Coconut oil has been experiencing somewhat of a culinary trend for the past few years, which is unsurprising considering its links to numerous health benefits, including aiding weight loss. However, quite surprisingly it has also been linked with preventing tooth decay and benefiting dental hygiene.
How is that the case?
Coconut oil is one of the richest sources for saturated fat, however not like the long-chain fatty acids in other foods. The fat in coconut oil is composed almost entirely of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are metabolized differently from the longer fatty acids, and crucially includes the MCT called Lauric acid.
Lauric acid really is the magic ingredient for your dental health!
According to research is highly effective at killing harmful bacteria, fungi and viruses found in the body, and outperforms all other forms of saturated fatty acids as an antibiotic. The bacteria that it eliminates in the mouth can cause bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease. One bacteria called Streptococcus mutans, which is a leading cause of tooth decay, is particularly effected.
Coconut oil is not a substitute for brushing and flossing your teeth everyday with regular check-ups!
However, based on the research, you would not be doing badly to include a moderate amount in your diet.