Admit it, you clicked on this article because you heard that coconut oil can make your teeth so white and brilliant that people will need to wear dark shades when you flash a smile at them. Who wouldn’t want a dazzling smile that could occasionally come in handy as a weapon? Think of all the haters people you could blind with only a smile! So with all that coconut can do, does coconut oil whiten teeth?
We all want teeth like those in toothpaste ads. And most importantly, with teeth that good you would now read your dentist’s newsletter with a superior smirk on your face because you discovered a cheaper and less agonizing teeth whitening option in coconut oil.
Who Cares About This Whiter Teeth Business?
This is a list of people who are obsessed with getting whiter teeth.
- Movie stars
- Your neighbors
- My neighbors
So, Does Coconut Oil Whiten Teeth?
First of all, the act of using coconut oil to whiten your teeth has a government name:
Contrary to what the Internet says, oil pulling is not a trend that only just came into being. This Ayurvedic medical practice has been around for over 3,000 years. It might be hard to imagine your ancestors gargling oil because they also wanted to get whiter teeth by oil means, but it did happen. So, you now know that oil pulling is not an invention of the Internet.
But How Does this Oil Pulling Magic Work?
According to proponents of the Oil Pulling Act, the coconut oil is supposed to clean the teeth and gums and get rid of bacteria.
It’s a bit scientific: the lauric acid in coconut oil can fight the plaque that yellows teeth. This unique fatty acid kills bacteria and more.
When you swish coconut oil in your mouth for about 20 minutes, the oil binds with the other oil in the cell membranes in your mouth, allowing you to spit out the bacteria in your mouth when you spit out the coconut oil.
The ‘oil pulling will save your life’ claims don’t end there. Asides removing plaque and bacteria, it is said that oil pulling can
- whiten your teeth
- make your breath smell like a basket of flowers
- reduce those vicious headaches
- give you clear skin, and
- give you the energy of a three-year-old boy in a playground.
Should You Really Use Coconut Oil to Whiten Your Teeth?
Oil pulling has been shown to be effective at reducing plaque and preventing gingivitis. But for whitening? Perhaps. It certainly doesn’t hurt to try, especially seeing as it is a natural remedy. Check out these DIYs for oil pulling and another gem … coconut oil toothpaste.
How to Use Coconut Oil Pulling for Teeth:
Oil pulling is quite easy to do. What you need:
- A good virgin coconut oil or a mint flavored coconut oil specifically for oil pulling
- Cup or tissue
- Now that you have assembled equipment for you oil pulling adventure, simply soften a tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth and swish it around for 20 minutes max. Make sure that the oil enters every nook and cranny of your mouth like under your tongue, between your teeth and all over your gums. It is believed that swishing the oil in your mouth will help pull the bacteria from your teeth.
- After twenty minutes, spit the oil into a tissue or cup. You do not want to clog your drains by spitting the oil directly into your sink.
- Rinse your mouth with water.
- Brush your teeth.
What Do Studies Say About Coconut Oil for Whiter Teeth?
You would think that a practice as old as oil pulling would have enjoyed lots of research, right? Sadly, there aren’t that many.
However, recent studies between 2008 and 2011 show that coconut oil does reduce plaque in the mouth.
And the Nigerian Journal of Medicine published findings on the effectiveness of oil pulling in April 2015. The limited study concluded that oil pulling can reduce plaque and plaque-induced gingivitis in the mouth. The study didn’t say anything about whitening teeth with coconut oil, though.
What About Coconut Oil Toothpaste?
You can, indeed, make toothpaste with coconut oil! For whitening, coconut oil toothpaste with baking soda will help to remove stains. Just remember, baking soda in any toothpaste is not meant to be used everyday. That’s because it can be abrasive on gums and enamel. (See our coconut oil toothpaste recipes and recommendations.)
In summary, even if you do find dentists who advocate oil pulling, they will advise you not to substitute regular brushing and flossing for oil pulling. Coconut oil is the eighth wonder of the world and you can use it to whiten your teeth if you want, but it should not replace normal oral hygiene.
Leave us a comment and share your story if you’ve used coconut oil to whiten teeth!