7 Reasons to Start Using Coconut Oil Toothpaste Recipes

Recent studies have shown that coconut oil is great at fighting plaque and bacteria. Find out how you can use coconut oil as part of your dental care routine.

7 reasons to start using coconut oil toothpaste recipes

Image from Hafiz Issadeen on Flickr. 

If you are a big fan of coconut, you are in for a pleasant surprise. According to recent studies, this milky, creamy fruit can work wonders for oral and dental health. While such benefits have long been rumoured, especially among the proponents of alternative medicines, we now have the scientific evidence to back them up.

It is one of those situations that can take dentists by surprise and even cause them a little consternation, even though the revelation is a good one. For dental health specialists, things like ‘oil pulling’ (using coconut oil to draw out bacteria from the teeth) are never quite as straightforward as they seem. The problem is that they can encourage patients to entirely substitute routine check-ups for a system of alternative care.

Ultimately, your dentist is happy for you to do anything that benefits the health of your teeth. If this includes alternative recipes and methods like oil pulling, they are unlikely to discourage them, especially if there is medical evidence to support the claims. However, you should not replace routine dental appointments and assessments for any kind of organic, homemade, or alternative dental care system – the two need to exist together.

This is the best way to get confirmation that an alternative method of care is working. Otherwise, you could be oil pulling four times a week for nothing; or worse, actually damaging your teeth. So, it is very important to stay in touch with your dentist and follow their advice, no matter your personal routine or preferences. The top priority is the health of your teeth, so put your best foot forward when it comes to dental care.

This guide to the benefits of using coconut oil toothpaste recipes will help you get to grips with the wonders of this cavity beating ingredient.

The Bacteria Fighting Properties of Coconut Oil

This ingredient has actually been used by indigenous communities for a very long time. ‘Oil pulling’ is a traditional Indian folk remedy. And, while its benefits were doubted by medical science for many decades, evidence is now emerging that supports claims of its bacteria fighting properties. According to studies, coconut oil is particularly powerful when it comes to eliminating streptococcus mutans (an oral bacteria that causes tooth decay).

It is believed that, as the fatty oils in the coconut are broken down, they are turned into enzymes and these are toxic to certain types of plaque causing bacteria. The viability of incorporating coconut oils (at low levels) into dental hygiene products is now a topic of debate among dental scientists and specialists. For many, the ingredients represents an opportunity to discover new forms of microbial protection.

And, it is not as if coconut oil is in short supply, so it could be a useful option, particularly for patients who struggle with persistent infections and complications arising from bacterial invasions. You can pick up coconut oil from some supermarkets and most health food stores. It is safe to ingest, unlikely to cause allergies, and is cheap to buy. For all of these reasons and more, it could be time for you to try coconut oil toothpaste recipes.

Seven Reasons to Make Coconut Oil a Part of Your Routine

The following section will outline some of the main reasons why coconut oil is a useful addition to routine dental care.

  1. It Contains No Controversial Chemicals

The argument over whether this chemical or that chemical is safe for use in toothpaste has raged for decades. At present, there is no wealth of evidence to suggest that any of the chemicals in commercial toothpaste formulas are harmful. However, you may still prefer to opt for a more natural recipe.

A lot of people dislike using toothpaste formulas that contain chemicals like triclosan and others are keen to avoid fluoride. If you use a homemade coconut oil toothpaste recipe, these chemicals will not be present. You can control the ingredients that are in your toothpaste. The benefit of coconut oil is that it is a completely safe and non-toxic substance.

  1. Coconut Oil is Great at Fighting Cavities

As already mentioned, coconut oil is very effective when it comes to battling the bacteria that causes cavities and tooth decay. There is now evidence to suggest that massaging coconut oil into your gums for just ten minutes every day can dramatically lower the amount of bacteria present in the mouth.

As this bacteria can quickly lead to infections and gum disease, it is very important to deal with it directly and aggressively. To avoid chronic periodontal disease, a robust dental care routine must be followed. This means brushing and flossing at least twice a day, eating a healthy diet, and attending regular dental check-ups. Where possible, avoid sugary snacks and foods, or brush teeth after eating them.

