Since the early 2017 launch of our newest OraWellness product solution, Shine Remineralizing Tooth Whitening Powder, we have been truly touched and blown away by the support, response, and results we have received back from you.
Here’s a glimpse of some of the high-level customer feedback stats:
- 85.8% of customers found that their teeth were less sensitive (a sign of remineralization)
- 67% of customers felt that their teeth were whiter from using Shine
- and over 90% would recommend Shine to their friends
While all of this customer feedback has been awesome, we also wanted some scientific data on Shine.
So, we hired an independent dental lab to test Shine for a few of the same factors for which the ‘grown up’ companies in oral hygiene test their products. We needed to know how Shine stands up to commercial brands.
In this article, we’ll explain the tests, what they evaluate, and what the results say about Shine (spoiler alert: we are thrilled with Shine’s ability to help the world experience natural tooth whitening without the risks of abrasives!).
Tooth whitening testing terms
Those of you who have read our ebook on How to naturally whiten your teeth without destroying your enamel or our series on natural tooth whitening may recall that we referenced 3 standardized tools that the industry uses to quantify how abrasive a toothpaste is as well as how well the paste cleans our teeth.
Here’s a quick recap of the tools:
Relative Dentin Abrasivity (RDA) – Like it sounds, the RDA is testing to see how abrasive an oral hygiene product is on the teeth.
As you’d imagine, the higher the RDA number, the harder and more abrasive the product is going to be on our teeth. The typical RDA range is from 0 – 260, and this range is commonly broken into the following groups:
- very low abrasive (0-39)
- low abrasive (40-70)
- medium abrasive (71-99)
- high abrasive (100-149)
- harmfully abrasive (150+)
Pellicle Cleaning Ratio (PCR) – The PCR measures how well a product polishes the teeth and removes stains.
While not strictly defined, PCR generally ranges from 0-150.
Cleaning Efficiency Index (CEI) – The Cleaning Efficiency Index combines a product’s abrasivity level (RDA) with the cleaning ability (PCR) into one number that tells us how efficiently a product can clean our teeth.
The CEI range is from 0 – 100, with 100 being a perfect score of efficiency. The highest number we’ve found in the literature is for white kaolin clay, which has a CEI score of 98 (now you know why we use this specific type of clay in Shine).
The common path to tooth whitening
As you’d guess, generally speaking, the higher the RDA (abrasivity) number, the higher the PCR (cleaning) number. After all, you can clean off a lot more stuff with something that’s more abrasive, right?
A quick look through the RDA chart of many commercial brands shows just this. The ‘whitening’ and ‘ultra bright’ products tend to have really high RDA scores, so many of them are in the ‘harmfully abrasive’ range.
The glaring problem is that when we make a tooth product more abrasive, it increases the risk of removing enamel.
Most of our culture doesn’t realize the very real potential consequences of using super harsh abrasives on our teeth.
However, those of us in the OraWellness community know that brushing your teeth with something really gritty can cause permanent damage by removing enamel, especially when the abrasives are used in conjunction with the “scrubbing the grout line” method that many folks use to brush their teeth (feel free to check out this blog entry to learn how to use the much more gentle Bass Brushing Technique instead).
This risk is also compounded when we brush our teeth after consuming an acidic drink like kombucha (here’s a link to a blog entry that explains how to drink kombucha without destroying your teeth).
So, circling back to Shine, our challenge was to make a product that would provide support to naturally whiten our teeth while also helping our teeth be healthier and stronger long-term.
We thought this was possible. The research suggested that certain ingredients helped to polish better without as much abrasive action. This is exactly what the Cleaning Efficiency Index (CEI) measures–how well a product can clean without being really abrasive.
Quick review of Shine’s founding principles
When we first pondered the creation of Shine, we decided that its primary focus would be to help stop existing tooth decay and protect against future decay by supporting the body’s natural remineralization mechanisms.
Feel free to check out this video to learn more about how Shine works, and for a deeper dive on how to remineralize your teeth, we invite you to download this free ebook, ‘How to stop tooth decay and remineralize your teeth’).
As a secondary function, we also wanted Shine to provide a gentle whitening benefit without causing any harm to enamel.
After all, if we whitened our teeth at the expense of our enamel, we would not be supporting our larger goal to support the long term health of our teeth.
Incidentally, if you are experiencing increased sensitivity from using commercial whitening products that did wind up damaging your teeth, you may find some helpful tips in our blog entry, “What causes sensitive teeth and how to stop it.”
Shine RDA (abrasivity) results:
The first result we got back from the lab was the RDA for Shine. It scored at 33, which is at the upper end of the ‘very low abrasive’ section of the RDA scale.
Very low abrasivity to make sure we’re not compromising the long-term health of our enamel.
Shine PCR (cleaning) results:
The next test results we received told us how well Shine cleans and polishes stains from teeth. The PCR score is 47.
Right where we wanted it.
Not super high, as that would mean the RDA was also too high (and also, contrary to what a lot of the ads might try to make you believe, you shouldn’t have to wear sunglasses to look at someone’s teeth).
But Shine’s PCR score means that it can still effectively remove food and drink stains to restore teeth to their natural pearly-white luster, which means that customers will see a whiter smile really quickly.
Optimizing tooth whitening efficiency…
The real excitement was when we calculated Shine’s Cleaning Efficiency Index (CEI). After all, we were already pretty sure that Shine wasn’t going to be too abrasive because we didn’t formulate it with any ingredients that could make it too gritty.
But what we wanted to know is how efficiently Shine could clean our teeth WHILE keeping the abrasivity as low as possible. A very real challenge in this world of oral hygiene products.
So, to calculate the Cleaning Efficiency Index (CEI), we need both the RDA and PCR values.
Here’s the formula: CEI = (RDA+PCR-50)/RDA
Following this, we get…
(33 (Shine RDA) + 47 (Shine PCR) – 50) / 33 (Shine RDA)
This means that Shine has a Cleaning Efficiency Index of 91.
Even better than we had hoped.
As we mentioned earlier, the highest score in the literature is white kaolin clay, which has a score of 98.
And keep in mind that by itself, clay does absolutely nothing to support remineralization mechanisms in our mouths.
So, we are completely thrilled with the independent lab testing that shows us that the secondary focus of Shine, to naturally whiten our teeth without compromising our enamel, receives an A- :).
Thank you for joining us on this journey. We are honored that you find value in our research and product solutions.
If you’ve used Shine, what has your experience been?
Have you noticed any decrease in sensitivity?
Have you found your teeth becoming whiter over the weeks?
Love it, hate it, or mixed, we’d love to hear your thoughts and what your experience has been using Shine. Please tell us in the comments below.
Last, please consider helping us by sharing this article with your loved ones that want a brighter smile.
Helpful, Related Resources:
How to naturally whiten your teeth (without destroying your enamel) [Free resource guidebook]
What’s the safest and most effective abrasive to use on your teeth? [article]
Is baking soda safe to brush with? [article]
Toothpaste abrasivity chart [free resource]
How to brush your teeth to reduce gum disease [article and video tutorial]
How to drink kombucha and not destroy your teeth [article]
What causes sensitive teeth and how to stop it [article]
How to stop tooth decay and remineralize your teeth [Free resource guidebook]