In the holistic health world, there is a lot of talk about a super-healthy tropical oil called coconut oil. It’s considered to be a superfood that many claim improves their health in many ways. Although these improvements in health are not proven, there are studies that support how oil pulling improves dental health.
What Is Oil Pulling?
Oil pulling is an Indian folk remedy that has been used for thousands of years. You use oil like you would mouthwash.
Some studies support this process in:
- whitening your teeth
- freshening your breath
- reducing harmful bacteria in your mouth
- reducing plaque and gingivitis
- and improving oral health
How Do You Oil Pull?
To oil pull, place a tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth. Swish it around, pushing and pulling it between your teeth for 15-20 minutes. When time is up, spit it out into the trash or toilet, and brush your teeth.
How Does It Work?
Studies claim that the main benefit of oiling pulling is that it reduces the amount of harmful bacteria in the mouth. We know this harmful bacteria as plaque. Having some plaque on your teeth is normal. But without regular, proper oral hygiene, you develop problems such as bad breath, discolored teeth, inflammation of the gums, gingivitis, and cavities.
The bacteria “get stuck” in the oil as you swish it around in your mouth and dissolve in the liquid oil, removing a large amount of the plaque each time.
Can Any Oil Be Used?
Traditionally, the Indians used sesame oil or sunflower oil. You can choose to use any oil, and it should work, but many prefer coconut oil because of its many health benefits.
What Can Be Expected?
Oil pulling is effective in reducing harmful bacteria in your mouth and improving oral and dental health. It is observed to bring improvement in oral hygiene when practiced correctly and regularly.
Since inflammation causes many health problems, it only makes sense that reducing inflammation in your gums and mouth would lead to overall health benefits, too.
The ADA doesn’t support the claims made by those who use oil pulling for dental health. But because oil pulling seems to be top of mind nowadays, we thought we’d share some information about it, and let you be the judge.
Have you tried oil pulling? Did you find that your teeth were whiter or your breath fresher? When you visited our office for routine cleaning, did your dental hygienist find a reduction in harmful bacteria, plaque, and gingivitis in your mouth? Please let us know in the comments below.
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