Claiming to achieve everything from whiter teeth and healthier gums to decreased body aches and pains, oil pulling is the latest trend in DIY detox therapies. Newly popular among celebrities and lovers of natural health and wellness, oil pulling is a dental hygiene practice that actually dates back centuries through the Indian medical tradition Ayurveda. Simply put, oil pulling uses common plant-based oils (coconut is a favorite) in place of store-bought mouthwash.
Users swish, or “pull” one tablespoon of oil in their mouth for 10-20 minutes every day. The volume of oil usually doubles in size due to the collection of saliva and toxins from the mouth during this process. Users are strongly warned to spit out the oil because it contains the microorganisms which pulling aims to extract. Oil is believed to draw toxins out of the mouth by sticking to their outer, fatty layer. Since oral hygiene is linked to health in all parts of the body, it’s believed that the benefits of oil pulling go beyond just your mouth.
The jury is still out on oil pulling. Some dentists favor the practice more than others. Beyond anecdotal evidence and some preliminary studies, there’s no absolute proof that oil pulling does what it claims to do. However, this doesn’t mean it’s all a lie. In fact, coconut oil does contain vitamins and antimicrobials that might make a good addition to many of your personal hygiene routines. Still, for the most desirable results, your best bet is to make an appointment with your Spring dentist and receive a full, personalized dental care plan.
Taking an active role in your own well-being is certainly important, but nothing replaces the experience and wisdom of a licensed dentist. Spring residents are encouraged to make an appointment at Spring Creek Dentistry for a consultation and to discuss dental care options with our dentists.
At-home health regimes can have a very positive effect, so you may want to try oil pulling for yourself. You may or may not get the results you were hoping for, but it likely won’t hurt. For optimum oral health, the recommendation remains to brush your teeth twice daily, floss or clean between the teeth once daily, and visit your dentist twice a year. Be sure you try oil pulling in addition to these recommendations … not in place of them!
If you suspect you have a real problem with gum disease, bad breath, or other health concerns, do not rely on oil pulling to fix these issues. Call your dental team at Spring Creek Dentistry for an appointment to discuss all your ideas and desires for a healthier smile!