Hydroxyapatite vs Nano Hydroxyapatite: A Dentist Explains

Both nano hydroxyapatite and hydroxyapatite are forms of the same naturally occurring mineral that makes up our teeth and bones. Recently, they've both been making waves in regenerative dentistry as alternatives to fluoride.

While they're similar in structure, there are some big differences. For example, because nano hydroxyapatite particles are far smaller than hydroxyapatite, nano hydroxyapatite toothpaste is more effective at fighting tooth decay, remineralizing enamel, and soothing hypersensitivity.

That said, while nano hydroxyapatite is more effective in toothpaste than hydroxyapatite, hydroxyapatite has a broader range of applications such as more frequent use in orthopedic implants and bone grafts.

In this article, I'll explain everything you need to know about nano hydroxyapatite and hydroxyapatite and what makes them different.

What is nano hydroxyapatite?

Nano hydroxyapatite

Nano hydroxyapatite (also known as nHA) is a synthetic form of hydroxyapatite, a naturally occurring mineral found in our teeth and bones. It's known for its similarity to the mineral component of our teeth, making it a valuable ingredient in remineralizing toothpaste.

Nano hydroxyapatite is created by breaking down hydroxyapatite into nanoscale particles, which are extremely small and have unique properties. Despite its small size, this nano hydroxyapatite works by: 

  • remineralize tooth enamel

  • repair initial stages of tooth decay

  • strengthen the tooth structure

  • and soothe tooth sensitivity.

These benefits occur because when nano hydroxyapatite is applied to the enamel surface, it can bond with the tooth's natural hydroxyapatite, repairing and strengthening the enamel.

Studies suggest that nano hydroxyapatite is equally as effective as fluoride toothpaste at remineralization and preventing dental caries. Due to some of the concerns around fluoride toxicity, many people prefer nano hydroxyapatite as a better alternative to fluoride.

What is hydroxyapatite?

A tooth model

Hydroxyapatite (also referred to as simply "HA") is a naturally occurring mineral that is the primary inorganic component of human teeth and bones.

It is a crystalline structure composed of calcium and phosphate ions, making it a vital component of the hard tissues in our bodies. In fact, hydroxyapatite gives our teeth and bones their strength and hardness.

In the context of teeth, hydroxyapatite is a key component of tooth enamel, which is the outermost layer of the tooth surface. Enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, and it protects the underlying dentin and pulp of the tooth.

Hydroxyapatite is also used in various dental and medical applications, including dental implants, bone grafts, and as a biomaterial in orthopedic surgery.

Nano Hydroxyapatite vs. Hydroxyapatite

A man in a lab

Nano hydroxyapatite (nano-HA or nHA) and hydroxyapatite (HA) are both forms of the mineral hydroxyapatite, but they differ in terms of particle size, applications, and properties.

Natural vs. Synthetic

First, the nano hydroxyapatite in your toothpaste is likely synthetic nHA that was created in a laboratory through controlled chemical processes. Even though some people may be uncomfortable with synthetic materials, nano hydroxyapatite is safe and effective.

Similarly, synthetic hydroxyapatite is produced for various applications, including dental and medical uses.

However, hydroxyapatite can also be found naturally in human teeth and bones. Natural sources include animal-derived hydroxyapatite from sources like bovine bone or fish scales. 

Particle Size

Nano Hydroxyapatite Toothpaste

Nano hydroxyapatite consists of nanoscale particles, typically with dimensions in the range of tens to hundreds of nanometers. Its small particle size allows for greater surface area and improved bioavailability.

This is why nano hydroxyapatite particles can be so advantageous in regenerative dentistry.

On the other hand, traditional hydroxyapatite consists of much larger particles than nano sized particles, typically in the micrometer range. While hydroxyapatite is still a fine powder, it does have a lower surface area compared to nano hydroxyapatite.

This is why hydroxyapatite toothpastes tend to be less effective than nano hydroxyapatite toothpastes.


Experts agree both nano hydroxyapatite and hydroxyapatite are safe and biocompatible substances that closely resemble the natural mineral composition of our teeth and bones.


NOBS Toothpaste Tablets

Nano hydroxyapatite is most popular for its use in dental products, thanks to its benefits of oral biofilm management, preventing tooth decay, and soothing hypersensitivity. This is because it has a particularly small particle size which allows it to penetrate and remineralize tooth enamel effectively.

Similarly, hydroxyapatite is also used in dentistry but not as commonly as nano hydroxyapatite.

Both nHA and HA have a broad application range, including:

  • orthopedic and dental implants

  • bone grafts

  • and other various medical applications.

