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

Note: Updated September 3, 2019. 

I tried using toothpowder…

Love Beauty Foods Organic Mint & Neem Toothpowder $12 AUD

Love Beauty Foods has recently reformulated their toothpowder line. I was graciously sent the newly reformulated product to try-in the prior review, I had noted that their product was discontinued. However, it is suffice to say that the newly reformulated product is much more palatable than the original. 

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. The Love Beauty Foods toothpowder is no exception. 

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? 

The newly reformulated version of the Love Beauty Foods toothpowder seems to be much more minty and sweet than the original version. It does take some adjustment to begin using a toothpowder and it can feel quite chalky in your mouth. 

I recommend dipping your brush directly into the product then dripping a few drops of water onto the bristles in order to form a more paste-like consistency. It’s my preference to do this method instead of sticking the powder directly into my mouth. 

The Love Beauty Foods toothpowder definitely leaves my mouth feeling clean, but not extremely minty. I must admit that after using it for a month I have begun to adjust and find that it is not a totally weird concept. I do wish it left my mouth feeling a tad more fresh. 

The Love Beauty Foods Toothpowder has 5 star reviews

The original version of the toothpowder threw me for a loop, I could not understand why everyone enjoyed the powder so much. However, I have to say that the newly reformulated version is much better and I am starting to understand the hype. 

Am I 100% sold on using tooth powders? Honestly, I’m not sure. But if you’re looking for a great low-waste option I highly recommend giving them a try. 

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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