Abrasion, Polishing, Stain removal of your Toothpaste

Abrasion, Polishing, Stain removal of your Toothpaste

Abrasion, Polishing, and Stain Removal Characteristics of Various Commercial Dentifrices In Vitro

Bruce R. Schemehorn, MS, Dental Products Testing, Therametric Technologies, Inc. Noblesville, IN, USA, Michael H. Moore, MS Mark S. Putt, MSD, PhD, Health Science Research Center Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, IN, USA

To evaluate, using conventional in vitro procedures, the abrasivity, enamel polishing properties, and stain removal effectiveness of various commercial dentifrices that have a variety of compositions and are marketed for cleaning, whitening, and/or polishing capabilities, and to examine their relationships between stain removal and abrasivity.

An ideal dentifrice should provide optimum cleaning (i.e., extrinsic stain removal) and polishing with minimum abrasion to the dental hard tissues (viz. cementum, dentin, and enamel). Maximum stain removal ability and low abrasivity are diametric opposites, as are high cleaning and high polishing.

Thus, it is in-evitable that some concessions must be made in order to achieve a suitable compromise, a fact that accounts for the large differences in stain removal, polishing, and abrasion properties of the various abrasive agents used in commercial dentifrices currently available to the public.

The balance between extrinsic stain removal and abrasivity properties of dentifrices has been investigated and debated for a very long time, but there is general consensus with the statement by Kitchin and Robinson26 more than 60 years ago that, “One should use only as much abrasion as necessary to clean one’s teeth.”
The challenge, of course, is in defining what is necessary. The results of this investigation are in agreement with earlier reports that generally there is moderate correlation between in vitro cleaning effectiveness and abrasiveness to dentin for various toothpastes, but RDA values are not always predictive of clinical stain removal. Still, it is very relevant to this investigation that both the RDA test and the PCR method correlated linearly with cleaning power (i.e., stain removal) in a collaborative clinical study using three different grading methods that evalu- ated dentifrices with three different levels of abrasivity

Stain removal ability, abrasivity, and enamel polishing capa- bilities of dentifrices, especially those containing silicas, were highly variable, and there was no consistent relationship for
these parameters that was associated with the abrasive systems as listed on product labels.

Dentifrices marketed as “whitening” products generally were more abrasive than other products, al- though there were some exceptions, and a direct relationship was not always evident between dentifrice stain-removal ability and abrasivity.

Similarly, with one exception, dentifrices marketed for their ability to polish or to impart luster to teeth were no more effective than other products. When stain-removal and abrasiv- ity parameters were incorporated into a cleaning efficacy index CEI, several products containing hydrated silica and/or dicalcium phosphate had relatively high CEI values, but the most efficient dentifrice tested contained refined “kaolin” clay as the abrasive.

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