It’s no secret that I love anything coconut. From coconut milk to coconut water shampoo, I am definitely one to indulge in the tropical goodness of this power fruit. While people like me claim that coconut can cure just about anything, a lot of critics have their doubts. Among the many aliments coconut supposedly helps to heal, teeth whitening is on the list.
Coconut lovers believe that oil pulling with coconut oil can actually help whiten teeth. Let’s look at what the researchers are saying and find out of the coconut is really all it’s cracked up to be when it comes to getting our teeth looking their best.
Oil pulling is a practice that has been around for centuries. People who oil pull believe that swishing or holding oils inside the mouth for a period of time will pull toxins from the body. Some people swear oil pulling can help improve a numerous amount of health aliments, including skin ailments and heart diseases.
While the debate about oil pulling covers a lot of ground, for the purpose of this article, let’s just see if adding a twenty minute oil pulling session to our day can help to whiten our teeth. Keeping our teeth healthy means a lot more than making sure they are pearly white. Having yellow or stained teeth, however, can be a huge self-esteem breaker. Crest Whitestrips and other tooth-whitening brands have become popular during the last few years, but come with a cost. In addition to being expensive, many teeth-whitening remedies may leave your teeth and even gums feeling extra sensitive. While whitestrips have been proven to be relatively safe when used correctly, there are a few downsides to this over-the-counter approach. For example, teeth whitening strips may clear up stains on our front teeth, but they can’t reach the back of our mouths to our molars or the backsides of our teeth.
On an oral health website, Dentistry iQ, dentist, Dr. Jessica T. Emery states that oil pulling works because “as the oil hits your teeth and gums, microbes are picked up as though they are being drawn to a powerful magnet. Bacteria hiding under crevices in the gums and in pores and tubules within the teeth are sucked out of their hiding places and held firmly in the solution.” The bacteria the mouth contains is literally pulled from our gums and teeth by the oil. While most experts suggest pulling for about twenty minutes, Dentistry iQ explains that “the oil needs to be swished around long enough for it to turn a milky white, which indicates that the bacteria has been “pulled” off” which is normally around fifteen to twenty minutes of swishing. While it is true that bacteria is pulled out of our mouths from oil pulling, not a lot of research has been done to determine if oil pulling will actually make our teeth whiter.
Verdict: Fiction. There isn’t enough evidence to say that coconut oil will definitely whiten teeth, however, many people swear that it works. Last year, I gave oil pulling a shot for a couple of weeks and a few people at work commented on how white my teeth looked. Was it just a coincidence? I’m not sure; but I’ll let you know—I am oil pulling as I write this!
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What other oil pulling benefits are you excited about?