What The Hydroxyapatite!?! - What's In Your Toothpaste (Tabs 😉)?

If you’ve ever read the ingredients of your toothpaste, you might have noticed the term hydroxyapatite. Any good toothpaste (or in our case, toothpaste tabs) should contain it, but why?

Below, we’ll look at what hydroxyapatite is and why we include it in our toothpaste tabs.

Hydroxyapatite: A VIP Mineral

Hydroxyapatite is a mineral that occurs naturally in nature - it can be synthesised from limestone, plants, and animals. It’s a form of calcium apatite, which is a compound found in bones and teeth.

In fact, it’s the primary component of both: bones are 70% hydroxyapatite by weight, and teeth enamel is 90% by weight. Dentin (the material under enamel), is around 70% hydroxyapatite by weight.

So, the bottom line is a pretty important mineral in your body. It provides rigidity to your teeth and bones and is also involved in regeneration processes. Unsurprisingly due to its existing presence in our bodies, hydroxyapatite has high biocompatibility. This means it can easily be absorbed by living tissue.

How Does Hydroxyapatite Work in Toothpaste?

Hydroxyapatite aids remineralisation during brushing. When you eat acidic food, it attacks your tooth enamel in a process known as demineralisation. This is completely natural but should obviously be minimised in order to protect your teeth. While it’s impossible to completely cut out acidic food, the next best thing is to use a toothpaste that contains remineralising ingredients.

Hydroxyapatite is one such example of a remineralising compound. It helps to fill the small cracks created by demineralisation, and, because it’s naturally occurring in your teeth, it’s pretty much perfectly designed for this purpose.

By aiding the remineralisation process, hydroxyapatite toothpaste can help repair and reverse short-term acid damage to your tooth enamel. Of course, you should use it as part of a wider oral hygiene regime to help combat acid attacks and erosion.

Hydroxyapatite vs Fluoride – Which is Better?

If you know a thing or two about a common toothpaste ingredient – fluoride – you’re probably wondering how it compares to hydroxyapatite. After all, toothpaste contains fluoride to help prevent erosion, so why do we need more than one product?

Fluoride helps strengthen teeth by being absorbed through saliva. It then bonds with calcium and phosphate to create fluorapatite, which is another form of calcium apatite. Much like hydroxyapatite, this helps reduce the damage caused by acid to your tooth enamel.

Both fluoride and hydroxyapatite remineralise teeth in this way. However, a 2011 study found that hydroxyapatite has higher remineralising effects than fluoride, although a big benefit of fluoride is that it’s actually absorbed by your teeth, whereas hydroxyapatite fills the cracks in your tooth enamel. While they have essentially the same outcome, they go about it in different ways.

Hydroxyapatite toothpaste is also less abrasive, making it a better option for people with sensitive teeth. Some people are intolerant to fluoride, whereas hydroxyapatite is naturally occurring in your body, meaning you’re less likely to be allergic or intolerant.

Getting the Best with Both

For the best outcome, we (as in our two GudYu-founder dentists) suggest you should aim to use a toothpaste that contains both fluoride and hydroxyapatite. This is because fluoride helps with longer-term remineralisation, whereas hydroxyapatite fills surface cracks for a more immediate benefit.

We include hydroxyapatite in our toothpaste tabs along with fluoride to provide the highest level of remineralisation. It means that not only do our tabs combat acid attacks, they also help whiten your teeth. So, if you’re looking to improve your oral health while helping out the planet, give our tabs a try.