Coconut oil is well-known for its health benefits and in recent years, it became popular for those who are looking for a natural way to treat their oral health problems. Coconut oil contains antimicrobial properties and according to studies, it helps to get rid of oral bacteria that cause tooth decay. This is why many people believe that coconut oil is good for teeth and they use oral hygiene products that contain coconut oil to prevent tooth decay, gum diseases and whiten their teeth.
Is Coconut Oil Good for Your Teeth?
Coconut oil is high in lauric acid, which is a type of saturated fat that is classified
as medium-chain triglycerides. When lauric acid is consumed, the body will break it down into a compound called monolaurin. Both lauric acid and monolaurin contain antibacterial properties that can destroy harmful bacteria, viruses and fungi. Thus, coconut oil is good for the teeth as it can kill the bacteria in the mouth that cause plaque build-up and reduces the chances of developing gum disease that can lead to tooth decay and eventually tooth loss.
There are two types of bacteria found in the mouth that causes tooth decay, namely Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacillus. Most mouthwashes contain chlorhexidine, an antiseptic that is used to treat infections. Coconut oil is just as effective in killing the harmful bacteria in the mouth that cause tooth infection and decay. Therefore, it is a natural alternative to chlorohexidine in keeping your teeth healthy and prevent gum disease.
Good Reasons To Use Coconut Oil For Your Teeth
Coconut oil has antimicrobial, antibacterial and antifungal properties that can destroy oral bacteria that cause tooth decay, gum infection and bad breath. Therefore, there are several good reasons to use coconut oil for your oral hygiene routine.
1. No harmful chemicals
Most commercial toothpaste contains chemicals that may contain allergic reactions for some. Although there is no scientific evidence to prove that the chemicals in commercial toothpaste are harmful, some people prefer not to use oral hygiene products that contain controversial chemicals such as triclosan, sodium lauryl sulphate and carrageenan. Coconut oil is safe, non-toxic and does not contain any harmful chemicals.
2. A natural ingredient to prevent tooth decay
Due to its antibacterial properties, coconut oil is a good natural ingredient that can be used to help prevent tooth cavities and keep your mouth clean and smelling good.
3. Coconut oil easily available and affordable.
The good commercial toothpaste is not cheap. Coconut oil is a cheap alternative as it is a natural and edible oral hygiene product without any harsh chemicals. A tub of medium size coconut oil costs about USD8 – 15 and it can last for a month. Only a small amount is required to make your own toothpaste or mouthwash.
4. Coconut oil is good for bones and teeth
Coconut oil has antioxidant properties that help to maintain bone structure and prevent bone loss. It is rich in vitamins and nutrients and improve the absorption rate of magnesium and calcium and thus, making the bones and teeth stronger and healthier.
5. Coconut oil is safe to ingest and very unlikely to have allergic reactions
Virgin coconut oil is edible with no nasty flavours and does not have any known allergic reactions, thus it is a safe ingredient to use for homemade toothpaste. There is no worry should you or your children accidentally ingest the toothpaste. Due to its antibacterial properties, it is believed to help people relieve their canker sores when they use coconut oil as part of their oral hygiene routine.
Ways to Use Coconut Oil for Your Oral Hygiene Routine
Coconut Oil for Brushing Teeth
Brush your teeth using coconut oil. For those who do not like the oily feel in their mouth can choose to make their own toothpaste by mixing coconut oil with baking soda to form a paste. Do be careful when using baking soda to brush your teeth, be it homemade toothpaste or commercial toothpaste as baking soda is abrasive and brushing your teeth too hard with it can damage the tooth enamel.
Rub on to gums
Rub coconut oil on to your gums is said to reduce the number of harmful bacteria found in your mouth due to the antibacterial properties of the coconut oil.
Add a few drops of coconut oil into a cup of water and use it to rinse your mouth. This a natural mouthwash without any harsh chemical unlike those of the commercial mouth rinse.
Coat your dental floss with some coconut oil and use it to floss your teeth. Using coconut oil to floss your teeth allow the coconut oil to get in between the gaps of your teeth and destroy any bacteria hidden in the crevices of the teeth.
Oil pulling is an ancient ayurvedic medicine practice that is gaining popularity in recent times. Oil pulling involves swishing a tablespoon of oil such as sesame oil, sunflower oil or coconut oil. The process works the same way as rinsing your mouth using a mouthwash. Coconut oil has become popular for oil pulling as many believe that using coconut oil to do oil pulling helps to whiten their teeth.
Coconut Oil for Whitening the Teeth
Many people are concerned about their stained or yellow teeth that affect their looks and thus many commercial oral hygiene products have ingredients that promise to whiten teeth. Not all commercial toothpaste produce the desired results and some have turned to conventional dentistry treatments such as bleaching or veneers to achieve sparkling teeth look for confidence.
As such conventional dental treatments are expensive, people turn to alternative and natural ways to whiten their teeth. Home remedies to whiten teeth include the use of baking soda, sea salt and cayenne pepper. Coconut oil, in recent times, has become popularly known as an ingredient to whiten teeth.
Coconut oil pulling is the most popular method used for whitening teeth. Oil pulling is a traditional Indian medicine practice known as Ayurvedic detox therapies. Oil pulling involves swirling a table of oil in your mouth for 10 to 20 minutes. Traditionally sesame oil is used, however, coconut oil is now commonly used as many believe that swishing coconut oil in your mouth not only helps to clean your teeth and remove oral bacteria found in between your teeth but the pulling effect also helps to whiten teeth. However, it is noted that there is no scientific evidence to show that coconut oil pulling helps to whiten teeth. But there are some who have tried coconut oil pulling and find it effective in whitening their teeth.
Home-made toothpaste containing coconut oil is also used for brushing and whitening the teeth. For those who are not comfortable using oil pulling, coconut oil whitening strips is another way to use coconut oil to whiten your teeth.
An Edible Solution to Pearly Whites
As coconut oil is becoming a popular ingredient for oral health products, why not give it a try to see if it helps to improve your oral hygiene. Using organic coconut oil as an ingredient for your oral hygiene routine helps to avoid commercial oral products that contain harsh chemicals. It is also a very low-cost way to healthy teeth and gums.
However, it is advisable to take note that it is not a replacement for routine dental appointments. A regular dental check-up is a way to confirm that your alternative method of oral care is effective.