In particular, dental professionals use nano hydroxyapatite toothpaste as a better alternative to fluoride.

Remineralizing Properties

Nano hydroxyapatite is well-known for its remineralizing properties. In fact, it's one of the best treatments for tooth decay and sensitivity.

Remineralization is essential for maintaining the integrity of our teeth and is a continuous, natural repair mechanism to restore minerals to the tooth enamel.

While hydroxyapatite toothpaste can also be effective for remineralization, studies suggest that it is not as effective as nano hydroxyapatite toothpaste.

Aesthetic Benefits

A woman with a big smile

Nano hydroxyapatite is known for its ability to improve your smile, including benefits like:

  • whitening teeth

  • reducing discoloration

  • and improving the glossiness and hardness of teeth.

In contrast, research suggests hydroxyapatite toothpaste may not be as effective as nano hydroxyapatite toothpaste in providing these aesthetic benefits.


Because of their biomimetic nature, both nano hydroxyapatite and hydroxyapatite are generally considered safe for various applications, including use in toothpaste.

In particular, experts suggest that nano hydroxyapatite has low toxicity and minimal risk of adverse effects.

Benefits of Nano Hydroxyapatite Toothpaste

a woman brushing her teeth

Nano hydroxyapatite toothpaste tablets are making waves for all of the incredible benefits they offer for your teeth. Here in this section, we'll explore 6 of the most important ones.

Enamel Remineralization

If you're wondering how to remineralize teeth, nano hydroxyapatite toothpaste should be one of your go-to tools.

Nano hydroxyapatite functions to strengthen your enamel surface and increase the mineral density of your teeth. This process makes your teeth stronger and glossier while also decreasing your chances of tooth decay, leading to a radiant smile!

Strengthen Teeth

Nano hydroxyapatite toothpaste is effective at strengthening teeth thanks to its remineralization properties.

You see, when our teeth are exposed to acids, it can wear away at our enamel through a process called demineralization. This leads to weakened enamel, tooth decay, and even carious lesions.

Thanks to nano particles, nano hydroxyapatite toothpastes can penetrate the enamel and bond with the natural hydroxyapatite in our teeth. This remineralization process restores the lost minerals in our teeth (primarily calcium and phosphate), and makes our teeth stronger and more resistant to damage.

Further, over time, studies show that regularly using nano hydroxyapatite toothpaste can improve enamel density and hardness, which reduces your risk of erosion and decay.

Prevent Tooth Decay & Cavities

A woman holding a tooth cavities model

While nano hydroxyapatite does not have the same FDA approval for dental caries prevention as fluoride, studies show that it does indeed help remineralize initial caries lesions.

This process can stimulate bone growth leading to reduced chances of developing decayed enamel.

While it is true that you cannot remineralize a cavity once it has fully formed, this evidence shows that nano hydroxyapatite is effective at reversing tooth decay and preventing it from progressing.

Reduce Hypersensitivity

Even beyond caries prevention, synthetic hydroxyapatite is an effective desensitizing agent. Research shows that it is a safe material for reducing dentin hypersensitivity.

By depositing minerals into the protective layer of your teeth, hydroxyapatite toothpaste can make a significant difference in your ability to tolerate acidity, temperature, and sugar.

Whiten Teeth

A woman showing her big smile

Fun fact: nano hydroxyapatite toothpaste can whiten teeth.

Nano hydroxyapatite has the ability to gently remove surface stains from teeth, leading to a brighter, whiter smile. In fact, one study suggested: "[hydroxyapatite is] an effective dental whitening agent in over-the-counter oral care products for home use."

The best part about this benefit is that nano hydroxyapatite toothpaste can replace your typical abrasive whitening toothpaste which can lead to enamel damage and isn't suitable for children to use.

Support Your Oral Microbiome

A healthy mouth has a unique environment of bacteria in it. Using synthetic hydroxyapatite is helpful in reducing the growth of bad bacteria while sparing the good bacteria that protect your teeth.

Additionally, many common agents in oral care can disrupt your microbiome, such as:

  • chlorhexidine

  • hydrogen peroxide

  • and sodium lauryl sulfate

These ingredients may lead to issues like sensitive teeth and dry mouth. Nano hydroxyapatite toothpaste protects your mouth from these negative effects. 


A man showing her teeth

Nano hydroxyapatite toothpaste, unlike fluoride, has unique antibacterial properties. By selectively killing off certain strains of bacteria that disrupt your mouth, hydroxyapatite protects your teeth and gums.


Excessive use of fluoride products in dental care causes the discoloration of your teeth through a condition called dental fluorosis.

