Why You Should Start Using Coconut Oil as a Toothpaste

Coconut toothpaste
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Coconut oil has revealed another of its many health benefits – it can kill bacteria associated with tooth decay. Researchers from Ireland’s Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT) tested coconut oil’s action against Streptococcus bacteria, which inhabit your mouth. They showed that when the oil was treated with enzymes, in a process similar to digestion, it inhibited the growth of bacteria, including Streptococcus mutans that produces acids which can make your teeth rot.

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The research team tested vegetable oil, olive oil and coconut oil, both in their natural state and when treated with enzymes. Only coconut oil treated with enzymes showed the antimicrobial activity, and already small quantities were able to reach the positive effect. Keeping coconut oil in your mouth allows it to interact with your saliva which has natural digestive enzymes from your own body.

This recent research built on a previous study that examined the effects of enzyme-treated milk, which also showed the potential to prevent the harmful bacteria from binding to tooth enamel. Dr. Damien Brady, the lead researcher, explains that their data shows the products of human digestion have an antimicrobial activity. Furthermore, he believes the findings are important for the future of dental hygiene products.

Coconut oil could prove to be a viable and safe alternative to commercially used chemical products and all you need to do it to keep it in your mouth so that it would interact with the enzymes found in your saliva.

3 Good Reasons to Replace your Standard Toothpaste for Coconut Oil

If you’re considering ditching your artificial commercial toothpaste, here are some reasons to support your decision to use coconut oil instead:

1. It’s natural and safe

Many commercial toothpastes contain potentially toxic chemicals. There is a certain toothpaste that can actually embed plastic in your gums and some toothpastes can even cause cancer.

Here are some of the dangerous substances in your commercial toothpaste:

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  • Triclosan – which might cause hormonal disruptions and antibiotic resistance. It has also been linked to some types of cancers.
  • Fluoride– a poisonous industrial waste product. I’ve already covered the hidden dangers of fluoride in your water.
  • Surfactants, such as sodium laureth sulphate (SLS) – a foaming agent that can cause canker sores and disturbs the function of your taste buds.

If you use coconut toothpaste, you avoid all these potentially harmful effects.

2. It kills cavity-causing organisms

As demonstrated by the recent study and other research findings, coconut oil acts against Streptococcus mutans and reduces the chances of developing tooth decay, which attacks between 60 and 90 per cent of all children.

3. It’s not expensive

Since only a small amount of the oil is required, a bottle will last you for a long time. Also, this toothpaste can be made at home, which can further increase its health value.

Related: How to Tell If Coconut Oil Is Bad: 4 Signs of Expired Coconut Oil

Coconut oil and Baking Soda

You can use coconut oil by itself as a tooth paste or you can also combine it with baking soda. Baking soda is a great alkalizer and it helps to neutralize acids in the mouth. You may have heard the claim that baking soda is abrasive. However, compared to commercial toothpastes, baking soda is much less abrasive, and therefore healthier for your teeth

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Here is a simple recipe for coconut oil and baking soda toothpaste:

Baking Soda and Coconut Oil Toothpaste

You can make a larger or smaller batch depending on how long you would like it to last and what size container you’re storing it in.

2 tablespoons unrefined virgin coconut oil
2 tablespoons baking soda

Preparation
Mix baking soda and coconut oil in a small container until it has a consistency of a paste. Use it as a normal toothpaste, and brush the teeth in the morning and night.

If you live in a place where the temperature is less than 24°C (75°F) in which the coconut oil is solid, you can either put the coconut oil jar in a bowl with warm water several minutes before brushing your teeth to soften the coconut oil, or you can break a piece of the coconut oil (with a spoon), place it on the toothbrush and then it quickly melts when you brush with it due to the body heat.

Coconut Oil as a Mouth Wash (Oil Pulling)

The technique of oil pulling or oil swishing has been with us for a long time and is a traditional folk remedy that was mentioned in Ayurvedic medicine for oral health.

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Take about 2 tablespoons of coconut oil when you wake up in the morning and before you eat anything. Swish the oil around your mouth, teeth, gums and tongue for about 15-20 minutes. During that time the oil will have changed its color to whiter or yellowish color.

Don’t swallow the oil, as your aim is to get rid of toxins and if you swallow any oil, you put the toxins back into your body. After 20 minutes spit all the oil out.

For more information, including studies, read my article on why you should start oil pulling today.

Coconut oil and Crushed Eggshells

I’ve already written about the science behind the eggshells toothpaste and you can find the recipe for a coconut oil and crushed eggshells toothpaste in my article on how to use eggshells to heal your cavities.

Coconut Oil and Gum Massage

Previously, coconut oil showed to be successful in gum massage therapy. A study, published in the Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology, showed that the use of coconut oil over a period of three weeks significantly reduced the amounts of Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacillus in the participants’ mouths, and it also reduced plaque formation. In addition, the study showed that sesame oil and olive oil were effective in reducing mouth bacteria as well.  For more information read my article on how to treat gum infection (gingivitis).

Read my other related articles:

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26 Responses to Why You Should Start Using Coconut Oil as a Toothpaste

  1. rob says:

    While coconut oil is great,spitting it into your drains will cause clogs in your pipes. Check out Dr. Weston Price concerning proper nutrition and healthy teeth. Start taking supplements, and eating nutrient dense foods if you are having teeth troubles. He also found that.poor nutrition causes crooked teeth. I personally use the following on my teeth: tumeric (will stain your sink yellow), food grade peroxide, bentonite clay, peppermint oil, and apple cider vinegar. I’ve tried all of these for extensive periods, and can attest to their safety.

