In short, Calcium Hydroxyapatite is a natural replacement for Fluoride. Calcium Hydroxyapatite and Fluoride are both remineralizing agents, which is important for the prevention of cavities. However, Fluoride can be very toxic if too much is ingested. So, we use a safer and more natural alternative, called Calcium Hydroxyapatite.
Want to dig a little deeper into the science?
Great! Here at Tusk, we are passionate about the science behind our products. First, let's take a step back and talk about cavities.
What are cavities? What is remineralization?
Cavities are a hole in the tooth created by bacteria. When bacteria stays in our mouths for too long, it wears down the enamel of the tooth, creating little crevices. If left untreated the crevices continue to grow and eventually wear through the enamel, creating a cavity. This causes pain, can lead to dangerous infections, and eventually the loss of teeth.
There are two ways to fight cavities:
- preventing destruction of existing enamel, called demineralization, and
- promoting buildup of new enamel, called remineralization.
Demineralization can be prevented by controlling the acid produced by the bacteria. This is most effectively done by brushing your teeth regularly and limiting acidic food and drinks.
Remineralization naturally occurs through our saliva. Ions in our saliva attach to our teeth, but this often isn’t enough alone.
An imbalance between demineralization and remineralization leads to cavities. We solve this by using a remineralizing agent in our toothpastes, either Calcium Hydroxyapatite or Fluoride. These agents restore the balance in our teeth.
Why is Calcium Hydroxyapatite a better alternative to Fluoride?
Fluoride works by attaching to the tooth enamel to create a thin protective coating. This coating fills in the little crevices and protects the enamel from acid. The widespread use of fluoride has massively reduced the rate of cavities, and is considered one the greatest public health accomplishments of the 20th century.
However, fluoride can also be very toxic to humans if too much is ingested. It is also not an ingredient that naturally exists in our bodies.
Our tooth enamel is made up of 97% Calcium Hydroxyapatite, 2% binding proteins and some water. So what better substance than Calcium Hydroxyapatite to help repair and protect the enamel?
When brushing with Calcium Hydroxyapatite, the particles bind with the teeth, essentially building up “new enamel”, instead of a layer of fluoride, in order to protect the teeth. Calcium Hydroxyapatite has been proven to be as equally effective in the prevention of the remineralization to fight against cavities. (Source)
Calcium Hydroxyapatite is also effective at remineralizing primary teeth. Children are the most at-risk population for fluoride toxicity. Calcium Hydroxyapatite also provides a “fuller remineralization” than fluoride. (Source)
Are There Other Benefits to Calcium Hydroxyapatite?
Yes! Calcium Hydroxyapatite can:
Reduce Tooth Sensitivity
Sensitive teeth occur when nerve endings are exposed and get aggravated. The Calcium hydroxyapatite attaches to the tooth, protecting the nerve ending so it’s no longer exposed, working as a long term solution for sensitivity. (Source)
“Thanks to its safety, ease of use, and home application, Calcium Hydroxyapatite, dentifrice can be considered a prime choice treatment for managing dentin hypersensitivity”
Act as a Whitening Agent
As the Calcium Hydroxyapatite attaches to the surface of the enamel it smooths out the surface, increasing shine. The common ways of creating whiter teeth is either mechanical abrasion (polishing the rough surface) or chemical bleaching (bleaching stains embedded in the tooth), but these methods are destructive and commonly cause tooth sensitivity. Calcium Hydroxyapatite helps to create whiter teeth through building up tooth enamel, so it reduces sensitivity and whitens simultaneously!
Be a Natural Alternative
There is an ongoing debate about the Safety and Toxicity of Fluoride. Calcium Hydroxyapatite provides an alternative that is “safe to be used in oral care products” (Source)
For people concerned about Fluoride, Calcium Hydroxyapatite provides a safe and effective alternative to maintaining their oral health.