A study based on coconut’s oil biocidal properties against harmful bacteria that causes tooth decay showed that coconut oils is pretty effective.
Scientists tested coconut oil in its natural form, and after it was treated with enzymes, in a process that simulated digestion. It was tested against of Streptococcus, known as common inhabitant of oral cavities.
They found that enzyme-modified coconut oil strongly inhibits the growth of most strains ofStreptococcusbacteria, including Streptococcus mutans, an acid-producing bacterium that is a major cause of tooth decay. It is thought that the breaking down of the fatty coconut oil by the enzymes turns it into acids, which are toxic to certain bacteria. Chief researcher Dr. Damien Brady said:
“Incorporating enzyme-modified coconut oil into dental hygiene products would be an attractive alternative to chemical additives, particularly as it works at relatively low concentrations. Also, with increasing antibiotic resistance, it is important that we turn our attention to new ways to combat microbial infection.”
6 Reasons to Use Coconut Oil as Toothpaste
A case could be made that coconut oil has a near-perfect makeup to act as an effective toothpaste. Six top reasons, as reported by MindBodyGreen, include:
1. No Harmful Chemicals
Conventional toothpaste brands like Colgate Total are loaded with triclosan, an antibacterial chemical which is associated with common issues like antibiotic resistance and endocrine disruption.
Endocrine-disrupting chemicals are considered as a serious concern, because they cause many health problems, like: breast, ovarian, prostate, and testicular cancer, preterm and low birth weight babies, precocious puberty in girls, and undescended testicles in boys.
Certaina animal studies have revealed that triclosan causes fetal bone malfunctions in laboratory mice and rats, which could possibly indicate hormonal effects.
Conventional toothpastes also contain fluoride. It is a toxic industrial waste product, and it acts as a poison to human body, even when found in trace amount…
2. Fights cavity-causing bacteria
Coconut oil is anti-bacterial and has shown to be very effective at killing the bad bacteria in your mouth. Think of it as Mother Nature’s mouth wash! Swishing the coconut oil in your mouth after you brush will give you the same effect as traditional mouth wash. minus the harness.
3. No Foaming Agents
Many toothpastes also contain surfactants like sodium laurel sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate (SLS), or sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES). Surfactants are chemicals responsible for the foaming action of the toothpaste, but they also interfere with the functioning of your taste buds by breaking up the phospholipids on your tongue.
This enhances bitter tastes and is thought to be the reason why everything tastes so bad right after you’ve brushed your teeth. This may also be part of why coconut oil works so well for oral hygiene, as it helps maintain a more natural balance of lipids on your tongue, while still having potent antibacterial properties.
Not to mention, SLS has even been linked to painful canker sores, with research suggesting an SLS-free toothpaste should be used for people with recurring sores.
A tiny amount of coconut oil is enough to keep your teeth clean. A jar of coconut oil lasts for months, which is why it is so inexpensive.
5. Use coconut oil on your dog’s teeth too
Of course, you would not brush your pet’s teeth with conventional “human” toothpaste. Coconut oil is safe and effective for both pets and humans. Apply some coconut oil with a toothbrush, but your dog will sure benefit only by licking a tiny amount of oil. The following recipe is not recommended for dogs, as some ingredients that are safe for people can be dangerous for pets.
6. Simple to Make
Coconut oil toothpaste is simple to make with just a few ingredients:
– Coconut oil
– Baking soda – helps with whitening, acts an abrasive to help clean your teeth
– Essential oils – these oils give flavor and therapeutic benefits. Peppermint oil is superior to chlorohexidine, a mouthwash chemical, when it comes to inhibiting formation of biofilm formations that are associated with cavities.
– Erythritol, xylitol or stevia: natural, tooth friendly sweeteners that will enhance the flavor of your toothpaste. Don’t use xylitol if you’re planning on using it for you pets — it’s toxic to them.
– Bentonite clay – it gives paste-like consistency. It also draws out toxins from gums and tongue.
Use coconut oil for Oil Pulling
Oil pulling involves ‘rinsing’ your mouth with coconut oil, much like you would with a mouthwash (except you shouldn’t attempt to gargle with it). The oil is “worked” around your mouth by pushing, pulling, and drawing it through your teeth for about 10-15 minutes. When you’re first starting out, you may want to try it for just five minutes at a time.
