Coconut oil is commonly used in home remedies and beauty products. The internet has also simultaneously promoted the humble oil, and the recent trend has indeed gone viral, with everyone using coconut oil for teeth whitening. Coconut oil has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties and may help maintain oral hygiene. But the primary question remains, does it truly aid teeth whitening as it claims, or can it be labeled an apparent myth? Let’s dive into how coconut oil can support teeth whitening and if the ongoing craze has any factual backing. Keep reading.

Does Coconut Oil Whiten Teeth?

Despite having antimicrobial and antioxidant properties, coconut oil (Cocos nucifera L.) doesn’t carry any brightening benefits that can directly contribute to teeth whitening.

While no clear study has proven its effectiveness in whitening stained teeth, research does support coconut oil’s efficacy in reducing plaque buildup and tackling oral problems like gingivitis (1).

Let’s get familiar with this super oil’s various oral benefits.

Benefits Of Coconut Oil For Teeth

1. May Prevent Tooth Decay

Coconut oil helps kill common oral bacteria, like Streptococcus mutans, that are the lead cause of cavities and tooth decay (2), (3).

2. May Reduce Oral Odor

Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which is responsible for its antimicrobial properties. This saturated fat may aid in preventing the growth of Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria that contribute to halitosis (bad breath) (4).

3. May Treat Gingivitis

Coconut oil may treat gingivitis, a gum disease that causes inflammation and irritation in the gums and can even result in tooth loss in severe cases (1).

4. May Reduce Plaque Buildup And Tooth Sensitivity

The fatty acids in coconut oil exhibit antimicrobial and antibacterial properties that eliminate oral bacteria in the mouth and prevent plaque formation (5). Reduced plaque buildup may also help prevent tooth sensitivity.

Using coconut oil can give you healthier gums and teeth. And you can use it with other ingredients to whiten your teeth. Surprised? Keep reading to learn ways to use coconut oil for teeth whitening.

How To Use Coconut Oil For Teeth Whitening

1. Coconut Oil And Baking Soda

Baking soda is alkaline and can help lighten the appearance of acid-based food stains, like the ones from tea, coffee, and red wine. This quick remedy may also effectively kill oral bacteria in the mouth (6).

What You Need

  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda
  • 1 toothbrush

What To Do

  1. Mix coconut oil and baking soda.
  2. Brush your teeth with the mixture for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Rinse with tepid water.
  4. Follow the procedure twice a week for visible results.

StyleCraze Says

You may add a drop of peppermint essential oil to the mixture. It has antiseptic and antibacterial properties and may prevent oral diseases (10).

2. Coconut Oil Pulling

Coconut oil has lauric acid that targets oral bacteria that cause stubborn yellow plaque buildup in the mouth (7). This ancient Ayurvedic technique can prevent bacteria accumulation and maintain oral hygiene.

What You Need

  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 1 toothbrush

What To Do

  1. Put coconut oil in your mouth and wait a few seconds for it to melt.
  2. Swish the oil around for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Spit out the oil and brush your teeth.
  4. Repeat this process once daily or weekly.

3. Coconut Oil And Turmeric

Turmeric contains curcumin, a natural compound that reduces inflammation, removes plaque, and helps prevent gum diseases like gingivitis (8).

What You Need

  • ¼ teaspoon of organic turmeric powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon of coconut oil
  • 1 toothbrush
  • 1 tube of regular toothpaste

What To Do

  1. Mix turmeric powder and coconut oil.
  2. Apply the mixture onto your teeth and leave it on for three minutes.
  3. Gently brush and rinse off the paste with water.
  4. Finally, brush your teeth with regular toothpaste.
  5. Follow the procedure 1-2 times a week.

StyleCraze Says

Brush with baking soda and water after using this remedy to remove any possible yellow stains caused by turmeric.

4. Coconut Oil And Activated Charcoal

Brushing with activated charcoal may help clear stains from the teeth. The remedy also works on the dental resin used for filling cavities (9).

What You Need

  • 1 tablespoon of powdered charcoal tablet
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 1 toothbrush

What To Do

  1. Apply activated charcoal powder on a damp toothbrush and brush your teeth with it.
  2. Do this for 2 to 3 minutes before rinsing your gums and teeth with coconut oil.
  3. Rinse off with lukewarm water.
  4. Follow the procedure once a week.

Note: Excessive use of activated charcoal may damage dental fillers. So ensure not to use it frequently.

StyleCraze Says

Using a brush for the activated charcoal may be quite abrasive on the enamel of the teeth. You can try the remedy with your fingertip instead.

Not everybody can benefit from coconut oil, so let’s have a quick look at its possible side effects and who should avoid it.

Who Should Not Use Coconut Oil For Teeth Whitening

Coconut oil isn’t harmful and doesn’t cause any side effects. However, if you are allergic to coconut oil or experience any sensitivity or inflammation during oil pulling, stop using it immediately. Coconut oil pulling is also not suggested for people with weak jaw muscles as the tedious task can tire out the muscles further.

Final Thoughts

Coconut oil has been one of the top reigning oils in most Indian homes, owing to its multiple health and beauty benefits. However, it is also a great component to incorporate into your daily routine — especially coconut oil pulling, a beneficial Ayurvedic practice to indulge in.

Coconut oil may help prevent cavities, plaque, and gingivitis. While it may not whiten the teeth if used alone, it works well with other ingredients and may help remove teeth stains.  However, do an allergy test before using coconut oil and other ingredients to avoid complications.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take for coconut oil pulling to whiten teeth?

With regular practice of coconut oil pulling for one to two months, you can witness some improvement in your teeth’ color.

Is olive oil better than coconut oil for teeth whitening?

Anecdotal evidence suggests that coconut oil, in comparison with olive oil for teeth whitening, displayed better results and also showed less plaque buildup and gum inflammation post-oil pulling.

Key Takeaways

  • Coconut oil may not whiten teeth when used alone.
  • Mixing coconut oil with other ingredients like turmeric powder or baking soda may aid in teeth whitening.
  • It may treat common gum conditions like gingivitis (gum swelling), plaque buildup, tooth decay, and bad breath.
  • Coconut oil has antimicrobial, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties that support and improve oral hygiene.


Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Effect of coconut oil in plaque related gingivitis – A preliminary report
  2. The Effect of Coconut Oil pulling on Streptococcus mutans Count in Saliva in Comparison with Chlorhexidine Mouthwash
  3. Streptococcus mutans, Caries and Simulation Models
  4. Oil pulling and importance of traditional medicine in oral health maintenance
  5. Short- and medium-chain fatty acids exhibit antimicrobial activity for oral microorganisms
  6. Stain removal and whitening by baking soda dentifrice: A review of literature
  7. Oil pulling for maintaining oral hygiene – A review
  8. The Effects of Curcumin in the Treatment of Gingivitis: A Systematic Review of Clinical Trials
  9. Efficiency of activated charcoal powder in stain removal and effect on surface


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