By now you’ve probably at least heard of oil pulling, but perhaps you’re unsure as to what exactly it is, how it’s supposed to help your oral health, and if it actually works. Don’t worry, my dental office in Chapel Hill is here to help. We’ve looked into the now popular technique and we’ve got some good, and not so good, news regarding the latest oral health trend.
First thing’s first, we need to talk about what oil pulling is and where it came from. While it may seem like a fairly new trend that popped up over the past couple of years, oil pulling is actually a technique that’s over 3,000 years old. Originally founded in Ayurvedic medicine — a holistic approach to medical care, oil pulling claims to help not only oral health, but lists several other whole-body benefits as well. For the sake of this blog, we’re going to focus on the oral benefits.
Oil pulling is a pretty simple technique, but requires some time and a commitment. All you need is some liquid vegetable oil, usually coconut oil is used, and 20 minutes. Simply take about a tablespoon of the oil and swish it around in your mouth, pushing and pulling through the teeth, for 20 minutes. Then just spit it out and rinse with water. Repeat daily.
There are several supported oral health benefits to oil pulling including:
Using oil pulling can help in some areas of oral health, but not all. For example, regular oil pulling can remove some surface stains and whiten teeth, even if just a little bit. It can also be used post-brushing instead of mouthwash for boost in fresh breath. Oil pulling can even reduce the amount of plaque in the mouth, but that’s about where the benefits stop. Oil pulling 20 minutes daily doesn’t remove enough plaque to fight against gum disease or help protect cavities, and shouldn’t be used as an alternative to brushing, flossing, and visits with your Chapel Hill dentist.
In short, more research needs to be done in order to fully understand the possible benefits of oil pulling. Until then, keep brushing and flossing every day and remember to visit my Chapel Hill dental office twice a year. Maintain those important steps and your mouth will stay healthy.
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