Objective: This study was intended to optimize perlite particle size and morphology for better tooth cleaning and lower tooth abrasion, and to evaluate the performance of a whitening toothpaste containing the optimized perlite abrasive for tooth cleaning, abrasion, and polishing.
Methods: Perlite toothpaste abrasive samples were prepared by air classifying a commercial expanded perlite product. The tooth cleaning and abrasion properties for these classified perlite samples were reported via the pellicle cleaning ratio (PCR) and relative dentin abrasion (RDA). Performance of the whitening toothpaste containing the optimized perlite abrasive in tooth cleaning, polishing, and abrasion was evaluated against a widely used synthetic high-cleaning silica.
Results: Air classification removes large perlite particles and also physically changes perlite particle morphology from mostly three dimensional and angular particles to mainly two dimensional and platy particles. All the classified samples show good tooth cleaning effect, but tooth abrasion decreases significantly with decreasing particle size. Compared to high-cleaning silica whitening toothpaste, the whitening toothpaste containing the optimized perlite abrasive (PerlClean) is slightly better at tooth cleaning, lower in tooth abrasion, and significantly better at tooth polishing.
Conclusions: Fine platy perlite particles are effective in tooth cleaning with low tooth abrasion. The enhanced performance of optimized perlite toothpaste abrasive compared to high-cleaning silica in a whitening toothpaste is attributed to the optimized particle size distribution and the unique platy particle geometry.