Benefits And How To Use It

Coconut oil is commonly used in home remedies and beauty products. The internet has also been promoting the humble oil at the same time, and the recent trend has indeed gone viral, with everyone using coconut oil for teeth whitening. Coconut oil has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and can help maintain oral hygiene. But the main question remains: does it really help with teeth whitening, as it claims, or can it be called an apparent myth? Let’s take a look at how coconut oil can support teeth whitening and whether the ongoing craze has any factual underpinning. Keep reading.

Does coconut oil whiten teeth?

Despite having antimicrobial and antioxidant properties, coconut oil (Cocos nucifera L.) has no brightening benefits that can directly contribute to teeth whitening.

While there is no clear study that has proven its effectiveness in whitening discolored teeth, research supports coconut oil’s efficacy in reducing dental plaque and addressing oral issues like gingivitis (1).

Let’s get familiar with the various oral benefits of this super oil.

Benefits of coconut oil for teeth

1. Can prevent tooth decay

Coconut oil helps kill common oral bacteria, such as Streptococcus mutanswhich are the leading cause of cavities and tooth decay (2), (3).

2. Can reduce mouth odor

Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which is responsible for its antimicrobial properties. This saturated fat can help prevent the growth of Helicobacter pylorithe bacteria that contribute to halitosis (bad breath) (4).

3. Can treat gingivitis

Coconut oil can treat gingivitis, a gum disease that causes inflammation and irritation of the gums and can even lead to tooth loss in severe cases (1).

4. May reduce plaque buildup and tooth sensitivity

The fatty acids in coconut oil exhibit antimicrobial and antibacterial properties that eliminate oral bacteria in the mouth and prevent plaque buildup (5). Reduced plaque buildup can also help prevent tooth sensitivity.

Using coconut oil can give you healthier gums and teeth. And you can use it with other ingredients to whiten your teeth. Surprised? Keep reading to learn ways to use coconut oil for teeth whitening.

How to use coconut oil for teeth whitening

1. Coconut oil and baking soda

Sodium carbonate is alkaline and can help lighten the appearance of acid-based food stains such as those from tea, coffee and red wine. This quick remedy can also effectively kill oral bacteria in the mouth (6).

What you need

  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 toothbrush

What must we do

  1. Mix coconut oil and baking soda.
  2. Brush your teeth with the mixture for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Rinse with lukewarm water.
  4. Follow the procedure twice a week for visible results.

Health Related Information says

You can add a drop of peppermint essential oil to the mixture. It has antiseptic and antibacterial properties and can prevent oral diseases (10).

2. Coconut oil pulling

Coconut oil has lauric acid that targets oral bacteria that cause stubborn yellow plaque in the mouth (7). This ancient Ayurvedic technique can prevent the accumulation of bacteria and maintain oral hygiene.

What you need

  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 1 toothbrush

What must we do

  1. Put coconut oil in your mouth and wait a few seconds for it to melt.
  2. Swish the oil around for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Spit out the oil and brush your teeth.
  4. Repeat this process once a day or weekly.

3. Coconut oil and turmeric

Turmeric contains curcumin, a natural compound that reduces inflammation, removes plaque and helps prevent gum disease like gingivitis (8).

What you need

  • ¼ teaspoon of organic turmeric powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon of coconut oil
  • 1 toothbrush
  • 1 tube of regular toothpaste

What must we do

  1. Mix turmeric powder and coconut oil.
  2. Apply the mixture to your teeth and let it sit for three minutes.
  3. Brush and rinse the paste gently with water.
  4. Finally, brush your teeth with regular toothpaste.
  5. Follow the procedure 1-2 times a week.

Health Related Information says

Brush with baking soda and water after using this remedy to remove any yellow stains caused by turmeric.

4. Coconut oil and activated charcoal

Brushing with activated charcoal can help remove stains on teeth. The remedy also acts on the dental resin used for filling cavities (9).

What you need

  • 1 tablespoon of powdered charcoal tablet
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 1 toothbrush

What must we do

  1. Apply activated charcoal powder to a damp toothbrush and brush your teeth with it.
  2. Do this 2 to 3 minutes before rinsing your gums and teeth with coconut oil.
  3. Rinse with lukewarm water.
  4. Follow the procedure once a week.

Remark: Excessive use of activated charcoal can damage dental fillers. So make sure you don’t use it often.

Health Related Information says

Using a brush for the activated charcoal can be quite abrasive to the enamel of the teeth. You can try the remedy with your fingertip instead.

Not everyone benefits from coconut oil, so let’s take a look at the possible side effects and who should avoid it.

Who should not use coconut oil for teeth whitening

Coconut oil is not harmful and does not cause side effects. However, if you are allergic to coconut oil or experience any sensitivity or inflammation during oil pulling, stop using it immediately. Coconut oil pulling is also not recommended for those with weak jaw muscles, as the tedious task can further fatigue the muscles.

Final thoughts

Coconut oil is one of the most prevalent oils in most Indian homes, due to its many health and beauty benefits. However, it’s also a great part to incorporate into your daily routine – especially coconut oil pulling, a beneficial Ayurvedic practice to indulge in.

Coconut oil can help prevent cavities, plaque and gum disease. While it may not whiten teeth when used alone, it works well with other ingredients and can help remove tooth stains. However, do an allergy test before using coconut oil and other ingredients to avoid complications.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does coconut oil take to whiten teeth?

If you regularly pull coconut oil for one to two months, you may see some improvement in the color of your teeth.

Is olive oil better than coconut oil for teeth whitening?

Anecdotal evidence suggests that coconut oil, compared to olive oil for teeth whitening, showed better results and also showed less plaque and gingivitis after oil pulling.

Key learning points

  • Coconut oil may not whiten teeth when used alone.
  • Mixing coconut oil with other ingredients such as turmeric powder or baking soda can help whiten teeth.
  • It can treat common gum disease, such as gingivitis (swelling of the gums), plaque buildup, tooth decay, and bad breath.
  • Coconut oil has antimicrobial, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that support and improve oral hygiene.