Therefore, switching to a more natural formula, such as nano hydroxyapatite toothpaste can help preserve the beauty of your smile.

Safe for Children

Nano hydroxyapatite is considered by many dentists as a better alternative to fluoride for children for a number of developmental and physical reasons.

For example, some researchers suggest hydroxyapatite is a promising solution early childhood caries. Further, a meta analysis concluded that, "biomimetic hydroxyapatite-containing, fluoride-free oral care products are effective in reducing dental decay, especially in children."

Finally, another study using the International Caries Detection and Assessment System concluded, at the end of a year-long trial, that hydroxyapatite toothpaste was not inferior to a fluoride control toothpaste.

Is nano hydroxyapatite better than hydroxyapatite?

A lady brushing her teeth

Yes, nano hydroxyapatite is generally better than hydroxyapatite for remineralization and enamel strengthening benefits.

In fact, one paper from 2023 even stated, "Compared to HA, nHA is found to have superior properties such as increased solubility, high surface energy and better biocompatibility. This is due to the morphological and structural similarity of nanosized hydroxyapatite particles to tooth hydroxyapatite crystals."

Essentially, because hydroxyapatite nanoparticles are so small, they're better able to integrate into the tooth structure and remineralize enamel. Therefore, nano hydroxyapatite toothpastes provide increased oral hygiene benefits over hydroxyapatite toothpastes.

Is nano hydroxyapatite toothpaste better than fluoride toothpaste?

A nano hdyroxyapatite toothpaste vs fluoride toothpaste

Yes, nano hydroxyapatite can be considered better than fluoride as it offers similar benefits without the associated toxicity.

It provides the advantages of fluoride, such as enamel protection, sensitivity reduction, and remineralization, but without the potential harm linked to fluoride ingestion. For example, research suggests that nano hydroxyapatite is non-toxic and safe enough to swallow, unlike fluoride which can cause dental and skeletal fluorosis if overexposed.

The same case can be made when comparing hydroxyapatite vs fluoride as well, but as discussed earlier, evidence suggests that hydroxyapatite is not quite as effective as nano hydroxyapatite.

That's why we recommend choosing nano hydroxyapatite toothpaste - it can be a safer and better alternative for oral care.

What's the best concentration of nano hydroxyapatite toothpaste?

While some people erroneously suggest that you need 10% nano hydroxyapatite in toothpaste, the most effective concentration of nano hydroxyapatite is 5%.

For example, one double-blind study found that 5% nano hydroxyapatite toothpaste showed significant anti-caries remineralization effects on enamel. Another study showed that 5% and 10% nano hydroxyapatite dentifrices were equally effective at remineralizing teeth.

While some studies show the efficacy of 10% nHA toothpaste, one potential issue is the aggregation property of nano hydroxyapatite at higher concentrations which may reduce bioavailability. Because of this aggregation property, a recent study found that 5% nano hydroxyapatite is more effective at remineralization than 10%.

Further, because nano hydroxyapatite is such an expensive material, it is likely that brands formulating it at a 10% concentration are using the cheapest version: needle-shaped nano hydroxyapatite. As of 2024, needle-shaped nHA is banned in the European Union due to safety concerns.

In contrast, biöm uses safe 5% rod-shaped nano hydroxyapatite in our toothpaste tablets, and all of our toothpaste is manufactured in FDA-compliant facilities.

Should you try nano hydroxyapatite toothpaste?

4 Jars of NOBS Toothpaste Tablets

Yes, you should try nano hydroxyapatite toothpaste as it offers the same benefits as fluoride toothpastes without any adverse effects. Further, it has been shown to be more effective than standard hydroxyapatite toothpastes.

Research has also indicated that nano hydroxyapatite can effectively whiten teeth by reducing stains and enhancing their whiteness.

Therefore, incorporating nano hydroxyapatite toothpaste into your oral care routine can be a safe and beneficial choice for maintaining good oral health.

Summary: Nano Hydroxyapatite vs. Hydroxyapatite

A lady showing tooth model

Nano hydroxyapatite and hydroxyapatite are both forms of the same compound, but they differ slightly in efficacy and benefits.

Because nano hydroxyapatite particles are much smaller than hydroxyapatite, nano hydroxyapatite toothpaste is more effective at:

  • preventing tooth decay

  • strengthening teeth

  • soothing hypersensitivity

  • whitening teeth and reducing discoloration

That said, hydroxyapatite tends to have a broader range of applications than nano hydroxyapatite which is primarily used as a tool in dentistry to remineralize teeth.

