Toothpowder: Is it too abrasive for your teeth?

Toothpowder: Is it too abrasive for your teeth?

During the short few months of my Zero Waste Journey I have encountered a few different types of products. One of them being the concept of toothpowder. I know it’s not entirely new, as places like Lush have had toothpowder tablets for a while, but I personally haven’t used a toothpowder. Until I picked up the Love Beauty Foods Toothpowder

I tried using toothpowder…

Love Beauty Foods Toothpowder (discontinued)

I won’t go too deep into the Love Beauty Foods Toothpowder because it seems like they have discontinued their own toothpowder line. However I have tried it and I probably know why. 

Today, I just want to talk about toothpowder in general. Referencing the one (and only) toothpowder I have used to date. 

lowdown on toothpowder: too abrasive for your teeth?

What is toothpowder?

Toothpowder is basically toothpaste but in powder format. I know, mind blowing. But it’s really quite strange. I thought switching to using toothpaste out of a jar was a difficult switch, but that pales in comparison. 

How do you use it? 

The Love Beauty Foods toothpowder comes in a glass jar with a plastic lid, I picked it up mainly because I needed more toothpaste and loved that low-waste packaging (and also because I was intrigued at the concept.) 

There are other formats of toothpowder, like Lush’s, which come in a tablet that you chew up and then brush. 

What are the ingredients like? 

Most toothpowders seem to include a blend of clays (bentonite, kaolin etc.) baking soda, salts and essential oils for flavouring. 

Let’s talk about Abrasives

I’ve had a lot of questions on natural toothpastes and whether baking soda and natural clays are bad for the teeth. So I have conducted a bit of research. Please note, I have not studied dentistry-please refer to your dentist for recommendations regarding your own oral health. 

Here’s the spark notes:

In 1948, groundbreaking research on abrasion and toothpaste was conducted. By studying the dentin which is softer than enamel, scientists came up with an answer to the best amount of abrasion which is noted as the RDA (relative dentin abrasion) level. 

For reference on the Mohs scale, diamond is 10 (the strongest.) Our enamel is around 5 and dentin is close to 3; dentin or the root of the tooth are most at risk for being harmed  by abrasion. 

So back to the study, in 1948, the RDA level was created. In 1995 it was adopted by the International Standards Organization (ISO) as the method to test toothpaste abrasivity¹. Anything from 0-70 RDA has relatively low abrasive quality. 70-200 is considered safe and anything above 250 can be harmful to teeth. 

love beauty foods toothpowder title

Okay so now that we have the background, what is the RDA score of these ingredients? 

RDA LEVEL

INGREDIENT

7 Baking Soda
86 Bentonite Clay
98 Kaolin Clay²

RDA values of conventional brands³:

79 Sensodyne
160-190 Crest Pro Health (varying formulations)

RDA values of natural brands⁴:

49 Tom’s of Maine Sensitive 
93 Tom’s of Maine Regular

Okay cool, so what does all this mean? 

Well, in summary this means that, no. Baking soda is not going to wear away your teeth any faster than a conventional toothpaste might. Nor will clay. In fact, it is unlikely (with proper brushing) that anything less than an RDA level of 200 will do any actual damage to your teeth. 

love beauty foods toothpowder

Let’s get back to the toothpowder, shall we? 

I wanted to give it a fair try, I really did. Knowing that this is a great low-waste option and very easy to DIY I thought it would be my next favourite thing. Unfortunately, I thought wrong. 

It does leave teeth feeling clean, but the taste was sub par. It was an experience that I really did not enjoy. The taste was chalky in my mouth-not gritty like sand but it does have a similar texture that was unpalatable. 

The Love Beauty Foods Toothpowder has 5 star reviews

For the life of me I cannot imagine why. Sure I guess it does the job, maybe? Teeth feel physically clean but your mouth doesn’t feel clean, y’know? 

I mean no hate on Love Beauty Foods. Obviously toothpowder is a change and it can be hard to embrace. But if there’s one thing I have learned from this experience it’s that toothpowder is not for me. 

Have you tried a toothpowder? 

Resources: 

¹Protected by a Safe RDA: Setting the Record Straight about Toothpaste Abrasivity

²What’s the Safest And Most Effective Abrasive For Naturally Whiter Teeth?

³RDA Sheet

Abrasiveness Index of Common Toothpastes

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