Dental Implants: Pros and Cons

Is Brushing Your Teeth With Coconut Oil a Good Idea?

by Brett Clark

Coconut oil is considered to be one of the most beneficial alternative health remedies. This oil has properties that are very useful in oral hygiene terms, and people often pull coconut oil to improve their oral hygiene and whiten their teeth. If you don't fancy swishing a spoon of oil around your mouth every day, you may be considering the easier option of brushing your teeth with coconut oil. What are the pros and cons?

The Benefits of Brushing Your Teeth With Coconut Oil

Using any oil to brush your teeth can help reduce your bacterial load. Bacteria are removed from your teeth and gums by sticking to the oil. If you use coconut oil, you get additional benefits. Coconut oil has a high lauric acid content that may have a more active effect on certain types of bacteria. For example, the lauric acid in coconut oil has the ability to break down strep mutans, the bacteria that causes tooth decay. If you can reduce the amount of this bacteria in your mouth, you may reduce the risks of decay at the same time.

Getting rid of bacteria from your teeth may even make your teeth look a little whiter. For example, plaque bacteria can make your teeth look coated and a little grey; brushing with oil to remove your bacteria may uncover your natural colour.

The Drawbacks of Brushing Your Teeth With Coconut Oil

Brushing your teeth with coconut oil may have some dental benefits; however, you may run into problems if you substitute coconut oil for your regular toothpaste. Regular toothpastes contain fluoride which, according to many dental professionals, should be one of the main ingredients you look for in a toothpaste. Coconut oil doesn't contain any fluoride.

Fluoride helps strengthen your tooth enamel, deal with decay and manage the acids that may attack your teeth. While the bacteria-busting effects of lauric acid in coconut oil may go some way to replacing fluoride, there's no guarantee this oil will give you the same levels of protection as a regular toothpaste.

On a basic level, you may also find it hard to adjust to brushing with an oil rather than a toothpaste. For example, you may not like the oily texture and may find it hard to get rid of residue from the coconut oil when you're finished brushing.

Tip: For a best-of-both-worlds approach, you can add the occasional oil brushing session to your normal oral hygiene routine. Alternatively, you could add a little coconut oil to your toothpaste. Consult your dentist if you have further questions.