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Hydrated silica is a mild abrasive which gives toothpaste a smoother “gel” quality. Combined with
calcium carbonate, it helps to safely remove plaque with brushing. We mix it into our childrens' flavors and
our Wintermint flavor in combination with a regular toothpaste base to give these flavors a unique half-paste,
half-gel consistency. The ingredients are thoroughly blended, however: the gel and paste ingredients are not
made into distinct “stripes” within the tube. In our Antiplaque Tartar Control & Whitening flavors, the
hydrated silica we use is milled to produce a slightly larger particle size (an average particle size of 10
microns, versus 8 microns, on average, in our children's and Wintermint flavors). This makes it a better
cleaner, so that it can help to remove stains that have formed on teeth.
Hydrated silica represents the very safest and most natural choice for providing mild abrasivity and
gel-like consistency. It is an ideal ingredient because it adds no discernible taste or odor to the end
Hydrated silica has a long history of safe use as an ingredient in food products. It is listed by the
US Food & Drug Administration to be Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) and has no known toxicity or
carcinogenicity. In the 1980's concerns were raised about the use of "silica," a term commonly used to
describe both hydrated silica and crystalline silica. Crystalline silica is a toxin and evidence suggests it
is a carcinogen as well. In response to the confusion created by the two ingredients sharing a common name,
the Chemical Abstracts Services (CAS) created a new catalog number for hydrated silica to more effectively
differentiate it from its toxic cousin, crystalline silica. The only potential risk involved in using hydrated
silica is that it could be sourced in such a way that it is contaminated by crystalline silica. We require our
supplier for this ingredient to use a test method called X-ray diffraction to conclusively prove that the
hydrated silica we purchase is not contaminated by crystalline silica.
Hydrated silica is a derivative of silica (silicon dioxide) , an abundant compound that forms about
12% of the earth's surface. Sand and obsidian are common forms of silica. In hydrated form, this ingredient is
an odorless, tasteless white gelatinous substance which is chemically inert. This same ingredient may also go
by the names amorphous silicon dioxide, silicic acid, or silica gel.
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Visit the American Botanical Council for the latest research on our herbal ingredients. Read the expert research