What is the hype about tooth whitening? Do you need to visit a dentist? Is teeth whitening really required? Do you need to opt for invasive and advanced treatments for teeth whitening? Are the treatments safe? Will it damage your teeth? What is the most natural way of whitening teeth? There are many more questions that invoke your curiosity regarding dental hygiene and oral health. Here are some facts you need to know about this procedure:
Tooth whitening is a simple cosmetic procedure of bleaching the teeth to make them appear lighter and can help get rid of the stains. It is useful in making the teeth a few shades lighter but does not guarantee a sparkling white shade.
Why do you need tooth whitening?
People today are ready to try anything for a whiter and beautiful smile. Your teeth are like sponges that absorb the colour of any food substance or liquid that comes in contact with them. Wine, coffee, smoking and poor dental hygiene can gradually lead to discolouration of the teeth. Regular brushing and flossing can keep the discolouration under check but all over-the-counter oral hygiene products are not so effective in cleaning the teeth completely. Hence, you need to opt for alternative solutions for teeth whitening at home.
Over-the-counter solutions Vs Professional treatment methods
If you think any tooth whitening products in the market can whiten your pearls overnight, you are wrong. Also, the products cannot give you sparkling white teeth if you never had them. These products are designed to minimize staining and help get rid of them. Hence, they help you bring back the natural colour of your teeth and do not make them white magically.
Over-the-counter solutions - like mouthwashes, toothpastes or gels are available that claim to possess teeth whitening properties. These may contain abrasive ingredients that spoil the texture of your teeth making them prone to staining or discolouration. They are also known to weaken the teeth and may be carcinogenic. Some of these products also contain harsh chemicals that may be deterrent to the natural tooth enamel and cause further fading. Dental hygiene products that are composed of all-natural ingredients are simple, safe, and may offer several benefits for your overall oral health.
Professional teeth whitening treatment methods - may show quicker results but they are not long lasting and might break the bank. Laser and UV light used for teeth whitening do not solve the problem permanently. The effects are temporary and need regular maintenance besides being incredibly expensive. Caps or veneers are one of the options but they often do not match the colour of your natural teeth. Professional teeth whitening methods can also affect the gum health and cause irritation because of the presence of bleaching agents.
Natural remedies to remove discolouration are one of the preferred options to prevent staining and get rid of the mild stains on your teeth. As mentioned before, coconut oil has thus emerged as one of the effective ingredients for teeth whitening.
Coconut oil and teeth whitening
Coconut oil has become a star on social media with celebrities endorsing its benefits for giving them the sparkling smile. What is the exact connection? How does oil help whiten and clean teeth?
Coconut oil contains lauric acid which is known for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that help get rid of the bacteria and plaque deposits on the teeth. The antibacterial and antifungal properties of coconut oil also help prevent tooth decay and prevent buildup of germs and cavities.
What is coconut oil pulling?
Coconut oil pulling is a 3000 year old Ayurveda technique to whiten teeth and maintain dental hygiene. It involves swishing a small amount of the oil in the mouth for 15-20 minutes to clean your teeth. It is then followed by regular brushing and flossing. Basically, you are using coconut oil as a mouthwash every day.
How does coconut oil whiten teeth?
Coconut oil does not bleach teeth but the lauric acid present in it softens the plaque deposits on the surface of your teeth during swishing or pulling and helps lighten the shade of tooth enamel. The anti-inflammatory properties keep the gums healthy and the antimicrobial properties ensure that there are no bad bacteria in the mouth. According to a recent study in the Nigerian Journal of Medicine, it was observed that coconut oil significantly reduced the plaque levels in the subjects within a period of 7-30 days. Coconut oil can prevent bad breath too.
The best time to use coconut oil is in the morning and since it is a very easy process, you can do it anytime and anywhere. It is also known to be safe for use when you have crowns, dental fixtures or fillings. In fact, oil pulling with coconut oil helps cleanse the teeth thoroughly in these conditions. Virgin or organic coconut oil is the best for dental hygiene as they are the purest forms. You will also need to make this a part of your dental hygiene and oral care to keep enjoying its benefits.
Benefits of using coconut oil for teeth whitening
- The taste is less offensive as compared to other oils.
- Organic coconut oil is free from any harmful chemicals.
- It is easy to use and quickly melts in the mouth without producing any foam.
- It is easily available and affordable.
- The moisturising properties of organic coconut oil heal chapped lips and help soothe dryness of the throat.
- Coconut oil is known to heal bleeding gums by reducing inflammation and improve gum health
- Helps minimize bad breath.
- Swishing with coconut oil works like exercise for gums and jaws and helps strengthen them.
- It can be used on sensitive teeth too.
- Prevents plaque formation and gingivitis.
Drawbacks of using coconut oil pulling for teeth whitening
- A low quality coconut oil can do more harm than good to your dental health. Choosing good quality pure coconut oil is essential for better results. Extra virgin or organic coconut oil is an ideal choice for pulling as it does not have any side effects.
- Coconut oil pulling cannot replace your regular dental hygiene routine like brushing and flossing. For this purpose, you can opt for tooth pastes enriched with coconut oil.
- Swishing during pulling can cause discomfort in the jaw.
The Final Word
Like all natural solutions and remedies, coconut oil pulling is effective if it is practiced for a long run. Along with oil pulling, a regular brushing and flossing regime will ensure you enjoy a sparkling and healthy smile for a very long time. Cutting back on smoking, avoiding foods and drinks that cause staining can prove to be useful.