Coconut oil is a tasty addition to many meals, but it can also help whiten teeth. Or so people say.
But just using coconut oil in your meals is not enough to brighten your smile. There’s something called “oil pulling,” a method centering around coconut oil.Creative Commons
Does Coconut Oil Whiten Teeth?
Coconut oil is not only a tasty substitute for butter, it can also help whiten your teeth. Or does it?
Many people claim coconut oil can help brighten your smile, but is this just another home remedy that doesn’t actually work?
The main way people use it to whiten teeth is through a method called “oil pulling.” The idea is that the oil pulls bacteria from any surface it comes in contact with because it’s lipophilic, which means it attracts other toxins. It then carries them away.
It’s also antiviral, antibacterial, and antimicrobial, meaning it helps protect you from viruses beginning in your mouth and from bacteria building up. And because it’s fluidity, it’s able to get into space you can’t reach with a toothbrush.
It washes away plaque, which ultimately can help make yellow teeth whiter and brighter.
How To Whiten Teeth With Coconut Oil?
So how does one use coconut oil to whiten teeth? You could just rub it on your teeth, but you may not see the results you want. So here’s how to whiten teeth with coconut oil.
Coconut Oil & Baking Soda
If you want to make a sort of homemade toothpaste with coconut oil, you can add baking soda and some other things to get a great result.
To do this, you’ll need 1/2 cup coconut oil and 2 tablespoon baking soda. Here’s what you’ll do:
- Melt the coconut oil
- Mix in the baking soda
- Put the mixture into a glass jar and let it cool
- After it’s cooled, just dip your toothbrush in and scrape a bit onto your brush
Coconut Oil & Activated Charcoal
If you’d rather not rub black charcoal on your teeth, you can mix it in with your coconut oil to make a mouthwash.
You’ll need 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and 1/4 teaspoon of activated charcoal powder. Here’s what you do:
- Combine the coconut oil and activated charcoal and mix thoroughly
- Swish this liquid around your mouth like a regular mouthwash
Coconut Oil Pulling
You could also do basic oil pulling with straight coconut oil. For this, you’ll want to use unrefined virgin coconut oil, which has fewer additives.
Here’s what you do:
- Put 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth and let it melt in your mouth
- Swish throughout your mouth for 10-20 minutes
Pros & Cons Of Coconut Oil Teeth Whitening
The benefits of oil pulling for teeth whitening seem obvious, but the downsides are less so. Here are the pros and cons of using coconut oil to whiten your teeth.
- Reduces the risk of gingivitis: if you do oil pulling on a regular basis, it can help fend off gingivitis, a gum disease that is not at all fun. Gingivitis makes your gums swell, get inflamed, tender to the touch, and just all around uncomfortable. And if you don’t treat it, it can lead to serious oral health problems.
- Helps remineralize teeth: believe it or not, but cavities can reverse naturally, thanks to remineralization. And coconut oil is one agent that helps remineralize teeth.
- Helps prevent cavities: coconut oil can help kill bacteria that causes cavities, almost as well as regular mouthwash. Its cavity-prevention characteristic come into play in the long-run, so oil pulling is something you’ll have to do over years.
- Reduces symptoms of oral thrush: people with dentures, those who are undergoing chemotherapy or radiation, those who use inhalers, and those taking antibiotics or steroids are more susceptible to oral thrush. Fortunately, coconut oil can help reduce its symptoms.
- Rids away bad breath: by using oil pulling, it can help reduce the likelihood of bad breath, aka halitosis. Typical mouthwash dries out your mouth, cutting down the amount of saliva. Saliva makes sure certain bacteria doesn’t form. But coconut oil doesn’t dry out your mouth, allowing that saliva to stick around and fight off bacteria, namely bacteria that causes bad breath.
- If you accidentally choke on the coconut oil, it can get into your lungs, which (in rare situations) can cause lipid pneumonia. For this reason, children or those who easily choke on liquids should not do oil pulling.
- If you swallow too much coconut oil, it can upset your stomach.
- Although not everyone agrees, coconut oil has been known to whiten teeth through a method called “oil pulling.”
- You can combine coconut oil with baking soda or activated charcoal, or you can use straight-up coconut oil to help whiten your teeth and remove bacteria from your mouth.
- Oil pulling with coconut oil can reduce the risk of gingivitis, symptoms of oral thrush, and bad breath as well as help remineralize teeth and prevent cavities. Oil pulling is not recommended for children or those who easily choke on liquids.