Coconut Oil & How It Can Care for Your Teeth
Many of us will think of coconut oil as a useful good fat, and especially in baking, while others are starting to learn about the numerous health benefits when consumed.
But you might not be aware that coconut oil can be a wonderful tool in caring for our teeth and gums.
Time to think again!
Coconut oil can actually take the place of two dental care staples – commercial toothpaste and mouthwash.
And this is primarily because it has now been proven that coconut oil can eliminate the majority of the harmful bacteria found in the mouth including the one known as S.mutans. This is an acid producing bacteria that is largely responsible for tooth decay and affecting a large percentage of both children and adults.
Coconut oil and oil pulling
As well as killing that harmful bacteria, “oil pulling” with coconut oil can improve your dental health, whiten your teeth and reduce or even eliminate bad breath. Oil pulling may also improve a number of health conditions ranging from eczema to arthritis through its effect on oral bacteria. It may even work its magic on thrush (Candida) when it occurs in the mouth.
Current research at the Society for General Microbiology at the University of Warwick, UK, is looking into the possibility of enzyme-treated coconut oil being used to eliminate Candida albicans which causes thrush. They want to incorporate enzyme-modified coconut oil into dental products as an alternative to the regular chemical ingredients.
But that is for the future.
Back to oil pulling…
If you can imagine a car engine and how oil lubricates and cleans the engine for so many miles before being changed and fresh oil put in, then in the same way oil pulling works in our mouths. The oil in the car engine picks up dirt and grime so that when you drain the oil, it pulls out the dirt and grime with it, leaving the engine relatively clean so that the engine runs smoother and lasts longer.
In a similar and simple process, oil pulling means that you rinse your mouth out with coconut oil and if done correctly, this can have a very powerful cleansing and healing effect by detoxifying or cleansing the body. It can help those with asthma, allergies, chronic fatigue, diabetes, migraine headaches, arthritis, PMS, chronic skin problems – as well as dental problems in the mouth.
The first thing that most people notice when they start oil pulling is an improvement in their oral health:
- Teeth become whiter.
- Breath becomes fresher.
- The tongue and gums take on a healthy pink color.
- Even problems such as bleeding gums, tooth decay and gum disease are greatly diminished or completely healed.
1. First thing in the morning on an empty stomach and before drinking any liquids (including water), put 1 to 2 teaspoons coconut oil in your mouth.
2. Push, pull and swish the oil between your teeth and all around your mouth for 15 to 20 minutes.
3. Whatever you do, do not swallow!
4. Spit out the oil and rinse mouth thoroughly before brushing your teeth.
5. When you first start oil pulling, carry it out 3 times a day if possible for a full detox. In time, you can change to a daily maintenance oil pulling session.
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How to make your own coconut oil toothpaste
You will need:
- ½ cup coconut oil
- 2 to 3 tablespoons baking soda
- 15 to 30 drops of peppermint essential oil
Melt coconut oil and blend with other ingredients. Pour into a glass jar and let cool. Then use as you would use normal tooth paste – preferably with an electric tooth brush for optimum cleaning.
Why an electric toothbrush is better
Most dentists today will encourage you to use an electric toothbrush. Research by Sheffield University in the UK has concluded that electric rotating brushes reduce 11% more plaque than manual toothbrushes while also significantly reducing gum problems such as gingivitis, with results keeping on improving the longer you use the brush. If you lack commitment, choose one with a timer to encourage you to keep on brushing for that optimum 2 minutes per session. Brushes with round heads and side-to-side movement are more effective as they surround each tooth as they do their work, cleaning from every side.
Don’t be tempted to use your electric brush as if it is a regular brush. Let the electric version do the work for you by placing it next to each tooth in turn.
Dental work is always expensive when you have to go to the professionals. Taking good care of your teeth and gums with the help of coconut oil could save you a lot of money as well as protect you from the pain and discomfort that dental problems can cause.