Why Nano-Hydroxyapatite Works Best During Oil Pulling
The oral care industry is constantly evolving, which is a good thing for those of us who want a healthier smile. While its natural counterpart has been used for over half a century to support bone health, one of the main ingredients to emerge for our teeth in recent years is nano-hydroxyapatite. If the name alone has you feeling a little confused, not to worry—this article will explore the ingredient and its role in oral health.
What is Nano-Hydroxyapatite?
Nano-hydroxyapatite, also referred to as nHAp, is the synthetic version of the naturally-produced mineral, hydroxyapatite. Hydroxyapatite is a mineral form of calcium apatite, and it’s what makes up human bones—including our teeth. In fact, it’s the main component of enamel, and what gives our pearly whites, well, their pearly white appearance!
First discovered at the turn of the 20th century, hydroxyapatite gained significant attention for its bone-growth abilities. It’s one of the most studied biomaterials because it’s biocompatible—meaning that it works well in the body and doesn’t present risk for any harm to living tissues.
When it comes to our mouths, hydroxyapatite works by not only supporting bone and teeth health, but also by providing an important source of phosphate and calcium, which are crucial for remineralization of demineralized areas of enamel. Hydroxyapatite was actually first used in the 1970s to help repair the teeth and bones of astronauts who lost some of these essential minerals in space.
While now used for people who aren’t wearing space suits, hydroxyapatite's reparative and regenerative properties have been slightly adapted to help reverse cavities in modern mouths.
This is all thanks to nano-hydroxyapatite, which harnesses the power of nanotechnology to create the synthetic version of hydroxyapatite and reduce it to crystals that are teeny-tiny—just 50 to 1,000 nm! The smaller size has a larger surface area per volume, meaning that it can bind to more plaque and bacteria to remove them, and more proteins and enamel to remineralize and repair small holes on the surface of teeth. Not only that, but it has also proven effective in treating tooth hypersensitivity.
Hydroxyapatite for a Healthy Oral Care Routine
In 2006, the first nano hydroxyapatite toothpaste was released, containing synthetic hydroxyapatite as a tooth-repairing alternative to fluoride. If you know anything about the fluoride vs. hydroxyapatite debate, you likely already realize that they both remineralize, but hydroxyapatite does so while leaving beneficial bacteria intact. Plus, it’s not associated with neurotoxicity and the potential for other complications, like fluoride.
So, does nano hydroxyapatite work in toothpaste? It does. During brushing, it makes its way to any crevices, cracks, or fissures in teeth, filling them before they become larger or turn into a breeding ground for bad bacteria. Because of its biocompatibility, your teeth naturally recognize and quickly absorb it to work its remineralization magic.
Hydroxyapatite Toothpaste vs Hydroxyapatite Mouthwash
However, to optimize this ingredient for our oral care routines, it’s important to ask a question: how long does it take hydroxyapatite to work?
For the nano-hydroxyapatite crystals to really get to work remineralizing our teeth, it’s better for them to spend more time in our mouths, up to 10 minutes for the most beneficial impact.
That said, our brushing habits might limit the efficacy of nano-hydroxyapatite. While the recommendation is to brush twice a day for two to three minutes, many Americans are only brushing once a day, and most only brush for just 45-seconds. Spending less time in our mouths, it’s quite possible that most nano-hydroxyapatite ends up in the sink, not binding to teeth.
This is where hydroxyapatite mouthwash comes in. Because products like Terra & Co.’s Gentle Green Oil Pulling spend more time in our mouths than toothpaste, it provides more time for the powerful ingredient to work its magic. As the key ingredient in our Ayurvedic-inspired oil pulling mouthwash, nano-hydroxyapatite works in tandem with prebiotics and antioxidants to balance pH, nurture good bacteria, repair sensitive teeth, and strengthen tooth enamel.
By keeping it in the mouth longer (swishing for at least two to five minutes), oil pulling can harness some of the benefits left out by the shorter duration of typical brushing. This provides remineralization benefits like those from nano-hydroxyapatite toothpaste, but helps to harness more of them. To optimize on the regenerative properties even more, not rinsing with water afterwards can help some of that nAHp continue to bind to the surface of teeth, even after you’re done oil pulling.
Treat Your Teeth to Nano-Hydroxyapatite
At Terra & Co., we also want to make our sustainable, eco-luxe oral care products work for everyone. That’s why we’re going to let you in on a little secret. Aware that not everyone has the time or patience for oil pulling, we have something very exciting in the works: toothpaste tablets that contain nano-hydroxyapatite!
We can’t wait until these new, zero waste tablets with our Terra & Co. community. Until then, be sure to try our Gentle Green Oil Pulling so that you can give your teeth a little sneak peek of the amazing regenerative, restorative, and remineralizing powers of nano-hydroxyapatite.