Our dental health is very important, and many of the commercially available products are full of chemicals we really don’t want to put in our bodies. I found a great article talking about reasons to start using coconut oil as toothpaste over on the Healthy Holistic Living site.
3 Reasons to Use Coconut Oil as Toothpaste
A case could be made that coconut oil has a near-perfect makeup to act as an effective toothpaste.
In a study to test coconut oil’s biocidal properties against the bacteria responsible for tooth decay, the oil proved to be quite effective.
The action of coconut oil was tested in its natural state and after being treated with enzymes, in a process similar to digestion. The oils were tested against strains of Streptococcus bacteria, which are common inhabitants of your mouth.
1) No Harmful Chemicals
Conventional toothpaste such as Colgate Total contains an antibacterial chemical called triclosan, which has been linked to concerns over antibiotic resistance and endocrine disruption.
Endocrine-disrupting chemicals are a serious concern, as they can promote a wide variety of health problems, including: breast, ovarian, prostate, and testicular cancer, preterm and low birth weight babies, precocious puberty in girls, and undescended testicles in boys.
Some animal studies showed that triclosan caused fetal bone malformations in mice and rats, which may hint at hormonal effects
Fluoride is another common chemical in conventional toothpaste. Fluoride is a toxic industrial waste product that is a poison to your body even in trace amounts.
2) No Foaming Agents
Many toothpastes also contain surfactants like sodium laurel sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate (SLS), or sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES). Surfactants are chemicals responsible for the foaming action of the toothpaste, but they also interfere with the functioning of your taste buds by breaking up the phospholipids on your tongue.
This enhances bitter tastes and is thought to be the reason why everything tastes so bad right after you’ve brushed your teeth. This may also be part of why coconut oil works so well for oral hygiene, as it helps maintain a more natural balance of lipids on your tongue, while still having potent antibacterial properties.
Not to mention, SLS has even been linked to painful canker sores, with research suggesting an SLS-free toothpaste should be used for people with recurring sores.5
3) Simple to Make
Coconut oil toothpaste is simple to make with just a few ingredients:
- Coconut oil
- Baking soda, which acts as an abrasive and helps with whitening
- Essential oils to give your toothpaste flavor and add additional therapeutic benefits. Peppermint oil extract, for instance, has been shown to be superior to the mouthwash chemical chlorhexidine in inhibiting the formation of biofilm formations linked to dental cavities.6
- Erythritol, xylitol, or stevia (optional), which are natural sweeteners. Xylitol, in particular, has been linked to reductions in cavities.7 However, if you plan to give this toothpaste to your dog, do not include xylitol, as it is toxic to dogs.
- Bentonite clay, which adds a paste-like consistency and may help draw out toxins from your gums and tongue
How do you use coconut oil in your life?