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  • Writer's pictureThe Dental Booth

Can oil pulling help improve your oral health?

Oil pulling for dental health is a long-standing method. The practice of oil pulling started about thousands of years ago in India and Southern Asia. The Indians used the practice to clean their teeth, fight off bad breath, and keep their teeth white. Although this practice was created during ancient times, it has some merit. It has recently gained exposure as more people and celebrities learn about the practice.

In this practice, the oil is "pulled" between the teeth and all around the mouth for about 15-20 minutes. When the oil is milky and thin, spit it out in the trash or basin. Never swallow the oil after pulling as it is full of bacteria.

While oil pulling can be performed at any time of the day, many people suggest that it works best first thing in the morning or at least two to three hours after eating to ensure that the individual has an empty stomach. You do not need to brush your teeth before oil pulling as the practice will remove food and bacteria from the mouth. However, it is essential to brush afterward to ensure that all of the toxins drawn out of the mouth are removed. If it feels weird, keep going. There's no right or wrong way to oil pull.

Use a tablespoon of oil and swish away. You can pick whatever kind of oil (e.g., sesame, olive, sunflower, coconut, etc.) that you like, but coconut oil has become a favorite for many oil pullers. Coconut oil tastes good, and it also has the added benefit of containing numerous strands of fatty acids. Those fatty acids contain lauric acid. This acid is essential because it has antimicrobial properties.

When you remove harmful bacteria from your mouth with oil pulling, you will experience many benefits. One of those benefits is a reduction in plaque and gum disease. If you develop too much bacteria in your teeth' plaque, then your immune system kicks into gear. It causes an inflammation of your gums. Gingivitis has begun. When you swish with oil, you can remove the plaque-creating bacteria. Your immune system won't need to start up because there won't be any plaque growing on your teeth.

Another benefit of oil pulling is that it can reduce the chances of having bad breath. No one likes having bad breath. It can make you feel isolated when interacting with other people. Bad breath is a result of chemicals and gases that are produced inside of your mouth by bacteria. When you remove the bacteria through oil pulling, there's less chance of having that odor.

If patients prefer holistic approaches, oil pulling should be given a try. It could be used along with their regular oral care routine. The state of the oral health may not improve after one session of oil pulling, but if they can manage to keep it up, they might find themselves reaping the practice's long-term benefits.

P.S.: Although there are no reliable scientific studies to show that oil pulling reduces cavities, whitens teeth, or improves oral health and well-being. Based on the lack of scientific evidence, the American Dental Association does not recommend oil pulling as a dental hygiene practice.


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