There are several ways to whiten your teeth, be it commercial teeth whitening products or natural home remedies. Every method helps to provide a clean and white smile. One natural method of teeth whitening that has been gaining popularity is the use of coconut oil. Coconut oil is typically known for its numerous health benefits that include weight loss, clear skin, and clean mouth.
Dental benefits of coconut oil mainly include the prevention of tooth decay and gradual white smile. Coconut oil typically consists of lauric acid, which is known for its antibacterial activity. Additionally, the fatty acids trap the stains on the tooth surface and leave a clean and bright smile.
Coconut oil can be used in the form of oil pulling or a paste. Both of the formulations have similar effects on the teeth. Today in this article, we will discuss the benefits of coconut oil. Furthermore, we will look at the working mechanism and use of coconut oil for teeth whitening.
What are the dental benefits of coconut oil?
Coconut oil is typically an edible oil that is extracted from the meat of coconut – the world’s most abundant source of saturated fat. Coconut oil mainly consists of lauric acid that is known for killing pathogenic bacteria and viruses in the mouth. Lauric acid effectively kills streptococcus mutans – well-known for causing tooth decay. (1)
Another benefit of coconut oil is that it prevents gum disease by effectively removing plaque from the tooth surface and gum lines. A clinical study showed a 68% decrease in plaque formation and a 56% decrease in gum disease after seven days of oil pulling with coconut oil. (2)
How does coconut oil help in teeth whitening?
As mentioned above, coconut oil is antibacterial, antiviral, and antimicrobial by nature. The method of oil pulling provides a cleansing effect. The fluidity of the oil effectively reaches the tiny gaps, crevices, and gum crevices in the mouth.
By doing so, it cleans up the plaque and brings about a whitening effect on the tooth surface. Regular use of coconut oil gradually lightens the stains on the tooth surface. Moreover, it prevents further staining on the surface of the teeth that is usually caused by green or black tea, coffee, and red wine. (3)
However, it is essential to understand that the teeth whitening effect of coconut oil is useful only for the natural tooth surface. Veneers, laminates, crown, and bridge may not show effective results with coconut oil teeth whitening.
How to use coconut oil for tooth whitening?
There are several ways to use coconut oil for whitening the teeth. Some of the common forms are listed below –
Oil pulling with coconut oil is one of the most common natural methods of teeth whitening. Oil pulling can be done in the following way –
- Take one teaspoon full of coconut oil in your mouth
- Swish it around the teeth and gums for at least 10-20 minutes (4)
- Do not swallow the oil. You can spit it out after swishing properly in the mouth.
- It is best to spit the oil in a toilet or a garden because the oil solidifies after some time. Therefore, spitting in the sink may lead to unnecessary blockage.
Massage with coconut oil
Massaging the oil on the gums and teeth promotes gum health for a long time. Moreover, it produces a teeth whitening effect.
Coconut oil paste
You can make your toothpaste by using 0.5 cups of coconut oil, two tablespoons of baking soda, and 10-20 drops of peppermint or cinnamon essential oil.
- Heat the coconut oil till it becomes soft or fluid
- Add baking soda in the oil until it forms a paste-like consistency (5)
- Add essential oil to the paste and store the paste in a sealed container
You can use this paste regularly by scooping a small amount and brushing the teeth with it. Brush the teeth for two minutes and rinse the mouth.
Coconut oil mouthwash can also be used in the form of oil pulling. However, the pure form of coconut oil is much useful and beneficial as compared to a mouthwash.
What are coconut infused whitening strips?
Some people prefer whitening products with natural ingredients as compared to homemade toothpaste. Coconut oil infused tooth whitening strips are the best product for such individuals. This strip consists of activated charcoal to enhance the whitening effect. Moreover, coconut oil promotes antibacterial properties.
Some benefits of coconut oil infused teeth whitening strips are –
- Instant results
- Can be used for stubborn tooth stains (6)
- When you don’t have enough time to wait for oil pulling
- People who do not like the sticky feeling of oil in the mouth can choose teeth whitening strips
The use of coconut-infused tooth whitening strips also reduces tooth sensitivity post-whitening process. Therefore, many people prefer this option as it is more convenient, quick, and gentle to use.
Take away message
Coconut oil is well known for its health benefits such as healthy skin and weight loss. However, it also has excellent dental benefits. Coconut oil is a good antibacterial and antiviral component that promotes oral health.
Moreover, it fights the harmful bacteria and virus in the mouth, especially Streptococcus mutans that is known for causing tooth decay. Additionally, coconut oil significantly reduces plaque formation and lightens the stains on the tooth surface leading to a clean white smile.
Typically, coconut oil can be used in the form of oil pulling, homemade toothpaste, or mouthwash. It can also be applied to the gums and teeth. Coconut infused teeth whitening strips are also available for people who desire instant results.