  1. Regular Toothpaste Contains Foaming Agents

If you have ever wondered why everything tastes so bitter and unpleasant after brushing your teeth, you will be glad to know that coconut can be a solution. This bitterness is thought to be a product of foaming agents like laurel sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, and sodium lauryl ether sulfate (quite the mouthful). These chemicals cause the toothpaste to foam, but they also disrupt the regular functioning of the taste buds.

With a coconut toothpaste recipe – that does not contain any of these chemicals – the natural balance of the tongue and taste buds is maintained. There are no nasty flavours and your teeth still benefit from an extensive degree of antibacterial protection. Plus, the incidence of things like canker sores is believed to decrease when patients use coconut oil in their mouths.

  1. Coconut Oil is Extremely Affordable

It is not often that products recommended for good health come so cheaply. It costs around $8-12 to buy a medium sized tub of coconut oil. This amount can easily last a person many months, so it is an extremely cost efficient way to care for teeth.

You only need to use a small amount, usually in the form of a homemade toothpaste recipe. If you are not overly fond of the taste, you can add any number of natural sweeteners and essential oils until you hit upon a formula that is perfect for you. The most popular flavouring choice is, unsurprisingly, peppermint essential oil.

  1. Coconut Oil is Safe for Pets Too

If you have a dog, you will know how important it is to keep their teeth healthy and strong. In fact, their needs are very similar to ours, only they cannot have lost teeth replaced. This makes a good dental health routine absolutely vital for canines. The good news is that coconut oil can benefit the teeth of your pets too.

It is very important to check with your vet before giving your dog any kind of new foodstuff or ingredient. While pure coconut oil should be perfectly safe in small doses, make sure that other ingredients are safe before you give them to a pet. For instance, most homemade toothpaste recipes contain baking soda. This can be toxic to dogs if too much is ingested.

  1. Coconut Toothpaste is Easy to Make

If you are keen to give coconut toothpaste a try, you will be glad to know that creating it is very easy. Once you have all of the necessary ingredients (most of which are widely available in supermarkets and health food stores), you just have to mix them together to form a paste.

In some cases, a little heat will be needed, but most recipes are even simpler than that and do not require use of the stove or hob at all. It is best to store your homemade toothpaste formulas in a plastic or glass container, away from direct sunlight. If they contain hydrogen peroxide, store them in an opaque jar or a dark place.

Recipe One: Super Simple ‘One Application’ Toothpaste

This is a very easy to make formula, but it is best to use it as a one application recipe. This only means that you should keep all of the ingredients close by in the bathroom and quickly throw them together as and when needed.

Ingredients

One teaspoon of baking soda

Half a teaspoon of finely ground sea salt

One drop of peppermint essential oil

Five drops of coconut oil

Three drops of water

Technique

Mix together all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Keep mixing until you get a fairly rigid and thick paste. Once you have this, dip your toothbrush into the bowl and scoop up the mixture. Brush your teeth as you would with normal toothpaste.

Recipe Two: Remineralizing and Whitening Toothpaste

This tooth friendly formula will help your teeth to regenerate quickly and stay strong. If complemented by regular brushing and flossing (at least twice a day) it should keep your enamel looking shiny and healthy.

Ingredients

Five teaspoons of magnesium powder

Three teaspoons of baking soda

Half a teaspoon of unprocessed sea salt

Five droplets of coconut oil

Half a teaspoon of stevia sweetener

Technique

Mix together the magnesium powder and the baking soda. Add the coconut oil, in small amounts, until it is also mixed together. Next, add the remaining ingredients and flavour with essential oils (as strong or as subtle as you prefer). Carefully transfer into a clean container and store away from sunlight.

Recipe Three: Completely Vegan Toothpaste

If you are a vegetarian or vegan, or you just do not want to ingest animal fats, pick a toothpaste recipe that either does not contain glycerine or uses only vegetable glycerine. There are no animal based products used in this particular recipe.

