Coconut Oil
Coconut oil contains vitamin E, no fiber, and small amounts of vitamins and minerals.

Coconut oil is extracted from coconut meat. It has several anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that help improve gum and teeth health.

Coconut oil is popularly used for oil pulling.

What is oil pulling?

Oil pulling is a traditional practice. Take one tablespoon of oil in your mouth and swish it for 10 to 20 minutes and spit it out.

This process removes the toxins in the mouth and helps fight gingivitis, plaque accumulation, and microorganisms that cause bad breath.

This procedure does not reverse the effects of tooth decay, but it is a good supplement therapy.

9 tips for oil pulling

  1. It must be done early in the morning with an empty stomach.
  2. You can choose any oil, such as coconut, sunflower, or sesame oil (though all these oils can fight against bacteria and dirt in the mouth, the lauric acid in coconut oil is more effective because of its antimicrobial properties).
  3. Do not swallow the oil because it contains all the dirt and bacteria from the mouth.
  4. If the jaw starts hurting, swish the oil for only 10 minutes.
  5. Oil pulling should be done before brushing.
  6. You can repeat this procedure three times a day before meals to increase benefits.
  7. Once the procedure is done, spit the oil out and brush your teeth.
  8. Advised to do gentle swishing.
  9. You should never replace oil pulling with routine dental hygiene practices and oral care.

4 oral hygiene benefits of coconut oil

  1. Removes harmful bacteria in the mouth
    • Coconut oil fight against the harmful bacteria in the mouth that can cause bad breath, tooth decay, and gum diseases.
    • Especially, Streptococcus mutans, which causes tooth decay, and the yeast Candida albicans.
    • Since coconut oil traps and attracts harmful bacteria every time you do oil pulling will help to remove harmful bacteria.
  2. Prevents bad breath
    • Bad breath otherwise called halitosis is a very common oral cavity problem.
    • Most of the time bad breath is due to poor oral hygiene.
    • The antimicrobial properties of coconut oil reduce plaque accumulation on teeth and prevent bad breath.
  3. Prevents swollen gums
    • Bacteria present in the oral cavity cause swelling, redness, and painful gums.
    • The coconut oil pulling helps get rid of these bacteria and prevents swelling of the gums.
  4. Oral hygiene tips
    • Although coconut oil helps maintain a healthy oral cavity, so do not avoid routine or regular oral care.
    • Coconut oil does not reverse the progression of tooth decay, but it can effectively maintain good oral care.
    • Along with oil pulling, brush, and floss two times daily with fluoride toothpaste.
    • Brush properly so that your brush covers all the surfaces of your teeth and scrape your tongue with a gentle tongue scraper.

QUESTION

According to the USDA, there is no difference between a “portion” and a “serving.” See Answer

Nutritional value of coconut oil

One tablespoon of coconut oil contains:

Table. The nutritional content of coconut oil (1 tbsp)
Nutrient Amount
Calories 121
Proteins 0 grams
Fat 13.5 grams
Saturated fat 11.2 grams
Cholesterol 0 mg

Coconut oil contains vitamin E, no fiber, and small amounts of vitamins and minerals. Coconut oil contains 100 percent of fat, predominantly saturated fat.

3 tips to buy, store, and use coconut oil

  1. Always check labels and avoid oils that contain partially hydrogenated coconut oils.
  2. Store coconut oil in a dark and cool place. Like other saturated fats, it is solid at room temperature and liquefies when heated.
  3. Use coconut oil in baking for a light, sweet, “coconutty” flavor. It substitutes well for butter, and it is suitable for vegan recipes.

Research and evidence showing coconut oil helps improve oral health

A systematic review reported the effect of coconut oil when used to oil pull improved dental hygiene and oral health. This study has observed and highlighted the absence of high-quality evidence in the literature subjected to bias.

  • It is difficult to determine whether oil pulling with coconut oil has beneficial effects.
  • It is promising to see beneficial outcomes and the authors hope this review will encourage further higher-quality research.

To conclude, the available data suggests that a larger number of well-designed randomized controlled trials are essential to determine the impact of oil pulling with coconut oil on oral health.

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Medically Reviewed on 8/26/2022
References
Image Source: iStock image

Should You Try Oil Pulling? https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/features/oil-pulling

The effect of oil pulling with coconut oil to improve dental hygiene and oral health: A systematic review. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7475120/

Is Oil-Pulling Your Best Choice for Dental Health? https://health.clevelandclinic.org/is-oil-pulling-your-best-choice-for-dental-health/