You might have heard a lot about coconut oil recently, including claims about how it can improve dental health. Coconut oil is an edible oil that is unique because it consists almost entirely of medium-chain triglycerides, and especially one called lauric acid.
What Makes Lauric Acid so Remarkable?
Many of the health benefits associated with coconut oil are due to lauric acid, and it is the richest source known to man. Lauric acid is broken down into monolaurin which can fight harmful bacteria, viruses and fungi in the body more effectively than any other saturated fatty acids. Lauric acid is particularly effective at killing Streptococcus mutans, a bacterium which causes tooth decay.
Oil Pulling with Coconut Oil
Oil pulling with coconut oil is thought to help fight dental plaque, and a buildup of plaque is the primary cause of gum disease. The habit of oil pulling is nothing new as it has been used for thousands of years and simply involves swishing oil in your mouth for 15 to 20 minutes, essentially using it as a mouthwash. The fatty acids in coconut oil attract and trap bacteria during oil pulling.
If you do want to try oil pulling, don’t forget to brush your teeth afterwards because although oil pulling may help, it isn’t a substitute for regular preventative dental care!