What is it?
Calcium carbonate is a common substance found in rocks. It’s most common natural forms are chalk, limestone, and marble. It is also a component of harder organic materials like the shells of clams or oysters and eggshells. It is used in some soy milk and almond milk products as a source of dietary calcium. Calcium carbonate is also widely used as a medicinal dietary supplement or gastric antacid. It is a fine, white, odorless powder with a slightly chalky taste.
The calcium carbonate in our toothpaste is quarried from limestone in the North East United States and purified to meet the requirements of the product in which it is used.
What does it do?
Calcium carbonate is a mild abrasive which helps to safely remove plaque when brushing and gently polishes away surface stains.1
How is it made?
Once the limestone is quarried, it is then crushed, screened, separated, milled, and pulverized. Precipitated calcium carbonate undergoes an additional process in which the limestone is further purified.
What are the alternatives?
Calcium carbonate is an ingredient we’ve been using in our toothpaste since 1975. It represents a safe and natural choice for providing mild abrasivity in our toothpastes. Some alternatives include hydrated silica gels, hydrated aluminum oxides, magnesium carbonate, phosphate salts and silicates.
Is this the right option for me?
While excess calcium from supplements, fortified food and high-calcium diets, is known to cause milk-alkali syndrome under certain circumstances,2 there is no known toxicity or associated risk in using a calcium carbonate toothpaste as directed.
Tom's of Maine recognizes that no two people are alike, and even with pure and natural ingredients, some individuals may develop an allergic reaction that is unique to them. As with any product, be sure to discontinue use if you experience discomfort or other indications that the product may not be appropriate for your individual body chemistry.