Calcium Carbonate

What is it?


Calcium Carbonate is a common substance found in rocks. The 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 dietary supplement or gastric antacid. It is a fine, white, odourless 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 with regular brushing and gently polishes away surface stains.  In Tom’s of Maine Rapid Relief Sensitive toothpaste, together with arginine, calcium carbonate helps seal open nerve channels and thus reduce the pain of tooth sensitivity.

How is it made?

Our Stewardship Model guides us to select ingredients which have been processed in a manner that supports our philosophy of human and environmental health.

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.