Using Coconut Oil to Benefit Your Oral Hygiene

What is coconut oil pulling? And how does it benefit your oral health?

If you watch health-related news, it seems that everyone has gone coconuts for coconuts! Coconut water is hailed as the ultimate hangover cure, coconut oil is recognized for its therapeutic properties when used for hair care. Even coconut milk is making its way into your favorite recipes.

One use of coconut oil that remains lesser known – and may be one of the most beneficial of all of them – is using the substance for an oral healthcare trick known as “oil pulling.”

Here’s how it works.

Coconut oil tends to have a smoother, more pleasant taste than other oils, and has been shown in the literature to have anti-microbial qualities.  Swish about two tablespoons of coconut oil around in your mouth, like mouthwash. Some regular users of this oral health technique swish the oil for as long as 20 minutes.  The chemistry of the coconut oil essentially “pulls” microbes and plaque from your teeth and gums as you swish, hence the term “oil pulling.”

After you have finished, rinse your mouth well with water, and brush as usual. People who do this regularly swear by it, and actual studies show that “oil pulling” with coconut oil is indeed an effective way to reduce plaque and harmful bacteria, resulting in healthier teeth and gums, as well as fresher breath.

“Oil pulling” is not intended to replace traditional dental care like brushing, flossing and getting your teeth regularly cleaned.  However, when combined with other good oral hygiene practices, including regular checkups with your WaterLase Dentist, “oil pulling” is a great way to potentially improve your oral hygiene using naturally occurring substances.