Coconut Oil Toothpaste: Is it Safe to Use?

Coconut Oil Toothpaste: Is it Safe to Use?
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Coconut Oil Toothpaste: Is it Safe to Use?Clinical Content Reviewed by Dr. Jay Khorsandi, DDS
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Table of Contents

  1. What Is Coconut Oil Toothpaste
  2. Is Coconut Oil Toothpaste Healthy
  3. Ask Your Dentist About Coconut Oil Tothpaste
  4. References

Coconut oil toothpaste is safe to use, but it should not replace your regular toothpaste unless it also contains fluoride.

Coconut oil pulling has become increasingly popular in the United States, and medical studies support it having some antimicrobial properties that can help your oral health. Because coconut oil is so popular, it has become a popular ingredient in mouthwashes and toothpastes too.

Coconut oil toothpaste should not replace your standard toothpaste that contains remineralizing ingredients like fluoride. Be sure to find a toothpaste that contains fluoride as well as coconut or other natural ingredients.

What Is Coconut Oil Toothpaste?

Coconut oil has been lauded for its many health benefits in recent years, including as a way to whiten your teeth, reduce plaque and tartar buildup, and even get rid of bad breath. Oil pulling is a tradition dating back thousands of years in some cultures. The Western rediscovery of this process, which is similar to swishing with mouthwash, is trending as a natural alternative to toothpastes and mouth rinses that may contain worrying chemicals like alcohol.

If you are interested in coconut oil as part of your dental hygiene routine, you may have discovered coconut oil toothpaste. Natural toothpastes containing coconut oil may appear healthy, but they may not provide enough minerals to support strong enamel, like fluoride.

While coconut oil is not the healthiest oil to consume, it’s a viable option as a treatment for oral care, hair care, and skincare.

Is Coconut Oil Toothpaste Healthy?

Medical research showsF(AnG)PF1(BHVAnG)PFA(AnG)PB(MJAP)PN(AP).pdf) that coconut oil does have health-boosting properties. It is:

  • Antibacterial
  • Antifungal
  • Antiparasitic
  • Antioxidant
  • Anti-cancer
  • Anti-caries (or cavities)

It also has disinfectant properties. For example, one study found that coconut oil pulling had similar antibacterial properties as prescription chlorhexidine in children.

While the current coconut oil trend started with traditional oil pulling, as promoted by Gwyneth Paltrow’s alternative health product company, GOOP, many products that do not require swilling or gargling with oil have appeared on the market. These feature coconut oil as a main ingredient, so the oil can still somewhat benefit your dental healthcare routine. One of the most popular products is coconut oil toothpaste.

Another study published in 2015 found that coconut oil has a beneficial impact on rates of gingivitis and dental plaque in the mouth. Starting on the seventh day of study participation, those who used coconut oil pulling techniques as part of their oral health routine showed reduced gingivitis and bad breath. These studies suggest that adding coconut oil to products like toothpaste can improve your dental health by reducing the presence of harmful bacteria.

However, the American Dental Association (ADA) has not approved coconut oil as part of a standard oral healthcare routine. Although preliminary medical evidence suggests that adding coconut oil pulling to your routine twice-per-day brushing and flossing can benefit your teeth and gums, replacing your toothpaste, dental floss, or interdental brushes with coconut oil products might harm your dental health. In fact, the ADA does not even recommend coconut oil as a natural teeth whitening approach.

If you want to see whether coconut oil can work for you as part of your oral healthcare routine, you may be more interested in using a natural toothpaste that contains coconut oil. Dentists warn about natural toothpastes containing coconut oil or about making your own coconut oil toothpaste at home. Homemade toothpaste will not contain enough minerals like fluoride to keep your mouth healthy, while many natural toothpastes do not contain enough ingredients to support your oral hygiene.

Some options may have the right balance of remineralizing ingredients alongside coconut oil. Be sure to read the label and ask your dentist for guidance.

Ask Your Dentist if Coconut Oil Toothpaste Is Right for You

Here are some options that contain fluoride or fluoride replacements that might help remineralize your teeth, with added coconut oil to support your dental health:

With natural toothpastes, it is especially important to read all the ingredients, as some of these may not suit your overall health. In fact, having an allergic reaction to toothpaste is a common problem. When natural ingredients are involved rather than well-studied ingredients like fluoride, you may run the risk of developing contact dermatitis or another reaction.

References

Should You Try Coconut Toothpaste? Colgate. Date fetched: June 23, 2021.

Natural Teeth Whitening: Fact vs. Fiction. MouthHealthy, from the American Dental Association (ADA). Date fetched: June 23, 2021.

Crest 3D Whitening Therapy Toothpaste with Coconut Oil. Crest. Date fetched: June 23, 2021.

Colgate Natural Coconut Toothpaste 75ml. Wilko. Date fetched: June 23, 2021.

Dr Organic Coconut Oil Toothpaste 100ml. Holland and Barrett. Date fetched: June 23, 2021.

Toothpaste Allergy: Yes, You Can Be Allergic to Toothpaste. Colgate. Date fetched: June 23, 2021.

Coconut Oil and Virgin Coconut Oil: An Insight into its Oral and Overall Health BenefitsF(AnG)PF1(BHVAnG)PFA(AnG)PB(MJAP)PN(AP).pdf). (January 2018). Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research.

Effect of Coconut Oil in Plaque Related Gingivitis – A Preliminary Report. (March – April 2015). Nigerian Medical Journal.

Disclaimer: This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to serve as dental or other professional health advice and is not intended to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any condition or symptom. You should consult a dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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