Is Hydroxyapatite Toothpaste Better Than Fluoride?
Is Hydroxyapatite Toothpaste Better Than Fluoride in the Gold Coast?
Most of us are familiar with fluoride toothpaste and use it on a daily basis. Fluoride has been hailed as one of the greatest public health achievements of the last century. Regular intake of fluoride through tap water, toothpaste and mouthwash has proven to be extremely effective at combating tooth decay and is crucial to ensuring optimum oral health.
A lesser known alternative to fluoride toothpaste is hydroxyapatite toothpaste. Like fluoride, hydroxyapatite helps reduce plaque build up and remineralises teeth enamel. For those more sensitive to fluoride, such as pregnant women, young children, or those at higher risk of dental fluorosis, hydroxyapatite toothpaste can be a great alternative. The Dental Boutique are here to explain the difference and which may be better for you.
How Does Fluoride Toothpaste Work?
Your tooth enamel (the outermost layer) is made up of calcium and phosphate. Your saliva also contains calcium and phosphate, which constantly bathe your teeth and keep your enamel strong. Certain bad bacteria found in your mouth feed on sugars, breaking down food particles to create an acidic environment in your mouth. These acids strip away these minerals from your teeth and cause enamel to weaken over time.
This process is called demineralisation. As you scrub your teeth with a toothbrush, the fluoride in your toothpaste teams up with the calcium and phosphate in your saliva and teeth to form a compound called fluorapatite. This compound covers demineralised enamel with acid-resistant fluorapatite. This remineralises teeth, restores their strength and protects against further acid damage.
How Does Hydroxyapatite Toothpaste Work?
Hydroxyapatite is the main component of enamel and makes up 60% to 70% of the inorganic compounds found in tooth enamel. Similar to fluoride, hydroxyapatite helps fill in the enamel cracks caused by the process of demineralisation. However, hydroxyapatite remineralises enamel from within and has a smaller particle size, meaning it can penetrate deeper into smaller holes within enamel to remineralise it.
Some people are drawn to hydroxyapatite as an alternative to fluoride because of this, as well as the fact that it is the same substance that makes up a large part of your enamel. Therefore, it seems more natural. Unlike fluoride, which carries a small risk of dental fluorosis when children ingest large amounts, hydroxyapatite has not been found to have similar negative effects. But while hydroxyapatite helps to protect and strengthen teeth at a deeper level, it is more vulnerable to acidity.
Which is Better?
Studies indicate there is no difference between hydroxyapatite and fluoride toothpastes, in terms of which more efficiently protects your teeth and remineralises enamel. Hydroxyapatite toothpaste is a great option if you are sensitive to fluoride or are concerned about the risk of your young children accidentally swallowing fluoride toothpaste.
Good Dental Hygiene Habits Matter Most
Regardless of whether you opt for hydroxyapatite or fluoride toothpaste, the most important thing is that you brush properly. Your toothbrush is just as important as toothpaste. Remember that the main reason we brush and floss our teeth is to remove plaque. Plaque is the biofilm of bacteria that tries to attach to our teeth and creates that acidic environment that damages enamel. Good dental hygiene practices and regular visits to your dentist are the best way to avoid enamel demineralisation and keep your smile healthy and bright.
Dental Checkups in the Gold Coast
At The Dental Boutique, we provide amazing dental care to every patient, whether you’re getting our Biofilm Therapy Treatment or a major procedure. Contact our team today to make an appointment.