The extent of abrasion of human enamel caused by tooth brushing was investigated in a laboratory study. The enamel was made radioactive by irradiation in a nuclear reactor. The amount of radioactive material removed by brushing with a 30% toothpaste slurry was quantitatively measured as a function of the number of strokes. A detailed description of the brushing machine, the slurry container, the sampling and the calibration is given. The results showed that from polished enamel initially material is removed fairly rapidly. After 500 strokes the amount abraded away was 12.5 μg cm––2 corresponding to a layer in the order of 0.2 μm. In the range between 500 and 10,000 strokes the rate of abrasion was slower; after 10,000 strokes a layer of about 0.4 μm had been removed. The results indicate a considerable biological variation between the various specimens.

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