Does Coconut Oil Whiten Teeth???

Coconut oil has become a popular natural remedy for a variety of health concerns, from improving digestion to reducing inflammation. One claim that has gained traction in recent years is that coconut oil can help to whiten teeth. But does coconut oil really have the ability to remove stains and brighten the smile? In this article, we will explore the evidence behind the claim that coconut oil can whiten teeth.

Firstly, it is important to understand how tooth discoloration occurs. The outer layer of teeth, known as the enamel, can become stained over time from exposure to certain foods and drinks (such as coffee and red wine) as well as from smoking and poor oral hygiene. These stains can be difficult to remove with regular brushing alone, and many people turn to teeth whitening products or treatments to achieve a brighter smile.

Coconut oil contains lauric acid, a medium-chain fatty acid that has been shown to have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Some proponents of coconut oil for teeth whitening claim that lauric acid can help to remove surface stains from teeth and kill bacteria in the mouth that can contribute to tooth decay and gum disease.

However, the evidence to support the effectiveness of coconut oil for teeth whitening is limited. A 2015 study published in the Journal of Contemporary Dental Practice found that oil pulling with coconut oil (swishing a tablespoon of oil in the mouth for 10-20 minutes) was as effective as chlorhexidine mouthwash for reducing plaque and gingivitis. While this study did not specifically measure the whitening effects of coconut oil, it does suggest that the antimicrobial properties of lauric acid may have some benefit for oral health.

Another study, published in the Nigerian Medical Journal in 2016, compared the effects of coconut oil pulling and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) on tooth color. The study found that both coconut oil pulling and sodium bicarbonate were effective at improving tooth shade, but that coconut oil pulling was more effective overall. However, it is worth noting that this study had a small sample size and did not include a control group, which limits the strength of its conclusions.

While there is some evidence to suggest that coconut oil may have some benefit for oral health and teeth whitening, it is important to remember that it is not a replacement for good oral hygiene practices such as brushing and flossing. Additionally, there are some potential risks associated with using coconut oil for oral care. Oil pulling with coconut oil can cause gagging or discomfort in some people, and it is important to avoid swallowing the oil as it may contain harmful bacteria and toxins.


In conclusion, while the evidence for coconut oil as a teeth whitening agent is limited, there is some indication that the lauric acid in coconut oil may have antimicrobial properties that can benefit oral health. However, it is important to use caution when using coconut oil for oral care, and to remember that maintaining good oral hygiene habits is key to preventing tooth discoloration in the first place. Consulting with a dental professional is also recommended before starting any new oral care regimen.

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