In a study, testing the biocidal properties of coconut oil against the bacteria responsible for tooth decay, the oil is found to be too effective.
To be more specific, the action of coconut oil was actually tested in its natural state and after being treated with enzymes, in a process that is similar to digestion. In addition, the oils were tested against strains of Streptococcus bacteria that are common mouth inhabitants.
According to the study, the enzyme-modified coconut oil greatly inhibits the growth of most strains of Streptococcus bacteria, for instance Streptococcus mutans, i.e., an acid-producing bacterium, which is a major cause of tooth decay. It is considered that the breaking down of the fatty coconut oil by the enzymes turns it into acids that are actually toxic to certain bacteria types.
Moreover, the chief researcher Dr. Damien Brady explained that including enzyme-modified coconut oil into dental hygiene products would be an amazing alternative to chemical additives, especially since it works at relatively low concentrations.
Here are 6 reasons to use coconut oil as powerful toothpaste:
As reported by MindBodyGreen, there are six top reasons, including:
- No harmful chemicals
Conventional toothpaste like Colgate Total contains an antibacterial chemical known as triclosan that has been associated with concerns over antibiotic resistance and endocrine disruption, as well.
Moreover, endocrine-disrupting chemicals are a serious concern, since they can promote various health problems, such as: precocious puberty in girls, prostate, breast, testicular, and ovarian cancer, and undescended testicles in boys, and preterm and low birth weight babies.
There are also some animal studies, showing that triclosan resulted in fetal bone malformations in mice and rats that may hint at hormonal effects.
Another common chemical in conventional toothpaste is fluoride, which is a toxic industrial waste product that can be poisonous to your body even in trace amounts.
- Effective against cavity-inducing bacteria
According to research, massaging coconut oil into your gums for around 10 minutes a day for three weeks greatly reduces decay-inducing Streptococcus mutans and plaque, too.
- No foaming agents
A lot of toothpastes do contain surfactants such as sodium lauryl ether sulfate or SLES, sodium laurel sulfate, and sodium laureth sulfate or SLS. In other words, surfactants are chemicals that are responsible for the foaming of the toothpaste, as well as interfere with the functioning of your taste buds by breaking up the tongue’s phospholipids.
It enhances bitter tastes and is believed to be the reason why everything tastes so bad right after brushing the teeth.
However, coconut oil works so well for oral hygiene, because it helps maintain a more natural balance of the tongue’s lipids, and still has powerful antibacterial properties.
What’s more, SLS has even been connected to painful canker sores, with research suggesting an SLS-free toothpaste should be used for those with recurring sores.
It is a fact that it takes only a small amount of coconut oil to keep your teeth clean, and one jar can easily last for months, making it very cheap toothpaste.
- It can be also used on your dog’s teeth
If you don’t want to brush your pets’ teeth with conventional toothpaste, you should use coconut oil as it is effective and safe for dogs as well as humans. Just apply it with a toothbrush, but your pet may even get some oral health benefits from licking a small amount of oil.
Remember, the following recipe is not recommended for dogs as some ingredients that are fine for human consumption can be really toxic for pets.
- Easy to make
Coconut oil toothpaste can be easily prepared with just a few ingredients:
– Coconut oil
– Baking soda (acts as an abrasive and helps with teeth whitening)
– Peppermint oil extract (better than the mouthwash chemical chlorhexidine in slowing down the formation of biofilm formations associated with dental cavities)
– Essential oils (give the toothpaste flavor and add additional therapeutic benefits)
– Bentonite clay (adds a paste-like consistency and may help draw out toxins from the gums and tongue)
– Xylitol, erythritol, or stevia (if desired), which are natural sweeteners.
Note: In case you plan to give this toothpaste to your dog, do not add xylitol in it, since it is toxic to dogs.
Use coconut oil for oil pulling
This method involves rinsing your mouth with coconut oil, like you would with a mouthwash (but you shouldn’t attempt to gargle with it).
This method allows the oil to pull out cavity-inducing bacteria and other debris from your mouth. When the oil turns thin and milky white, then it’s time to spit it out.
It was reported by the Indian Journal of Dental Research:
Without any scientific proof, oil pulling has been used extensively as a traditional Indian folk remedy for years for strengthening teeth, gums, and jaws as well as to prevent decay, bleeding gums, oral malodor, throat dryness and cracked lips.
But, oil pulling seems to have a great cleansing and healing effect that is backed by science:
– It decreased counts of Streptococcus mutans bacteria, which is a major contributor to tooth decay, in the plaque and saliva of children.
– Oil pulling greatly reduced plaque and aerobic microorganisms in plaque, and improved gum health in adolescent boys with plaque-induced gingivitis.
– It is as effective as mouthwash at improving bad breath and decreasing the microorganisms that may trigger it.
– This method benefits your mouth, in part, via its mechanical cleaning action. Also, researchers pointed out that the myth that the oil pulling therapy effect on oral health was just a placebo effect has actually been broken and there are clear indications of possible emulsification and saponification process, which improves its mechanical cleaning action.
Why is the fluoridated toothpaste not recommended?
Fluoride has long been heralded as the key to decaying teeth, but recently it’s been receiving increasing scrutiny, but for a good reason. The journal Langmuir published a groundbreaking study, showing that the supposedly beneficial fluorapatite layer formed on the teeth from fluoride is a mere six nanometers thick.
Now, scientists question whether this ultra-thin layer has an ability to protect the enamel and provide any discernible benefit, considering the fact that it is quickly removed by simple chewing.
According to a study, the toothpaste that contains the naturally occurring cacao extract theobromine more effectively repaired and re-mineralized exposed dentin than fluoride toothpaste. Furthermore, fluoride toothpaste is usually the largest single source of fluoride intake for young children and is a significant risk factor for disfiguring dental fluorosis. It happens because children actually swallow a great amount of the paste that they put in their mouth.
As children are particularly at risk for adverse effects of overexposure, it’s advisable that your children use a non-fluoride toothpaste.
A comprehensive approach for improving the dental health
Toothpaste that contain natural ingredients, such as baking soda, essential oils, xylitol, etc, appears to be more effective and safer option than fluoride-containing toothpastes. Here are some basic guidelines for optimizing the dental health, completely safely and naturally:
– Instead of using fluoridated water and fluoridated toothpaste, you should use natural non-fluoride toothpaste, homemade or one from a reputable brand.
– Minimize your sugar and grain consumption. Namely, keep your fructose intake to less than 25 grams a day as well as avoid processed foods.
– Have a diet abundant in fresh, whole foods, grass-fed meats, and fermented vegetables to get plenty of the minerals crucial for strong bones and teeth.
– Also, practice good oral hygiene and get cleanings from a mercury-free natural dentist on a regular basis.
At least, don’t forget that the nature provides a number of natural solutions to freshen your breath. For example, chewing on fresh parsley, cilantro, mint, or ginger slices is a powerful natural breath freshener. You can also rid your mouth of odor-causing bacteria by placing a cucumber slice on the roof of your mouth.
Ayurveda principles suggest eating cucumbers to help release excess heat in your stomach that is thought to be a primary cause of bad breath.