If you’ve been scanning your Facebook or Twitter timeline recently, you may have seen friends, family and maybe even one of your favorite celebrities discussing oil pulling. This trend is rooted in ancient Ayurvedic Indian medicine and is said to have a variety of oral health benefits, including preventing decay, bad breath, gum disease, reducing bacteria and even whitening teeth.
The oil pulling or oil swishing practice involves swishing a tablespoon of oil – typically organic sesame or coconut oil – in the mouth for five to 20 minutes a day. The bacteria in your mouth give off toxins called sulfides. Oil pulling is thought to absorb those toxins into the oil, leaving your teeth and gums cleaner. But does it really help? Our Dr. Dental experts dig deeper.
Though this practice has been around for more than 2,000 years and is increasingly popular in our culture right now, there is little scientific evidence to support the claims tying oil pulling to great oral health. However, there is significant evidence proving that a preventive oral care routine including brushing teeth for two minutes twice daily with fluoride toothpaste, flossing each day and visiting a dentist regularly can prevent dental disease.
No Harm – Unless You Ignore Your Dental Health
Most people do oil pulling with coconut oil, a natural substance that is not harmful to the body. If you rinse with it every day, it may or may not help your teeth and gums, but it definitely cannot hurt you.
It’s when our patients do nothing and ignore their teeth, gums and oral health that the experts at Dr. Dental become concerned. Working on finding the best ways to keep our patients healthy is something we always support.
We encourage you to consider trends like oil pulling a complement to a proven preventive dental care routine and stress that natural alternatives such as this are no substitute for great oral care and regular check-ups. Schedule an appointment online with us today!
Have you tried oil pulling? What do you think? We would love to hear from you in the comments.
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