If you have not heard of the question, “Does coconut oil whiten teeth?” then you might have been living under a rock.
Celebrities from Gwyneth Paltrow to Kim Kardashian have sworn by the health benefits of coconut oil for various cosmetic uses, especially teeth whitening. It is also fairly common to walk down the aisle of a drugstore and see oral care products, such as gentle mouthwashes, packaged floss, or environmentally-conscious toothpaste infused with coconut oil.
People have jumped on this bandwagon and wholeheartedly agree that coconut oil does have teeth-whitening potential. And while it’s true that most people just follow what their influencers say, when it comes to oral care, we believe it is important to get some hard-backed scientific proof.
And that is what we are here to do. This article will give you all the information about whether or not coconut oil can whiten your teeth and how you can benefit from this ingredient otherwise.
Table of Contents
Origin of Using Coconut Oil for Oral Care
Before we answer the question, “Does coconut oil whiten teeth?” let’s take a look at how this practice originated.
Using coconut oil for oral care can be traced to Ayurvedic traditional medicine that promoted techniques such as oil pulling for various health reasons, including making your teeth appear whiter. Some people claim that using coconut oil for your teeth can also decrease tooth sensitivity.
Because this ingredient is completely natural, more and more people are being pulled into the trend. That is why it has become imperative for medical experts to find out whether coconut oil really has any merit when it comes to whitening your teeth.
So, Does Coconut Oil Really Whiten Your Teeth?
The bad news is that coconut oil cannot whiten your teeth on its own. The good news is that you can use it in your oral care routine for other benefits that this oil can provide.
Coconut oil on its own does not have any major teeth-whitening properties. That doesn’t mean that coconut oil doesn’t have a positive effect on your oral health. Coconut oil can help in reducing plaque formation. The fatty membranes in this ingredient can help attack plaque and prevent gingivitis.
However, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that brushing your teeth with coconut oil can whiten your teeth or that performing oil pulling each night will make your teeth appear brighter. The American Dental Association states that because of a lack of scientific evidence, they cannot recommend the practice of swishing or brushing with oil.
Benefits of Coconut Oil for Oral Care
Just because coconut oil alone cannot whiten your teeth does not mean it cannot have any benefits for your oral health!
Some of the benefits that this ingredient can provide you in terms of oral care include:
- Coconut oil can help soothe a dry throat.
- It helps eliminate bad breath.
- It is quite inexpensive when compared to other methods of caring for your teeth.
- It contains no harmful chemicals and is completely natural.
- Coconut oil aids in soothing and healing bleeding gums.
- It is super easy to use.
- It helps in removing plaque and eliminating bacteria build-ups.
How Can You Use Coconut Oil in Your Oral Care Routine?
Coconut oil can have other benefits apart from the non-whitening feature. Swishing your mouth with coconut oil or “oil-pulling” has garnered a huge amount of interest as a substitute for mouth rinses and chemically induced teeth-whitening.
If you do choose to incorporate coconut oil into your oral care routine, here are some tips that can help you.
- Pour a tablespoon of coconut oil directly into your mouth.
- Allow the oil to liquefy.
- Begin swishing it around your mouth, ensuring that the coconut oil touches every area of your mouth. Do not gargle with it. Swish the oil in your mouth from as little as 5 minutes to as long as 20 minutes.
- Once you have swished as much as you can, spit the oil into your trashcan. Spitting it directly into your sink can cause your drain to clog up.
- If you want to get rid of the taste of oil, you can rinse your mouth with water.
- You can also just apply coconut oil to your toothbrush and brush your teeth like you usually do.
Which Teeth-Whitening Solutions Actually Work?
Now that we know that the answer to “Does coconut oil whiten teeth?” is a no, we can discuss some of the other teeth-whitening solutions that actually work.
There are multiple products that are available over the counter that contain natural whitening ingredients, such as xylitol and baking soda. Many products also use super-whitening agents such as carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide applied in varying degrees, based on the product you are using.
Some common at-home whitening products include:
Toothpaste: You can opt for special, teeth-whitening toothpaste that also contains fluoride. Use it to brush your teeth twice each day.
Mouthwash: Use a gentle mouthwash to rinse your mouth out daily and to keep your teeth bright.
Whitening Strips: Follow the instructions on the whitening strips package to apply bleaching strips to your teeth.
Whitening Pen: These are perfect for whitening your teeth when you’re on the go.
In-office teeth whitening is the most effective and safe way to make your teeth brighter. Choosing experts to help lighten the shade of your teeth can give you long-lasting results.
There are several professional teeth-whitening options. Some of the most common ones include:
Zoom Teeth-Whitening: Where your dentist will apply peroxide gel to your teeth and expose them to Zoom LED light for around 15 minutes to activate the peroxide.
Laser Teeth-Whitening: Where your dentist will direct a beam of laser to activate the whitening solution in the gel applied to your teeth.
Customized Bleaching Trays: Professional customized bleaching trays are much more effective than over-the-counter whitening trays and can protect your gums while lightening the shade of your teeth.
Coconut oil has created a lot of buzz in the oral care and health industry. But it simply does not hold up as a teeth-whitening agent on its own. There are more effective and quick methods to whiten your teeth for longer-lasting results. In-office teeth whitening methods can be much safer, and you can discuss all the options with your dentist and find out which suits you best.
That being said, if you wish to practice a more gentle oral care routine, you can add coconut oil to it and avail its benefits.
Find out more about different teeth-whitening techniques and methods at Brooklyn Blvd. Dental.
Contact us today at 763-533-8669 and make your smile brighter today!