Coconut Oil for Teeth Whitening: All You Need to Know
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Coconut Oil for Teeth Whitening
Coconuts have been a main source of nutrition for thousands of years. Their value has been of extreme importance for several civilizations in many different areas. The flesh of the fruit itself, the water, the milk, and after the coconut oil all have different uses.
The use of coconuts is mainly focused in tropical regions with countries like Malaysia and Indonesia investing heavily in the cultivation of coconuts. Of course, one of the components that is gaining lots of popularity these days for teeth whitening is coconut oil.
Coconut oil is becoming a lot of people’s go-to method of teeth whitening. A lot of factors make it a great choice.
One of these factors is its availability and another is that you can use it in a variety of ways. You can also use coconut oil without having to go to the dentist which is something we all like to avoid.
Of course another factor that made people direct their attention to coconut oil is that the bleaching methods we all know carry risks.
One of these risks is increased teeth sensitivity which is in no way pleasant. We all prefer to eat our ice cream and drink our coffee without any discomfort. Bleaching can also cause tooth decay which would leave you in need of a root canal.
Almost all bleaching agents have a 35% concentration of hydrogen peroxide. A study published in 2012 found that this much hydrogen peroxide can have a detrimental effect on tooth enamel. Hydrogen peroxide results in rougher enamel as well as weaker teeth by affecting the phosphate concentration in them.
If you have fillings then there’s the added risk of mercury being released from them after the application of hydrogen peroxide. Mercury is toxic and is definitely not something you want released in your body.
Why Whiter Teeth Are Important
We all like to have whiter teeth, but some of us don’t know why. We grew up wanting whiter teeth because ads told us whiter teeth are good. If we start to think about it some of us might not realize the important of having white teeth.
First of all there’s the benefit of having healthy teeth. If you’re concerned about how your teeth look then you’re going to pay attention to your oral hygiene in general. Then there’s looking better. In a survey of 5,000 singles about half of them said that having a nice smile is attractive.
Of course being attractive will make you feel more confident and you’ll start letting your guard down and becoming more social. Being more confident will also help your career as you’ll be confident to work hard, take risks, and reap the rewards. Never underestimate the value of a great smile.
How Coconut Oil Works
Bacteria are normally found in certain parts of our body and the mouth is no exception. Damage happens when these bacteria become too great in number, our immunity is reduced, or different types of bacteria become present where they shouldn’t be.
Bacteria create plaques (or biofilms in scientific terms) which they can use to adhere to our teeth. We might all have a little plaque but too much can be hazardous and definitely doesn’t look good.
Coconut oil acts as a cleanser as it detoxifies your mouth and clears it from harmful and excess bacteria. It does this through one of its major components: lauric acid.
What is Lauric Acid?
Lauric acid is a form of fatty acid that kills bacteria and helps remove plaque. It also has anti-inflammatory properties which can be useful if your gums are slightly inflamed that you don’t even notice it.
This was all confirmed by a study published in the Nigerian Journal of Medicine in 2015. The study brought a group of people between the ages of 16 and 18 who used coconut oil for a week.
The study found that in a short period of time the amount of plaque and gum inflammation they had significantly decreased. You may not find many other studies proving the effects of coconut oil, yet, but certainly there aren’t any articles that disprove its effects either.
Available Forms of Coconut Oil
There are four main forms of coconut oil:
The purest form of coconut oil is extremely hard to find, but it’s certainly the one with the most nutrients. If you can’t get the pure form then your next best option is virgin coconut oil.
Virgin coconut oil is derived from fresh coconut milk using a wet- milling process where the coconut is not dried. Obviously the worst kind you can get is the refined form as it lacks all of the beneficial nutrients and components.
Other Benefits for Good Oral Hygiene
Fights tooth decay
Heals cracked lips and dry throat
Boosts immune system
Strengthens jaw and gums
All of these are explained by the detoxifying and anti-inflammatory effects of lauric acid present in coconut oil.
Naturally by eliminating the bacteria and plaque which they use to adhere to teeth you’re going to have healthier gums, less tooth decay, and fewer cavities.
As coconut oil comes in contact with the lips and throat while you use it, it’s only natural that its beneficial effects will extend to them as well.
