpastes help to keep damage from getting worse, but they won’t repair the damage caused. Dentists may suggest remineralizing toothpaste or treatments for patients with significant enamel loss.

(Video) THE BEST TOOTHPASTE! For Whitening, Sensitivity & Gum Disease

When enamel loss reaches the point of no return, most dentists will suggest dental bonding as a remedy. During a dental bonding procedure, weakened teeth are prepped and coated with a special tooth colored material. This material is then sealed around the tooth, preventing anything from ever coming into direct contact with the weakened tooth.

If erosion is significant enough, some teeth will be unsalvageable. These teeth may need to be pulled and replaced with bridges or tooth implants. These are major and expensive remedies for a problem that is usually completely avoidable.

If you don’t want to spend a fortune and hours of your life with your dentist, the best thing you can do is take care of your enamel consistently.

What is Non Abrasive Toothpaste?

All toothpaste is abrasive, including non-abrasive toothpaste. Without any abrasive agents, the toothpaste simply wouldn’t work. Non-abrasive toothpaste actually means low abrasive toothpaste, which would score at 70 or under on the RDA scale. Non-abrasive toothpastes are the ones that use abrasives like baking soda and charcoal, the gentlest options that do their jobs and wash away.

Most dentists recommend toothpastes with very low RDA scores. If you aren’t sure your toothpaste is the right choice for you, consult with your dentist. He or she will recommend a toothpaste best suited to your needs.

Your Toothpaste Isn’t the Panacea

Highly abrasive toothpastes essentially work through brute force. They’ll remove everything from your teeth, including the enamel you need to keep your teeth in one piece. Non abrasive toothpaste won’t do that, but it doesn’t need to. Your toothpaste is important, but it isn’t the be all, end all of your dental care routine.

(Video) A Dentist's Guide to Toothpaste

Flossing regularly, brushing twice a day for two minutes a session with a soft bristled brush, and using mouthwash are equally as important. When you’re fully committed to a comprehensive dental routine, you won’t need highly abrasive agents to remove plaque buildup from your mouth. You simply won’t develop plaque.

What If I Do Have Plaque?

If you have plaque that needs to be removed, you might feel tempted to use a highly abrasive toothpaste to remove that plaque from your teeth. Before you do that, talk to your dentist. Dentists have special tools they use to remove plaque from teeth while causing as little damage as possible. These tools are safe, effective, and provide instant results.

You might have seen kits of dental tools at the store that can be used for at-home plaque removal. It’s best to avoid these tools. They’re subpar versions of some of the tools dentists use, and if you don’t know what you’re doing, you can significantly damage your gums and your teeth. Plaque removal is best left to the professionals.

When your plaque is removed, plaque prevention becomes your new job. Regularly flossing and sanitizing your mouth will prevent the growth of new plaque. Retool your routine to help you sustain long term dental health.


Highly abrasive toothpastes aren’t the problem solvers they may appear to be. Most of them do more harm than good, and your teeth will thank you for avoiding them. Non abrasive toothpastes when used in conjunction with good dental health practices provide the optimum level of care for your teeth. Putting an adequate amount of effort into good dental hygiene now can help save you a lot of grief (and money) in the future.


(Video) Announcing 4 of the Best Least Abrasive Toothpastes in the Market Today


How can you tell if toothpaste is non abrasive? ›

You can determine whether your toothpaste is abrasive by checking its ranking on the Relative Dentin Abrasivity (RDA) scale. The higher your toothpaste ranks, the more abrasive. Generally, dentists recommend choosing nonabrasive toothpaste that ranks 69 or below on the scale.

What does it mean when toothpaste is abrasive? ›

Abrasives – Abrasives are required by toothpaste because they help remove stains and debris from teeth. Aluminum oxide, calcium pyrophosphate, and even silica are all used as abrasives. The make up 20-40% of overall toothpaste ingredients.

Is there a non abrasive toothpaste? ›

#1 Dentist-Recommended Non Abrasive Toothpaste

If you want to preserve your enamel AND smile your whitest, brightest smile, make the switch to dentist-recommended Oxyfresh Pro Formula Fresh Mint Toothpaste.

What is the best toothpaste for crowns and implants? ›

Non-abrasive, tartar control toothpaste is best suited to care for the surface of the implant. Avoid toothpaste with baking soda, too much fluoride, and those designed for smokers.

What does non-abrasive toothpaste mean? ›

Non-abrasive toothpaste actually means low abrasive toothpaste, which would score at 70 or under on the RDA scale. Non-abrasive toothpastes are the ones that use abrasives like baking soda and charcoal, the gentlest options that do their jobs and wash away. Most dentists recommend toothpastes with very low RDA scores.

Is Crest a non-abrasive toothpaste? ›

Crest toothpastes are formulated with hydrated silica, a mild abrasive that ensures you get an effective, yet gentle clean with whitening benefits by removing surface stains.

What are examples of abrasives in toothpaste? ›

Calcium carbonate, sodium metaphosphate, zirconium silicate and calcium pyrophosphate are just a few abrasives you may find on a list of toothpaste ingredients. Generally, toothpastes designed to whiten teeth or remove stains are more abrasive than non-whitening toothpastes.

