What is Oil Pulling?
Oil pulling involves the swishing of a tablespoon of oil around your mouth for 10 to 20 minutes, three to four times a week, depending on how long you can withstand having oil in your mouth. When completed, you spit out the oil (in the trash, not down the drain) and the mouth is rinsed clean. Various types of vegetable oil can be used, such as sesame, coconut, sunflower, vegetable and olive.
What are the “benefits”?
The theory is that the oil supposedly draws bad bacteria and toxins from one’s gums and salivary glands. It is said to help lessen bad breath, whiten teeth, prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
Is it better than brushing?
Currently, there is very little evidence for the effectiveness of oil pulling, so we can only go by anecdotal, individual experiences. We would not actively encourage patients to try, not only because of the lack of scientific evidence, but also because regular routine oral care gets the job done equally well, or if not better. Less time and effort is required.
If we’re talking about lessening bad breath, preventing tooth decay and reducing plaque, these can be done as long as one brushes two times a day, for at least two minutes each and visits a dentist twice a year for a professional check-up. However, if you still want to give it a try, it is recommended to discuss it with your dentist first. Remember, oil pulling should not be a replacement for regular toothbrushing and flossing.
Other things to note, ensure that you cannot have any allergy to the oil you are using and try not to swallow any of the oil as it might lead to other medical issues.
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