Coconut oil has been gaining popularity as a natural remedy for various health conditions, including teeth whitening. But does coconut oil whiten teeth? In this article, we’ll explore the science behind coconut oil and its effectiveness as a teeth whitener, along with tips on how to use it and comparisons to other teeth whitening methods.
Does coconut oil whiten teeth?
The short answer is: probably not.
There is some limited evidence to suggest that coconut oil may have a beneficial effect on oral health, such as reducing plaque and gingivitis. However, there is no clear evidence that coconut oil whitens teeth.
One study, published in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research in 2015, found that oil pulling with coconut oil was effective in reducing plaque and gingivitis. However, the study did not measure the effect of oil pulling on teeth whitening.
Another study, published in the Journal of the Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry in 2017, found that oil pulling with coconut oil was effective in reducing plaque and calculus formation. The study also found that oil pulling improved the color of teeth, but the results were not statistically significant.
In fact, coconut oil contains lauric acid, which has antimicrobial properties that help reduce bacteria in the mouth. Bacteria in the mouth can cause plaque buildup, which can lead to discoloration of the teeth. By reducing the amount of bacteria in the mouth, coconut oil may help prevent discoloration and contribute to overall oral health.
Overall, the evidence on whether coconut oil whitens teeth is mixed. More research is needed to determine whether oil pulling with coconut oil is an effective method for teeth whitening
How to Use Coconut Oil in oral care routine
Coconut oil can be a beneficial addition to your oral care routine due to its potential antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Here’s how to use coconut oil in your oral care routine:
Oil pulling is a traditional oral hygiene practice that involves swishing oil in your mouth to promote oral health. To do this with coconut oil:
- Take a tablespoon of organic, unrefined coconut oil.
- Swish the oil around your mouth for about 15-20 minutes. Be gentle, and avoid swallowing the oil.
- Spit the oil into a trash can (not the sink, as it can clog pipes), and rinse your mouth with warm water.
- Follow with your regular tooth brushing routine.
You can make your own coconut oil toothpaste or purchase commercial toothpaste that contains coconut oil as one of its ingredients. To make a simple homemade toothpaste:
- Mix 2 tablespoons of coconut oil with 2 tablespoons of baking soda.
- Add a few drops of peppermint or tea tree essential oil for flavor and added antibacterial properties.
- Use this mixture as you would regular toothpaste.
Coconut oil can be used as a mouthwash to help freshen breath and combat bacteria. To create a coconut oil mouthwash:
- Mix 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil with warm water.
- Swish the mixture in your mouth for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Spit it out and rinse your mouth with water.
You can combine coconut oil with other oral care ingredients, such as baking soda or activated charcoal, to create a customized oral care product. These combinations can help with overall oral hygiene
How to whiten teeth at home
Choose a toothpaste that is specifically formulated for teeth whitening. These toothpaste products often contain mild abrasives and peroxide to help remove surface stains.
Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide
Create a paste by mixing baking soda with hydrogen peroxide (3%). Brush your teeth with this paste gently for a few minutes, then rinse thoroughly. Do this sparingly, as excessive use can damage enamel.
Some people use activated charcoal powder to whiten teeth. Dip a wet toothbrush into the charcoal powder, brush for a few minutes, and then rinse thoroughly. Be cautious with charcoal, as it can be abrasive and should not be used daily.
As mentioned earlier, oil pulling with coconut oil can help remove bacteria and stains from teeth. Swish the oil in your mouth for about 15-20 minutes before spitting it out.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Gargling with a mixture of water and apple cider vinegar can help remove stains. However, use it sparingly, as its acidic and frequent use can erode tooth enamel.
Limit foods and beverages that can stain teeth, such as coffee, tea, red wine, and berries. Drinking through a straw can also minimize contact with teeth.
Maintain Good Oral Hygiene
Regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups are essential for maintaining white teeth. Plaque buildup can contribute to staining, so keeping your teeth clean is crucial.
Professional At-Home Kits
Some dental professionals offer at-home whitening kits that are custom-made for your teeth. These kits typically include customized trays and a professional-grade whitening gel
Coconut oil has gained popularity in the oral care industry, but it falls short as an efficient teeth-whitening solution. However, if your primary focus is on maintaining a gentle and consistent oral care routine, incorporating coconut oil can still be a valuable addition if it encourages you to give your dental health the attention it deserves.