Is Sensodyne an abrasive toothpaste? ›

A good choice is Sensodyne ProNamel, which has a very low abrasiveness of 37.

What is the most common abrasive in toothpaste? ›

The abrasive component in toothpastes differs, but the most common abrasives used today are derivatives of silica.

What is the best non-abrasive toothpaste for dentures? ›

Abrasive ingredients in regular toothpaste can scratch the soft surface of dentures, which can create a breeding ground for bacteria. Poligrip FreshFoam is non-abrasive to clean the denture without scratching.

What is the most gentle toothpaste? ›

The Best Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth
  • Sensodyne. The best part about Sensodyne toothpaste is that it comes in an array of different toothpaste options and capabilities. ...
  • Colgate Sensitive. ...
  • hello sensitivity relief fluoride toothpaste. ...
  • Tom's of Maine Rapid Relief Sensitive. ...
  • Squigle Tooth Builder Sensitive Toothpaste.

What is the healthiest toothpaste to use? ›

All of this being said, let's get into the six best toothpaste options for safe and effective brushing.
  • Dr. ...
  • Dr. ...
  • Arm & Hammer Essentials Healthy Teeth & Gums Fluoride Toothpaste. ...
  • Sensodyne ProNamel Gentle Whitening Toothpaste. ...
  • Tom's of Maine Simply White Natural Toothpaste. ...
  • Crest Pro-Health Clean Mint Toothpaste.
Apr 9, 2021

What is the most natural looking dental crowns? ›

Porcelain or ceramic crowns provide the best and most natural look. They match your surrounding teeth in shape, size, and color. The best option for front teeth restorations. They are biocompatible: that means no metal is used, so they are toxic-free.

How do you keep your teeth implants white? ›

How Can I Keep My Dental Implants White?
  1. Brush Your Dental Implants Daily. Brushing your dental implants daily helps remove stains and gives your implants a whiter, more polished appearance.
  2. Use Whitening Toothpaste. ...
  3. Avoid Tobacco Products. ...
  4. Go for Regular Professional Cleanings.
Apr 19, 2022

How can I make my dental implants white again? ›

Dental implants are made of a different material than natural teeth and cannot be whitened. You can change the color of natural teeth through bleaching, but it will not change the crown's color. The only way to adjust the whiteness of an implant is to replace the crown.

What does non-abrasive mean? ›

A non-abrasive substance or material is not rough and does not damage other surfaces it touches: Clean gently with a non-abrasive cleaner. Remove any marks with a soft, nonabrasive cloth.

What is considered a non-abrasive cleaner? ›

A non-abrasive cleaner is an all-purpose cleaner used on surfaces and objects. It can come in the form of powder or liquid.
Other common ingredients of a non-abrasive cleaner include:
  • Surfactants.
  • Builders.
  • Ammonia.
  • Pine oil.
  • Organic solvents like ethanol or isopropanol.

Is Crest 3D White non-abrasive? ›

Crest, a Procter & Gamble brand, offers 3D White Vivid and 3D White Advanced Vivid. Both varieties contain hydrated silica as an abrasive.

Is baking soda toothpaste non abrasive? ›

On the basis of the collected evidence, baking soda has an intrinsic low-abrasive nature because of its comparatively lower hardness in relation to enamel and dentin. Baking soda toothpastes also may contain other ingredients, which can increase their stain removal effectiveness and, consequently, abrasivity.

What toothpaste should not be used? ›

Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS)

Applying SLS to your gums in the form of toothpaste could therefore result in irritation. And for those suffering with mouth ulcers, this could worsen the symptoms further. For this reason, it might be best to avoid SLS in toothpaste.

Is Arm and Hammer Baking Soda toothpaste abrasive? ›

Disclosure: This article is sponsored by ARM & HAMMER™. Some dental professionals believe that baking soda toothpaste is abrasive. This is empirically false, and, as a matter of fact, just the opposite is true. Baking soda toothpaste has some of the lowest abrasivity among commercially available toothpastes.

What are the two types of abrasives? ›

There are two types of abrasives: Natural and Manufactured. Important natural abrasives, such as emery, corundum and diamond, are used only in special types of grinding wheels and honing stones. Manufactured or also called Synthetic Abrasives are now considered superior if not as effective as natural abrasives.

Is gel toothpaste less abrasive? ›

On the other hand, gel toothpaste is made from silica, which gives it a glassy appearance and smooth texture. It is also less abrasive, which is why it creates less foam and splatter. Compared to a paste, tooth gel has a less minty aftertaste.

Who should not use Sensodyne? ›

Sensodyne toothpaste is not recommended for use by children under the age of 12. Sensitivity is rarely a problem in children. Check with your child's dentist for appropriate advice and recommendation.

What toothpaste do dentists recommend for sensitive teeth? ›


Sensodyne offers a variety of toothpaste options, all of which are designed specifically for sensitive teeth. All of their toothpastes contain one of two important ingredients when it comes to sensitive teeth--potassium nitrate and stannous fluoride. Potassium nitrate soothes the nerves inside your teeth.

