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Nano-Hydroxyapatite: A Comprehensive Guide

So, first things first, I recognize that some topics are quite heated in dentistry and for some people, “Fluoride” is one of those things. I recognize that each person has their values and concerns when it comes to the products they use/ingest. The information I share is just that; it’s what I have researched and learned, and I’m grateful to share my clinical experiences with others who are interested. It is always your choice of what you do for at-home care, and my job is to educate, motivate, and inspire!!!

Now, some background. This is going to take me back to my university courses: embryology, anatomy and physiology… I will keep it as simple/basic/clear as I can.
The tooth is made of different layers: pulp, dentin, and enamel. Enamel is the hardest tissue in the body, and it is the part of the tooth that you see – the crown of the tooth (unless it’s worn through/broken/decayed etc). The dentin and pulp “support” the enamel. The composition of enamel is: 96% mineral-calcium phosphate AKA Hydroxyapatite, and other components may be in that crystal structure, such as Fluoride (if it’s available during formation), organic materials, and then water. When the Fluoride ion integrates, it can withstand a lower pH (acidity) than without which is why you will find Fluoride added into water and toothpastes/rinses, and why it is recommended by dental professionals. Water Fluoridation is a cheap way to decrease cavities for the population, and long-term data supports its safety at specific doses. Enamel cannot regenerate-it is not a living creature which is why we must use fillings/restorations to “fix” a cavity. Our main goal is to prevent the cavity from occurring OR try to get it to re-mineralize if we even can.

Furthermore, there can also be genetic/developmental/illness/traumatic conditions that affect the development of enamel which can affect how it looks or its strength.
Too much Fluoride during development is one of the things that can contribute to this. But wait Meg you just said earlier it is a benefit for enamel? That’s right. During tooth development too much Fluoride can negatively impact enamel (fluorosis); however, when topically used it is a benefit for enamel if it’s used within recommended levels. Fluoride has been studied for decades! It is still the gold standard/preference/recommendation amongst dental organizations and will be until more data and time positively support other agents.

A cavity/decay occurs when specific bacteria consume sugar to create acid which then creates the deficiency/hole in the tooth. The thing to remember is that throughout the day depending on what we’re consuming our teeth are exposed to “acid attacks”, and this is why we need to ensure we’re also using something to remineralize the teeth to prevent damage. Sometimes a cavity is visible and sometimes it’s not. It may be seen with x-rays only. Sometimes it has a symptom, such as sensitivity or pain, and sometimes you will have no idea there’s a problem at all.

Ok, now we’re ready to get into nano-hydroxyapatite. It was first created by NASA for astronauts, and then later sold to a company in Japan and incorporated into oral care products. It is synthetic. There are different versions of hydroxyapatite: micro or nano which relates to the size of the crystal. In studies, the microparticle is larger and does not perform as well as the nano-sized particle. In studies, a 10% nano-hydroxyapatite formulation seems to perform the best. Some other benefits of hydroxyapatite are that it can potentially get deeper into the tooth, whitening effect, decreases the ability of bacteria/biofilm to attach to the tooth – similar to Chlorhexidine, and preserves the normal oral microbiome. One of the bigger bonuses I’d like to mention is how it helps with desensitizing. For my clients, who try traditional brands of toothpaste with no sensitivity improvement, then I suggest that they try Remin or Carifree paste, and many people are happy with the results! Also, so far, there’s no indication of developmental signs like what happens with too much Fluoride (Fluorosis) for those using a hydroxyapatite paste.

Nano-Hydroxyapatite is still considered a “new” ingredient in the dentistry world and still needs more studies, but all signs indicate that it is an exceptional new ingredient in our oral care products.

I, myself, choose to use oral care products with the magical 3 if I can: xylitol, Fluoride, and nano-Hydroxyapatite because I want the positive benefits from each of these! I’ve recently tried Be You, and I love their apricot-peach flavour!

So, if you’re interested in exploring new products, then bring it up at your next appointment with us! At To The Root Dental Hygiene, we are currently seeking new clients, and we keep a variety of oral care items for sale in our clinic!

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