So if you also suffer from constantly cracked lips you can get a double benefit from using coconut oil.
By helping clear your mouth from harmful bacteria you’ll also start feeling healthier as the mouth is an entry point for bacteria and eliminating them in it will prevent them from entering your body.
Naturally having healthier gums and fewer cavities your entire jaw will be healthier.
How to Use Coconut Oil for a Brighter Smile
There’s no shortage of options when it comes to using coconut oil. You can use it to massage your gums and teeth, applying it to a toothbrush and brushing your teeth with it, flossing with it, and you can even cook with it.
Massaging: Apply 2ml of coconut oil on your index finger then massage all your teeth and gum with it in circular motions. It’s best to do this for 10 minutes after brushing your teeth every day.
Flossing: Coat a piece of floss with coconut oil using your index and thumb, then floss with the coated piece in order to get the oil in those tight crevices between teeth.
Cooking: Coconut oil is very stable at high temperatures and can be used for cooking. Its stability means that it won’t release free radicals which are harmful for the body. Cooking with it in addition to applying it to your lips will ensure that your entire body gets the maximum benefits.
Here’s how to make coconut oil toothpaste at home:
Melt ½ a cup of coconut oil (preferably virgin) on low heat
Blend a tablespoonful of Xylitol (a sweetener) into fine powder then add it to the coconut oil
Add a few drops of peppermint or cinnamon according to your preference for a better taste
Optional: you can add a few drops of myrrh extract as it also has antibacterial properties which will make your toothpaste even more effective
Stir the mixture
Store it in glass jars
Brush as usual
Things You Don’t Need to Worry About While Using Coconut Oil
Difficult to use
Price and availability
No foam in mouth
As we just explained there are about 4 ways to use coconut oil and they’re all simple.
Perhaps the one requiring the most effort is to create your own toothpaste so if you don’t want to spend time doing that you can simply use it by massaging your teeth and gum with it or by flossing with it.
You don’t need to worry about bad taste either, and like we described in the toothpaste recipe you can add peppermint, cinnamon, or any other essential oil you like in order to improve the taste.
There are no harmful chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide. You know what’s in it and it’s all safe. It’s not expensive either and you can easily find coconut oil. Just make sure you get the virgin form.
Of course there’s no bad breath associated with coconut oil and it will not create any foam in your mouth.
How Soon Before You Start Seeing Results
Unfortunately there’s no definitive answer to that question. You might see results within a couple of days or in a few months. This will depend on how stained your teeth are and the amount of plaque.
The more plaque on your teeth the longer it’ll take for it to be removed. Be a little patient and give it time, it’s definitely worth it.
However, despite its efficiency coconut oil can’t do everything so if you have markedly yellow teeth or need very quick results then this might not be the best option for you. You’ll also need to use it routinely so this isn’t a one time thing.
Coconut Oil Benefits for the Entire Body
Healthy hair and skin
Speeds up healing
These benefits will mostly be observed if you use the oil in cooking or if you take it orally with or without the purpose of whitening your teeth.
An Alternative: Activated Charcoal
Activated charcoal acts by absorbing toxins and stains. You apply it to your mouth and leave it a little bit and it’ll detoxify your mouth.
Apply it by dipping your toothbrush in some charcoal powder then brushing your mouth and teeth with it for about 2 minutes. Once you’re done rinse your mouth with water. Don’t brush too hard as there are some concerns that it might be abrasive for teeth.
Don’t be alarmed as while you’re applying it your mouth and teeth will look entirely black, but it’ll look and feel great once you rinse out the charcoal.
Coconut oil is one of the absolute best products out there that’ll help you get the whiter teeth you seek. It’s safe, cheap, and easy to use.
Massage your mouth with it, floss with it, use it as toothpaste, or even cook with it. There’s no shortage of options here.
It doesn’t taste bad and isn’t expensive either. Coconut oil won’t just give you whiter teeth, but also a healthier mouth overall as it reduces inflammation in the gums and gives you healthy and cavity free teeth.
You also get to avoid all the harmful effects of hydrogen peroxide found in regular bleaching products.
Coconuts have been around forever and there’s a reason some civilizations revolved around them. The fruit has numerous products and derivatives that can be used and coconut oil is at the top of that list.