In conclusion, if you're looking for an alternative to fluoride toothpaste, be sure to check out remineralizing toothpaste with nano hydroxyapatite for all the best benefits.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is nano hydroxyapatite better than regular hydroxyapatite?

Yes, nano hydroxyapatite is generally better than hydroxyapatite for remineralization and enamel strengthening benefits. Essentially, because hydroxyapatite nanoparticles are so small, they're better able to integrate into the tooth structure and remineralize enamel. Therefore, nano hydroxyapatite toothpastes provide increased oral hygiene benefits over hydroxyapatite toothpastes.

Why is nano hydroxyapatite banned?

Rod-shaped nano hydroxyapatite is not banned in the United States or the European Union. In fact, it is approved for use up to 10% concentration in toothpaste. However, needle-shaped nano hydroxyapatite is banned in the European Union for suspicion of causing cell damage if ingested in large quantities.

What is the best form of hydroxyapatite?

The best form of hydroxyapatite for strengthening teeth is nano hydroxyapatite. Thanks to its small size, nano hydroxyapatite is effective at remineralizing teeth, strengthening enamel, fighting tooth decay, and reducing hypersensitivity. Research even suggests that it is equally as effective as fluoride toothpaste at remineralization.

Is nano hydroxyapatite toxic?

No, nano hydroxyapatite is not toxic. In fact, research suggests that because it does not induce toxicity or inflammation, it's an ideal compound to use in dentistry and periodontology. Further, many people are turning to nano hydroxyapatite toothpaste as a safe, non-toxic alternative to fluoride toothpaste.

What are the disadvantages of nano hydroxyapatite?

There are no known disadvantages or side effects of nano hydroxyapatite in toothpaste. Research states that there is no literature reporting any systemic or adverse effects of hydroxyapatite containing toothpastes. In fact, that's why many people are turning to nano hydroxyapatite toothpaste as a safe, non-toxic alternative to fluoride toothpaste.

What is the problem with hydroxyapatite?

There is no problem with hydroxyapatite. In fact, there are no known disadvantages or side effects of nano hydroxyapatite in toothpaste. Research states that there is no literature reporting any systemic or adverse effects of hydroxyapatite containing toothpastes. That's why many people are turning to nano hydroxyapatite toothpaste as a safe, non-toxic alternative to fluoride toothpaste.

NOBS Toothpaste Tablets
NOBS Toothpaste Tablets
NOBS Toothpaste Tablets
NOBS Toothpaste Tablets
NOBS Toothpaste Tablets
NOBS Toothpaste Tablets
NOBS Toothpaste Tablets
NOBS Toothpaste Tablets
NOBS Toothpaste Tablets

NOBS Toothpaste Tablets

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NOBS is everything toothpaste should be - all the good stuff, and none of the junk.

Fluoride Free
Never any fluoride, and no harsh abrasives.

We used the magical remineralizing power of 5% nano-hydroxyapatite to protect your teeth long-term. It's the safest alternative to fluoride!

Unlike messy tube toothpaste, NOBS are easy to store and use anywhere.

Thanks to our unique blend of natural ingredients, NOBS will make your breath as fresh as you look. Instead of gross sweeteners that cover up a natural slightly bitter aftertaste, our organic mint will leave you so kissable. Trust us, your date will thank you.

Cleans Effectively Without Damaging Enamel

With an enviable RDA of 21.38, NOBS Toothpaste Tablets are intentionally designed to help you gently buff out surface stains and break up plaque biofilm without causing damage to your enamel. Thanks, baking soda!

Flex on TSA

NOBS toothpaste tablets don’t apply to the 3.4oz limit. Fly with confidence that you won’t be condemned to a dirty mouth while you travel.

No Mess

Never worry about your toothpaste tube exploding over your other toiletries. NOBS toothpaste tablets come in an air-tight glass jar, free of plastic and without the mess. Unscrew, chew, and renew your mouth.

No Plastic

We want you to disrupt your brushing routine, not your endocrine system. Unlike other brands, our product is free of all plastics and BPAs.

Perfect Size

NOBS toothpaste tablets are individual and perfectly dosed. No more squeezing, no more tube sliding against the edge of your sink and definitely no wasted toothpaste.

Safe for Children

Protecting little ones is our top priority. NOBS provides the safest oral care for pregnant women and their families. Just monitor and ensure that your child can chew and swallow safely before introducing them to NOBS.

This product is not suitable for pets. Humans only, please!

While xylitol is great for supporting the human oral microbiome, it can be toxic to pets. Please keep NOBS away from your furry friends, and contact your veterinarian immediately if consumed by your pet.

Fluoride Free Toothpaste Tablets