If you follow social media or the latest health buzz, there’s a good chance that you’ve heard about oil pulling. Oil pulling is an ancient method that people claim improves oral health, tooth color, and helps them eliminate infections like gingivitis. But does it really work?
First of all – oil pulling is a lengthy process. Take a spoonful of coconut oil and then “swish” it around your mouth for 20 minutes. Much longer than it would take to brush or floss! Oil pulling was not meant to replace physical plaque removal like flossing, but unfortunately many people feel that it does.
There are chemical components of the coconut oil that may actually impact inflammation and bacterial levels in the mouth. Many people report that oil pulling every day helps them to eliminate gingivitis. Unfortunately there have not yet been any clinical studies to show the specifics of such.
As far as whitening your tooth enamel with coconut oil – that doesn’t necessarily work either. Part of the reason why people may feel that it does whiten their tooth enamel is the oils ability to potentially limit plaque buildup.
Oil pulling certainly isn’t going to hurt anything to try it. That’s something that can’t be said for many home whitening remedies that can actually damage your teeth.
The important thing to remember is that you should be cleaning your teeth first – not skipping the floss. After all, not even an antimicrobial mouthrinse bought at the store can remove plaque biofilm that is built up under your gumlines. Secondly, it’s a lengthy process, so it may not actually be worth your time. That’s something that you will have to decide for yourself. If you decide to try oil pulling, be sure to let your dentist know how it goes!
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