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2 September is observed as World Coconut Day every year. The day signifies the importance of enhancing coconut farming with a focus on productivity and product diversification. World Coconut Day was initiated by the Asian and Pacific Coconut Community (APCC) headquartered at Jakarta, Indonesia.
In India, the day is celebrated with the support of Coconut Development Board (CDB) in various coconut growing states across the country such as Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Orissa, West Bengal etc. India is the topmost country in the global list of countries with coconut production and productivity.
Taking care of the body is incomplete without proper dental care. Proper care of the teeth is important for a clean and bacteria-free mouth. It helps to prevent infections, tooth decay and cavities. In fact, poor oral health is indirectly linked to several other issues like heart disease, dementia and breathing problems too.
Using toothpaste to get rid of the plaque is the first and foremost step we all adopt as the ultimate measure for dental hygiene. However, there are various other ways and means through which you can improve your oral health and one of the most effective means through is the use of coconut oil.
Coconut oil is extracted from coconut meat and stands out due to its content of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are metabolized differently, therefore, possessing various health benefits  . 50 per cent of coconut oil is lauric acid, a medium-chain fatty acid which is broken down into a compound called monolaurin that help protect your body from harmful bacteria, fungi and viruses .
On this World Coconut Day, let's learn about the different ways in which coconut oil can be beneficial for your teeth.
Benefits Of Using Coconut Oil For Teeth
1. Reduces plaque
Using coconut oil for your teeth can help get rid of plaque, thereby preventing the onset of gum disease  . The buildup of dental plaque is the central cause of gum diseases, so, using coconut oil can help decrease plaque buildup and signs of gingivitis  .
2. Kills harmful bacteria
One of the major benefits of using coconut oil is its ability to kill harmful mouth bacteria. The lauric acid in the oil, according to studies, is extremely effective in fighting off bacteria that cause bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease  .
3. Prevents tooth decay
Using coconut oil for your teeth can help fight off the Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacillus bacteria which are the primary cause of tooth decay  . Various studies have pointed out that coconut oil is an effective measure to reduce the growth of the bacteria  . Massage coconut oil on the gums for 20-25 consecutive days, and you may find the difference. Spend 9-10 minutes on the massage.
How To Use Coconut Oil For Teeth
Coconut oil toothpaste
- ½ cup coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons baking soda
- 10-20 drops of peppermint or cinnamon essential oil
- Heat the coconut oil until it becomes liquid.
- Stir in the baking soda.
- Mix until it becomes paste-like.
- Add the essential oil and mix well.
- Store toothpaste in a sealed container.
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- Take in the coconut oil in your mouth.
- Swish it in your mouth for about 15-20 minutes, letting it go between your teeth.
- Spit out the oil and brush your teeth with a mild toothpaste or coconut oil toothpaste.
Note: Do this in the morning before breakfast and spit out the mixture before washing your mouth.
On An Endnote...
Many studies say that coconut oil is a good alternative to a toothpaste. And it has natural anti-bacterial properties to kill harmful bacteria and wash out the toxins. Natural methods are chosen over the chemicals because, regular toothpastes contain triclosan which is an antibacterial agent  . The problem with this chemical is that it could increase resistance in the bacteria and also cause endocrine disruption in your body  . Also, the flouride in tooth paste has a bad reputation too.
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-  Saravanan, V., Kumar, V. M., Thentamil, A., & Jacob, M. (2019). Effects of Coconut and Olive Oil on Tooth and Restoration–in vitro Study-Myth (oil) ogy?. Journal of Academy of Dental Education, 4(1), 22-26.
-  Peedikayil, F. C., Sreenivasan, P., & Narayanan, A. (2015). Effect of coconut oil in plaque related gingivitis—A preliminary report. Nigerian medical journal: journal of the Nigeria Medical Associa
-  Ghaffari, S. (2019). Evaluating the preventive effect of cocoanut oil on primary teeth discolouration caused by iron drop (An in vitro study) (Doctoral dissertation, Tabriz university of medical sciences, faculty of dentistry).
-  Peedikayil, F. C., Remy, V., John, S., Chandru, T. P., Sreenivasan, P., & Bijapur, G. A. (2016). Comparison of antibacterial efficacy of coconut oil and chlorhexidine on Streptococcus mutans: An in vivo study. Journal of International Society of Preventive & Community Dentistry, 6(5), 447.
-  Shanbhag, V. K. L. (2017). Oil pulling for maintaining oral hygiene–A review. Journal of traditional and complementary medicine, 7(1), 106-109.
-  Kaliamoorthy, S., Pazhani, A., Nagarajan, M., Meyyappan, A., Rayar, S., & Mathivanan, S. (2018). Comparing the effect of coconut oil pulling practice with oil pulling using sesame oil in plaque-induced gingivitis: A prospective comparative interventional study. Journal of Natural Science, Biology and Medicine, 9(2), 165.
-  Kaushik, M., Reddy, P., Sharma, R., Udameshi, P., Mehra, N., & Marwaha, A. (2016). The effect of coconut oil pulling on Streptococcus mutans count in saliva in comparison with chlorhexidine mouthwash. J Contemp Dent Pract, 17(1), 38-41.
-  Telrandhe, R., Deshmukh, P., & Gunde, M. (2017). Formulation and Evalua-tion of Herbal Toothpaste: Compared With Maeketed Preparation. Int J Pharm Drug Anal, 5(10), 406-410.
-  Vieira-Junior, W. F., Lima, D. A. N. L., Tabchoury, C. P. M., Ambrosano, G. M. B., Aguiar, F. H. B., & Lovadino, J. R. (2016). Effect of toothpaste application prior to dental bleaching on whitening effectiveness and enamel properties. Operative dentistry, 41(1), E29-E38.