Coconut oil, which has become all the rage over the past few years, is likely to become the next advancement in oral hygiene and dental health. Many people will be happy to learn that the coconut oil alternative to regular toothpaste is being researched, as over-the-counter toothpaste could be too irritating and detrimental to the teeth.
Dental health is very important, as several infections of the mouth are likely to trigger the onset of other health issues. Dementia, respiratory problems, stroke, and heart disease have all been associated with poor dental health. It is recommended to visit the dentist on a regular basis in order to keep your body healthy. However, you should try to keep your mouth healthy between visits as well.
Coconut oil has been all the rage lately and there is a good reason for this. According to a recent study from the Athlone Institute which investigated the effect of different oils toward mouth health, coconut oil is the best. It acts as a potent antibacterial agent and it stops bacterial growth in the mouth when treated with digestive enzymes.
Streptococcus and S Mutans are acid-producing bacteria which are a contributing factor to tooth decay in both children and adults. Both of them get energy from sugar and produce an acidic mouth environment in return. This environment demineralizes the tooth structure which eventually causes tooth decay.
According to Dr. Damien Brady, lead researcher from Athlone Institute of Technology,
“Incorporating enzyme-modified coconut oil into dental hygiene products would be an attractive alternative to chemical additives, particularly as it works at relatively low concentrations. Also, with increasing antibiotic resistance, it is important that we turn our attention to new ways to combat microbial infection.”
Anyone who wants to stay away from detrimental chemicals should consider using a more natural solution for toothpaste. Most types of toothpaste contain sodium lauryl sulfate, fluoride, triclosan, and artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, all of which can cause health problems. For instance, sodium lauryl sulfate has been proven to affect the taste buds which increase the bitter taste while triclosan has been associated with endocrine disruption.
Natural Toothpaste Recipe
- 2-3 tbsp baking soda
- ½ cup coconut oil
- 15-30 drops of lemon, thieves, or peppermint essential oil
Mix the ingredients well and use it like any other toothpaste.
Oil pulling is another common practice with coconut oil which has been shown to improve dental health. It has become very popular over the past couple of years, and for a very good reason. To perform an oil pulling properly, you need to swish a tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth for 5-20 minutes. Once you are done with the swishing, spit the oil out. Do this procedure on an empty stomach, right upon waking up.
Note: This should be a pretty much a relaxing process, so do not swish the oil too forcefully as by doing so you will end up with sore jaw muscles. Try doing it gently, moving the oil slowly in the mouth without swallowing it.