Does Coconut Oil Whiten Teeth? | The Truth Unveiled

Are you on a quest for that elusive, picture-perfect smile? You may have heard that coconut oil could be your natural ally in this endeavor.

Does coconut oil whiten teeth, or is it another myth to add to the growing list of home remedies?

This blog post will investigate the scientific evidence surrounding this tropical elixir. We’ve got you covered, from its purported benefits to the downsides you should know.

What is coconut oil?

Derived from the meat of coconuts, this multi-use oil sports a mild, nutty kick. Though it’s solid at room temperature, it’s loaded with easily digested saturated fats and MCTs that tout various health advantages, like shedding pounds, skincare, and boosting both heart and brain wellness.

With tropical roots, it has a long history in the kitchen and beauty routines. But that’s not all—aside from spicing up your meals and self-care rituals. It’s a go-to for:

The Concept Of Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is all about eliminating those pesky stains and dull colors to give your chompers a brighter look. What turns teeth yellow or brown? Well, culprits include:

Plaque and tartar buildup: If you don’t deal with plaque—a bacterial film on teeth—it can get hard and turn into tartar, which leaves stains.

Eating and drinking habits: Watch out for coffee, tea, and red wine; they’re famous for staining your smile.

Meds: Some drugs like tetracycline can be bad news for white teeth.

Getting older: Teeth can naturally darken over time; it’s a part of life.

When it comes to turning your teeth several shades lighter, you’ve got options:

Bleaching: Most folks go this route, applying a bleaching agent to dissolve those stains.

Laser action: Though pricier, using lasers can be a quick way to blast those stains away.

DIY kits: At-home kits usually include bleaching solutions or whitening strips.

All-natural methods: Coconut oil or baking soda are popular, but evidence supporting their effectiveness must be clarified.

Can Coconut Oil Whiten Teeth?

Coconut oil has been buzzed about as a teeth whitener, but let’s get real—the science is still on the fence. This idea stems from “oil pulling,” a method where you swish around a spoonful of oil in your mouth for about 10 to 20 minutes to ditch plaque and bacteria, supposedly the bad guys behind discolored teeth.

One research study did point to a minor brightening effect after two weeks of coconut oil pulling. Yet, other studies still need to back this up, so the jury’s still out on its true effectiveness.

Though some folks swear by it, these personal testimonials don’t replace hard science.

In a nutshell, the verdict on coconut oil’s teeth-whitening prowess still needs to be conclusive. If you’re tempted to try it, take the step of running it by your dentist.

Expert Opinions

The American Dental Association (ADA) gives coconut oil a thumbs-down for teeth whitening, emphasizing a lack of scientific backup for such claims. Some dentists nod in agreement, cautioning that coconut oil’s abrasive nature could even harm tooth enamel if misused, doubting its edge over other natural options like baking soda.

Yet, there’s a flip side—other dental pros are willing to give coconut oil the benefit of the doubt. They point to anecdotal success stories and consider it a natural whitening alternative worth exploring.

While some studies credit coconut oil with plaque and tartar removal, none prove it’ll give you a whiter smile. It does kill harmful mouth bacteria, which is a plus for avoiding tooth decay and gum issues.

How Does Coconut Oil Whiten Teeth?

Coconut oil has been hailed as a natural hack for brightening your grin. The rationale? Swishing a tablespoon of this oil in your mouth for 10-20 minutes—a technique called oil pulling—can supposedly snatch up plaque and bacteria that darken teeth. Then you spit it out, easy-peasy.

This oil-pulling gig is no newbie; it’s an old-school trick rooted in Ayurvedic medicine. While some studies vouch for its ability to combat plaque and tartar, none can claim it turns your teeth pearly white.

When it comes to results, your mileage may vary. For some, a whiter smile appears within weeks; others must play the long game. Consistency is key to getting any results at all.

Coconut oil’s not going to rival a pro-whitening job. It might nudge away some surface stains and add a little sparkle to your smile.

How to Whiten Teeth with Coconut Oil

Coconut oil offers multiple DIY paths to a brighter smile. Here’s the rundown:

Oil Pulling: The OG method. Swish a tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth for 10-20 minutes.

Coconut Oil Toothpaste: Combine coconut oil and baking soda in equal amounts. Brush away as usual.

Coconut Oil Mouthwash: Mix a tablespoon of coconut oil with a cup of warm water. Swirl it around your mouth for 30 seconds and spit.

Baking Soda Combo:

  1. Blend two tablespoons each of coconut oil and baking soda.
  2. Toss in 10 drops of peppermint oil for flavor.
  3. Brush as you normally do.

Turmeric Twist: Use ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder and 1/8 teaspoon of melted coconut oil. Apply it to your toothbrush and get brushing.