  2. Lameck Ondego says:

    I am here in Kenya. Where can I get that packaged Organic Virgin Coconut Oil? How long would the natural home made tooth paste las?

    • Jenny says:

      Generally speaking, you can get organic virgin coconut oil in health food stores, some supermarkets and online stores (like Amazon). I don’t know specifically about Kenya. As for your second question – it depends on the quantity you make. Both coconut oil and baking soda have a very long shelf life.

  3. Crystal says:

    Can I add peppermint essential oil for scent and flavor?

    • Jenny says:

      Yes, you can.

    • Kat says:

      YES peppermint, INGESTABLE kind for flavor. I had another mix that included a teaspoon of baking powder, dr. bronners soap (I used the hemp b/c hemp rules)and another teaspoon of sea salt.I use the pink sea salt. Himalayan.

  4. Anjushay says:

    Which coconut oil you are recommending pls tell

    • Jenny says:

      The coconut oil should be organic and unrefined (virgin). As brands vary between different countries, always check the product label.

  5. Michele says:

    I love coconut oil for many things but unfortunately had some very bad drain blockages going on to using it. If anyone knows of a natural way to dissolve it in the piping, let us know!

    • Brenda says:

      Have you thought about disposing of it in the garbage can instead of putting it down the drain? If it doesn’t go down the drain, it can’t clog the drain.

    • Jaye says:

      Most drains can be unclogged with baking soda and vinegar. Just dump about a cup of baking soda into the drain and pour about a cup of vinegar over it. It will fizz a lot, but when it stops fizzing add some more vinegar.

      You may want to use a plunger on the drain along with this treatment, depending on how badly the drain is clogged.

    • ChelleOlsen says:

      Baking soda and vinegar. It starts to foam alot right away and makes crazy noises all the way down the drain, but it works wonders. Just pour a little of each and let it sit for about ten minutes or so and rinse with hot water.

  6. Marti Hartrick says:

    Used Coffee Grounds with drop of dish detergent and flush with HOT water after setting in drain for a few minutes. Also great for scrubbing greasy and dirty pots and Pans. Use it everyday. Coffee Grounds Absorb OIL AND detergent and HOT WATER FLUSH IT DOWN DRAIN.

  7. Tania says:

    Can I use just coconut oil to brush my teeth or do I have to add baking soda?

    • Jenny says:

      It is a good idea to add the baking soda to the mix, as the baking soda has several roles that are important to oral hygiene, such as whitening and stain removal, acid neutralization (as baking soda is a weak base), plaque removal due to the mild abrasiveness of baking soda and fighting bad breath.

      • marisha says:

        Baking soda has illuminum n is very toxic n leads to many health issues to include Alzheimer’s,cancer, hormone imbalance… unless able to find a illuminum free baking soda

        • Jenny says:

          You are confusing between baking soda and baking powder. Baking soda is 100% sodium bicarbonate. On the other hand, baking powder contains some sodium bicarbonate, but also has other ingredients that act as acidifying agents. These acidifying agents can come in the form of cream of tartar or an aluminum-based acid.

  8. stephanie says:

    I made toothpaste with the coconut oil and baking soda and it burned the side of my mouth leaving open cracked sores…can I just use the coconut oil?

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Stephanie, as I wrote to the reader Tania who asked if she has to add baking soda to the mix, baking soda has several roles that are important to oral hygiene, such as whitening and stain removal, acid neutralization (as baking soda is a weak base), plaque removal due to the mild abrasiveness of baking soda and fighting bad breath. Applying neat (undiluted) baking soda on the skin can indeed burn the skin. While in this case it is diluted in coconut oil, you may wish to increase the dilution of baking soda and reduce the amount of it so there is more coconut oil and less baking soda. If however you prefer to completely avoid baking soda or if there is still irritation, try adding salt instead as it’s great to oral hygiene (although some people don’t like the salty taste, but if you don’t mind it, go for it).

  9. Rhonda says:

    While having a wisdom tooth extracted, the gum ripped off the back side of my jawbone, exposing the bone. Can I use the baking soda/coconut oil toothpaste with this bone being exposed? It had been 4 weeks since this happened, and the pain has finally lessened to where I no longer require pain meds.

    • Jenny says:

      I’m not sure Rhonda. I wouldn’t imagine that the coconut oil will make any issue but I’m not sure about the baking soda.

  10. Robert says:

    Your recipe for toothpaste seems too strong. I use 1 part baking soda and 3 parts coconut oil. Baking soda is very abrasive especially if you have receding gums. I use this mix once a week at the most the rest of the time Fluoride free commercial toothpaste.

  11. Tammie says:

    I really do not like the smell of coconut oil. The idea of putting it in my mouth as toothpaste did not really sound fun to me until I ran out of toothpaste. It took some time before I got used to it, but it was not so bad after a few tries.

    The crushed eggshells and coconut oil combination was a bit new to me. I have not heard of it before, and I am a bit skeptical about trying it.

    The gum massage, though, is really good and really works.

    I am glad to know that coconut oil has so many uses. I am making sure it’s in the bag on my next trip to the grocery store.

  12. Gunter says:

    Now, this puzzles me: The quoted article specifically says “…when the oil was treated with enzymes”. What enzymes? How do we get them into the tooth paste?

    • Jenny Hills says:

      You can refer to the resources at the end of the article for the study itself. The research states that the coconut oil was treated with enzymes in a process similar to digestion. So keeping coconut oil in your mouth allows it to interact with the digestive enzymes in your saliva similarly to what was done in the research (as many previous studies have shown that partially digested foodstuffs are active against micro-organisms).

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