Abrasion is a process of wearing down and away or scraping of something.
How does Abrasion relate to teeth?
Overtime acidic foods and drinks, improper brushing and tooth paste can slowly wear away surfaces of our teeth. The fist layer of our teeth is enamel. This is the outer whitest surface of the tooth. The enamel is the hardest tissue in the human body, but can be dematerialized because it is composed of minerals. The second layer is much softer and likely to wear away because it is less mineralized and appears yellow in color. Overtime constant scrapping of materials used in the mouth can contribute to the process of abrasion.
Where does Toothpaste come into play?
Every day we use toothpaste to help mechanically clean and refresh our mouths. There are wide varieties of toothpastes each labeled with specific desires and features. There are toothpastes that whiten, have tartar control, specialize in sensitivity, enamel health ect. One of the ways toothpastes are manufactured is dependent on how abrasive it is for desired results. Basically the more abrasive toothpaste is the more likely overtime you may experience: sensitivity, more frequent staining, notching close to the gum line, teeth appearance may look more yellow. There is a measurement used to describe the abrasiveness of something, called RDA (relative dentin abrasivity). All manufactures of the toothpastes use this measurement and must disclose this on the label or have it easily accessible to the public. The lower the number the less likely enamel/dentin is to be worn away.
0 to 100= low abrasive
70 to 100= midrange abrasion
100 to 150= highly abrasive
150 to 250= considered harmful to teeth
Some common toothpaste used by our patients includes;
|Arm & Hammer sensation||103|
|Arm & Hammer advance white gel||117|
|Crest Pro health||140|
|Colgate tartar control||165|
How can you minimize the effects of abrasion?
- Pea size amount of toothpaste
- Checking RDA of your toothpaste
- Proper brushing techniques
- Limit excessive brushing throughout the day. (2xdaily)
- Do not brush right after acidic foods
- prophylaxis paste used in office for polishing has different grits ranging from fine and med coarse (rarely used)
- Your hygienist will assess your need for the prophy paste at your visit and either recommends having it done or not. It’s usually done with staining or tartar build-up.
- Skipping prophy paste use for patients with sensitivity can help. For patients who like feeling of a polishing can have one upon request, but may be advised to skip an appointment if there is revere signs of wear, it is all on an individual basis.
- Explain process of acid erosion and other contributing factors.