Oil pulling, a practice that has been around for thousands of years that involves swishing oil around in the mouth, has made a comeback in the past few years as a way for improving oral health. Some believe that oil pulling can help prevent tooth decay, improve bad breath, whiten teeth, and can be used as a treatment for gum disease.
The process of oil pulling dates back almost 2,500 years and is based on a traditional Native American medicine called Ayurveda. The belief is that oil is nourishing to body tissue and can act as an antimicrobial or anti-inflammatory treatment. Though different oils can be used for oil pulling, coconut oil is the most common choice. People take between a teaspoon and a tablespoon of oil and swish it in their mouths for anywhere between 10 to 20 minutes before spitting it out.
Some people claim that their teeth feel cleaner after oil pulling and that their teeth appear whiter. However, scientific studies have yet to find any direct link to oil pulling and whiter teeth. If oil pulling does improve one’s overall gum health, the gums would appear much pinker causing the teeth to look whiter in comparison.
Although studies may not support the benefits of oil pulling, there certainly isn’t any harm in doing it. Oil pulling was developed before the modern oral health advancements of mouthwash, toothbrushes and toothpaste, flossing, and whitening strips. These tools help make taking care of your teeth much easier and less time consuming.
If you see benefits from oil pulling, we encourage you to go for it! But make sure to schedule regular appointments with your family dentist at Dakota Dental to take advantage of modern techniques for preventative dental care for your teeth as well. Dakota Dental offers professional teeth whitening that is safe and effective, as well as plenty of other options for making sure you have healthy teeth.
Contact Dakota Dental today for more information or to make your next appointment!