Is Pearl Drops toothpaste abrasive? ›

Pearl Drops uses dental grade polishing agents like perlite to gently polish teeth and lift stains without damaging enamel. As it's classed as 'low abrasion' it's safe to use this toothpaste every day, and most people see results pretty fast.

Is Colgate Total too abrasive? ›

In some cases, actually abrasive enough to do long-term damage to your teeth. To whiten effectively, whitening toothpastes contain a small amount of a bleaching agent but a lot of silica.
Type of ToothpasteRDA
Rembrandt Mint63
Colgate Regular68
Colgate Total70
59 more rows
Mar 23, 2018

Is Hello toothpaste abrasive? ›

Hello Fluoride Toothpaste with the ADA Seal (Table 3), demonstrated effective stain removal and was shown to be safe for the enamel in terms of abrasivity. The formulation contains gentle abrasives and is free from plastic microbeads or peroxides which can cause sensitivity to the gums and teeth.

How do you test for abrasiveness in toothpaste? ›

An easy way to test toothpastes abrasiveness at home is with a little DIY. Using a piece of tin foil (shiny side up), rub your toothpaste with the tip of your finger using light pressure. Rinse the toothpaste off the foil under running water and see if any scratches remain on the surface of the foil.

Is it OK to brush dentures with regular toothpaste? ›

Toothpaste is not intended to be used for denture cleaning and as a result can actually be harmful to your dentures. Opt for a denture cleanser and brush instead.

Why can't you use regular toothpaste on dentures? ›

You typically should avoid: Abrasive cleaning materials. Avoid stiff-bristled brushes, strong cleansers and harsh toothpaste, as these are too abrasive and can damage your dentures.

What is the best thing to brush dentures with? ›

Regular And Electric Toothbrushes

Since dentures are delicate and can be easily damaged, it is recommended that you use a regular soft-bristled toothbrush to clean them, as these are considerably more gentle than electric toothbrushes.

What toothpaste do dentists use? ›

Fluoride toothpaste

General dentistry uses fluoride to re-mineralize teeth with procedures like fluoride treatments. Fluoride helps fight off tooth decay and lowers the risk of infection.

What is the best toothpaste in the world? ›

The Top Toothpastes
  • Colgate Total. ...
  • Crest Pro-Health. ...
  • Sensodyne ProNamel Gentle Whitening Toothpaste. ...
  • Arm and Hammer Dental Care Advance Cleaning Mint Toothpaste w/Baking Soda. ...
  • Tom's of Maine Natural Anticavity Fluoride Toothpaste. ...
  • Crest Tartar Protection. ...
  • Tom's of Maine Simply White Clean Mint Toothpaste.

What is the best selling toothpaste in America? ›

The largest toothpaste brand brand in the US is Colgate, with a revenue of $17.421 billion and 139.37 million consumers. As of 2022, the global toothpaste industry has a market size of $35.5 billion. Colgate sells over 80 million units of toothpaste each year.

How do I choose the right toothpaste? ›

First, choosing the right toothpaste means knowing what's best for you or your family.
Are you looking for a toothpaste that's safe but also tastes yummy for the kids?
  1. Check the label.
  2. Make sure the toothpaste contains fluoride.
  3. Find the ADA Seal of Acceptance.
  4. Look for abrasive ingredients.
  5. Pick the best brand for you.
Oct 19, 2020

Is it OK to use regular toothpaste on dentures? ›

Toothpaste is not intended to be used for denture cleaning and as a result can actually be harmful to your dentures. Opt for a denture cleanser and brush instead.

What is non abrasive? ›

A non-abrasive substance or material is not rough and does not damage other surfaces it touches: Clean gently with a non-abrasive cleaner. Remove any marks with a soft, nonabrasive cloth.

Can you use any toothpaste on veneers? ›

#1: Gel Toothpaste

Gels are much gentler and are usually recommended for patients with veneers and other custom dental restorations. Avoid any toothpastes that contain hydrogen peroxide or baking soda. These ingredients can be too abrasive and may damage your porcelain veneers.

How do you find the RDA on toothpaste? ›

The Truth: All toothpaste has some type of abrasiveness to it especially when used alongside a toothbrush. So, how abrasive is your toothpaste? Unfortunately, toothpaste companies do not put their Relative Dentin Abrasion (RDA) information on the labels or packaging of these products.


1. How Abrasive is Your Toothpaste?
(That Dental Gal )
2. Episode 4 - Toothpaste Abrasiveness & Low Abrasive Toothpastes
(Scott Frey)
3. The BEST Toothpaste - Is it TOO ABRASIVE? (2018)
(Michael the Dentist)
4. Is your toothpaste too abrasive? DDS on WBOC's DelmarvaLife
(Delmarva Dental Services)
5. Are whitening toothpastes bad for you and are they effective?
(Top Doctors UK)
6. What's the Best Toothpaste for Me
(Atlanta Dental Spa)


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