This process allows the oil to “pull out” cavity-causing bacteria and other debris from your mouth. Once the oil turns thin and milky white, you’ll know it’s time to spit it out. As reported by the Indian Journal of Dental Research:
“Oil pulling has been used extensively as a traditional Indian folk remedy without scientific proof for many years for strengthening teeth, gums, and jaws and to prevent decay, oral malodor, bleeding gums, and dryness of throat and cracked lips.”
Oil pulling has shown to have a powerful cleansing and healing effect, as proven by science:
– It reduces counts of Streptococcus mutans (which causes tooth decay) in children’s plaque and saliva. Researchers explain, “Oil pulling can be used as an effective preventive adjunct in maintaining and improving oral health.”
– Oil pulling significantly reduced plaque, improved gum health, and reduced aerobic microorganisms in plaque among adolescent boys with plaque-induced gingivitis
– It is as effective as mouthwash when it comes to eliminating bad breath and reducing microorganisms that cause it
– Oil pulling protects oral cavity, thanks to its mechanical cleaning action. Researchers say, “The myth that the effect of oil pulling therapy on oral health was just a placebo effect has been broken and there are clear indications of possible saponification and emulsification process, which enhances its mechanical cleaning action.”
It’s worth noting that the above studies used sesame oil, which is traditionally recommended.
Why It is Not Recommended Fluoridated Toothpaste
Fluoride has been associated with decaying teeth, but it has sure received increasing scrutinity lately, and of course, for some good reasons. A study published in the journal Langmuil uncovered that the “beneficial” fluorapatite layer on your teeth is actually six nanometers thick.
To be more precise, you would need about 10,000 such layers to obtain the width of a single strand of human hair. Scientists still debate over the power of this ultra-thin layer when it comes to protecting tooth enamel and providing health benefits, taking into considering that you could easily eliminate it by chewing. Scientists say:
“…it has to be asked whether such narrow… layers really can act as protective layers for the enamel.”
According to a study, toothpastes that are packed with naturally obtained cacao extract theobromine have proven to repair and remineralize exposed dentin (tissue that makes up the bulk below tooth enamel) than fluoride toothpastes.
Fluoride toothpastes are the largest source of fluoride intake in small children and it is also a risk factor for dental fluorosis. This happens because children like to swallow some of the toothpaste they use to brush their teeth.
Moreover, researchers say that it is not uncommon for small children to swallow more fluoride from their toothpaste than they should throughout the entire day from different sources.
Swallowing fluoride, same as drinking fluoridated water, harms health, as fluoride is a toxic chemical that tends to accumulate in tissues, affect enzyme function and causes many health problems, like endocrine or neurological function.
Children are at a high risk for side-effects caused by overexposure. Children should use a fluoride-free toothpaste, but you as an adult as well.
A Comprehensive Approach to Improve Your Dental Health
Toothpaste containing natural ingredients, like baking soda, essential oils, xylitol, and others, appears to be more effective and safer than fluoride-containing toothpastes. There’s no reason to risk exposing yourself to fluoride or other dangerous chemicals like triclosan and sodium lauryl sulfate. Here are my basic guidelines for optimizing your dental health, safely and naturally:
– Avoid fluoride-containing toothpastes and fluoridated water. Use fluoride-free toothpaste or make your own natural toothpaste. Choose toothpastes from reputable brands.
– Reduce sugar and grain intake. Your fructose intake should be less than 25 grams per day. Avoid processed foods at any cost.
– Your diet should include fresh and whole food, fermented vegetables and grass-fed meat. These will give you enough minerals to strengthen your bones and teeth.
– Maintain proper oral hygiene and get regular mercury-free cleansing. Scrub your teeth with a washcloth before you brush them to remove any built-up biofilm.
Remember, nature provides many solutions to refresh your breath. Chew some fresh parsley, mint cilantro or ginger slices to freshen your breath. You can also place a cucumber slice on the roof of your oral cavity to remove any odor-causing bacteria. According to Ayurveda, cucumbers also release excess heat in stomach, which is believed to be the primary cause of bad breath.