Safety Precautions

Here are some precautions to take when using coconut oil for teeth whitening:

  • Don’t swallow the oil. Spit it out post-swishing or brushing.
  • If you’ve got mouth wounds, steer clear of this method.
  • Consult your dentist, particularly if you have dental issues.

Tips for Maximum Results

Here are some tips for getting the best results from coconut oil teeth whitening:

  • Stick with organic, virgin coconut oil.
  • Swirl it in your mouth twice daily for 10-20 minutes.
  • Use the toothpaste or mouthwash version once a day.
  • Hang tight. Real results might take a few weeks.

Pros and Cons

Coconut oil has gotten buzz as an all-natural teeth whitener, though the science behind it needs to be rock-solid.


  • It’s a natural ingredient that’s mostly considered safe for oral use.
  • Easy on the wallet and widely available.
  • Some folks swear it wipes out plaque and mouth bacteria, which can stain teeth.


  • There is no concrete scientific proof that it whitens teeth.
  • Some can’t stomach its robust flavor.
  • It can be a chore to rinse out fully.

If you’re mulling over using coconut oil for teeth whitening, here are some more factors to chew on:

  • Know your teeth and gums; coconut oil isn’t for everyone, especially if you’ve got sensitivities.
  • Budget-wise, it’s affordable but potentially less effective than other options.
  • Be prepared for a time commitment, especially if you opt for the oil-pulling technique.

Recommended reading: Dental Health Essentials For Families

Other Natural Teeth Whitening Methods

Besides coconut oil, there’s an array of other natural teeth-brightening options you might want to check out:

Activated charcoal: A natural sponge for stains; mix it with water to make a paste, and brush your teeth for a few minutes.

Baking soda: A soft scrub for your pearly whites. Same drill—mix with water and brush for 2-3 minutes.

Lemon juice: Nature’s bleach, but dilute it first! It’s pretty acidic and can harm your enamel.

Strawberries: These berries pack malic acid that can brighten your smile. Mash them up, brush, and rinse.

Apple cider vinegar: It’s an antiseptic but needs diluting before you swish so you don’t wreck your enamel.

Remember, there’s yet to be a science-backed thumbs-up for these methods. So, if you’re considering going all-natural, get your dentist in the loop first.

Frequently Asked Questions

How fast does coconut oil whiten teeth?

Coconut oil's teeth-whitening powers aren't backed by science, so there's no set timeline for results. Some folks notice a change in weeks; others take months or years. Remember that the oil's strong flavor is only some people's cup of tea, and it can be tricky to rinse fully.

Does swishing coconut oil whiten teeth?

No hard science confirms that swishing coconut oil makes your teeth whiter. The act, known as oil pulling, is believed to help eliminate plaque and bacteria. Still, it needs to be proven to bleach your pearly whites.

Why does coconut oil whiten teeth?

No solid science backs the idea that coconut oil whitens teeth. Some folks think it removes plaque and bacteria, which can lead to stains. But honestly, there's no proof to confirm this.

Does oil pulling help whiten teeth?

Oil pulling involves swishing oil around your mouth for 10-20 minutes. While some believe it kicks plaque and bacteria to the curb, there's no solid proof it makes your teeth whiter.

Is it good to brush your teeth with coconut oil?

Sure, coconut oil is natural and generally mouth-safe, but it's not a swap-out for toothpaste. Toothpaste is packed with fluoride, essential for reinforcing teeth and keeping cavities at bay.

Are coconut oil and baking soda good for your teeth?

Coconut oil is naturally safe for oral use, and baking soda can remove mild tooth stains. That said, using either too much or too vigorously can be harsh on your tooth enamel.

Can you use refined coconut oil for oil pulling?

You can use refined coconut oil for oil pulling, but it's not your top pick. Refining strips away some of its natural goodies, like nutrients and antioxidants. It might not be as good at getting rid of plaque and bacteria as its unrefined counterpart.

Can oil pulling help with tooth pain?

Swishing oil around your mouth for 10-20 minutes, known as oil pulling, is believed to help clear plaque and bacteria. However, there's no solid science to back it up when it comes to easing tooth pain.

What coconut oil is best for oil pulling?

When it comes to oil pulling, unrefined coconut oil takes the cake. It's minimally processed, keeping all its natural nutrients and antioxidants intact. Plus, it's less likely to give you any unwanted issues like tooth sensitivity or gum irritation.

Final Thoughts

So, does coconut oil whiten teeth? Well, the jury’s still out. While there’s chatter about its plaque and bacteria-fighting abilities that could tackle tooth discoloration, science hasn’t stamped its approval yet.

Are you thinking about giving coconut oil a whirl for teeth whitening? Hold your horses and chat with your dentist first. They’ll help you determine if it fits you and suggest other, more reliable ways to brighten your teeth.

Read next: How To Get Rid Of White Spots On Teeth