When you think of toothpaste, what comes to mind? Do you pick toothpaste targeted towards tooth sensitivity? Whitening? How about flavors? Do you prefer spearmint, cool mint, or maybe cinnamon? For many, one key ingredient they look for when buying a new toothpaste is fluoride to help strengthen their teeth’s enamel and prevent cavities.
Though fluoride has been the golden standard for protecting your teeth, it isn’t the only way to protect your dental health. We’d like to take a moment to tell our patients about the ever-growing prevalence of hydroxyapatite and the important role it can play in protecting, strengthening, and whitening your teeth.
What is Hydroxyapatite?
Though the name may sound intimidating, hydroxyapatite is not. Hydroxyapatite (HA) is a form of calcium apatite, also known as calcium phosphate, and is a naturally occurring mineral that makes up our bones and teeth. It makes up over 90% of the foundation of your tooth’s enamel and 60% of your bones.
Even if lab-created, this important mineral can assist in strengthening, restoring, and rebuilding your teeth and bones. Specifically, in dentistry, it has become a healthy alternative in toothpaste to fluoride thanks to its natural remineralizing and restorative properties. This is especially important for patients who prefer to minimize their exposure to fluoride.
The Hydroxyapatite Difference
Your tooth’s enamel is the first line of defense against harmful acids and bacteria, and it works to fight against tooth decay. To keep your teeth protected from cavities and decay, the enamel must constantly be rebuilt or remineralized. Fluoride toothpaste is often recommended for strengthening your enamel and works by making the teeth more resistant to cavities and tooth decay.
The difference with hydroxyapatite is that this mineral is naturally restorative and actively rebuilds your enamel by feeding it every mineral it needs. It is also effective in reducing your risk for tooth decay, cavities, and enamel erosion.
Hydroxyapatite is also helpful in improving biocompatibility with implants when used as a coating.
What are the benefits of using hydroxyapatite?
The benefits of using hydroxyapatite include:
- Bonding agent
- Lowers plaque levels
- Naturally whitens teeth
- Reduces tooth sensitivity
- Remineralizes teeth and stimulates bone growth
- Soothes gums and fights against gingivitis
Is it safe?
Hydroxyapatite is biocompatible and non-toxic as it is a naturally occurring mineral found within our bodies. There is no risk of overexposure as there can be when using fluoride-based products. It is ideal for children, pregnant women, and those at high risk of developing fluorosis. Though it is safe for ingestion, we do not recommend eating it.