Plagued by braces for two years of my adolescence and not quite the shade of natural white I’d like, my teeth have always made me a little self-conscious. But whitening is expensive and relatively risky – you don’t want to end up looking like Ross from Friends. So, when I started to see celebrities queueing up on Instagram to endorse Cocowhite with their #cocoselfie, I thought I’d see what all the fuss was about. Here’s what I thought when I took the ‘Assorted Flavours’ pack for a 14 day test drive…
Cocowhite’s products are based on the ancient folk tradition of oil pulling, which works off the premise that swirling coconut oil around your mouth can help reduce plaque and remove bacteria. Without going into the nitty-gritty of it too much, it traps bacteria in the oil, promising to ‘transform your oral health and leave you feeling squeaky clean’.
The website is keen to point out that the taste of the natural oil can be bitter – if this is true, it’s masked well. The assorted pack offers ‘Minty Fresh’, ‘Vanilla Swirl’ and ‘Light Lemon’, each of which tastes surprisingly nice. The vanilla and lemon offerings both deliver an initial hit of near-saccharine sweetness, but this fades after a couple of minutes of swilling. The same is true of the slightly grainy texture, which can be a little uncomfortable at first. It helps if you warm the sachet in your hands before opening it: this simulates the warmth of your mouth and creates a smoother texture. I’d also recommend brushing your teeth afterwards, to avoid the lingering feeling of an oily mouth.
This is a very simple process: all you actually do is swill and spit. Compared to laser teeth whitening, there’s nothing daunting about it. That said, the packet recommends swilling the oil for 5-15 minutes a day, increasing the time each day. Whilst this sounds achievable, its a surprisingly long period of time. A week in, it becomes a little tedious sitting still for 15 minutes, not to mention that you get a really sore mouth – its quite a workout. But if you find the time to do it properly, Cocowhite is a great product. I started to notice a difference in colour after about five days. Admittedly, the results are fleeting, but I imagine that a repeat subscription would be a lot more effective.
For £19.99, this little 14-day pack presents a strong case for the merits of oil pulling. But, ultimately, I drink far too much tea to ever have sparkling white teeth, and Cocowhite – whilst a safe and accessible option – is probably not going to change that.