Ingredients

Two teaspoons of vegetable glycerine

Four tablespoons of baking soda

Half a teaspoon of guar gum

Eight tablespoons of water

Five drops of coconut oil

Five drops of peppermint essential oil

Technique

Mix together all of the ingredients in a small saucepan. Cook on a very low heat and make sure to keep stirring all the time. After about five minutes of gentle cooking, the ingredients should start to stiffen into a tough paste. Take this off the heat and leave to cool. You can taste the recipe at this point to determine how much flavouring is needed. Transfer the mixture into a clean container and store at room temperature.

Recipe Four: Coconut Surprise Homemade Toothpaste

This formula contains hydrogen peroxide, so if you are keen to avoid it for any reason, use another homemade recipe. It is very similar to the vegan formula, but it switches out glycerine for pure coconut oil. Again, this is useful for anybody hoping to avoid glycerine. The use of stevia is recommended here if the finished taste is too strong.

Ingredients

Six teaspoons of baking soda

A quarter teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide

Two tablespoons of coconut oil

Ten drops of peppermint essential oil

Technique

Put the baking soda into a mixing bowl. Add the other ingredients, one by one. Combine until you get a rigid paste. If the paste does not thicken enough, a little more baking soda can be added. If it gets too thick and starts to flake and turn to powder, add a little more coconut oil. Again, you can add as much sweetener or essential oils for taste as you like. Store this recipe in an opaque container to stop the hydrogen peroxide from reacting with the light.

  1. Coconut Oil Pulling is Very Effective

If you have never heard of ‘oil pulling,’ you probably don’t know that it has been around for many centuries. It is used, even today, by many communities as a form of alternative dental care. While dental scientists were initially sceptical about its value, recent studies seem to suggest that oil pulling can improve the health of the mouth and teeth.

So, what exactly is oil pulling? What does it involve? Well, the process is simple. Oil pulling requires a person to rinse their mouth out with pure coconut oil. This works in the same way as rinsing with mouthwash, though swallowing and gargle are strongly discouraged. You need to be patient and push the oil around your teeth and gums for about 10-12 minutes. If you are new to the process, it is sometimes best to start small (5 minutes) and work your way up.

The constant motion of the oil in the mouth encourages it to draw out cavity causing bacteria and other dirt and debris. This nasty stuff turns the coconut oil thin and milky white. When this happens, you know that it is time to spit it out. This process can be repeated as many times as needed, though once a day is probably more than enough. It is thought to strengthen teeth, prevent decay, soothe bleeding gums, and alleviate the soreness of dry throats and lips.

There is also some evidence to suggest that sesame oil does a similar job. If you are allergic to coconut or you simply cannot stand the taste, this could be a viable alternative. For all patients considering an oil pulling routine, the best course of action is to consult a dentist first. They will be able to tell you whether or not oil pulling is likely to have a positive impact on your teeth or whether decay and infection means that more aggressive action is needed.

Caring for Your Teeth in all Situations

No amount of oil pulling can make up for a poor dental care routine, so keep up with brushing and flossing. While coconut oil will likely help your teeth get stronger, it cannot magically heal existing cavities. You will still need to get these treated and filled. Otherwise, you run the risk of decay turning into infection or periodontal disease. If left to deteriorate, both of these conditions can result in the need for an extensive root canal. This is a routine procedure, but you do want to avoid it is possible.  

Where possible, avoid eating too many sugary snacks and drinks. If you are fond of fruit juices, try to restrict them to meal times and brush your teeth thirty minutes after eating. It is a common misconception to believe that brushing immediately after meals if the best course of action. This is not true. It is healthier to delay for half an hour, so that you do not wash away the good enzymes with the bad bacteria.

Patients with healthy teeth need to attend dental check-ups at least once a year, but preferably twice. For those with periodontal disease, appointments will need to be a little more frequent. It is important to keep a close eye on gum disease, because once it deteriorates to a certain level, the damages becomes permanent. After this point, preventative measures are no longer suitable and tooth loss may be inevitable. So, stay in touch with your dental specialist; they are your ticket to a healthy mouth.

 

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