All About Oil Pulling for Dental Health
What is Oil Pulling?
Have you heard of the practice of oil pulling but perhaps you’re not entirely sure what it’s all about? Oil pulling is a traditional remedy used in Ayurvedic medicine that uses oil to clean and remove bacteria from teeth and gums and is also said to whiten teeth.
The method for oil pulling is to swish oil in the mouth for about 20 minutes per day to see the benefits mentioned above. Typically, coconut oil, sesame oil, or sunflower oil are used for the process. The belief is that the oil can soften and wash away plaque on the teeth, improving oral health without disturbing your teeth’s enamel or your gums.
What Does the Research Say?
While research on oil pulling is limited, there are some scientific studies which support the notion that it can improve bacteria levels in the mouth, reduce the prevalence of cavities, inhibit the buildup of plaque, and reduce the incidence of gingivitis. There is also a lot of evidence to suggest that oil pulling can help reduce bad breath by removing bacteria that cause odour from the mouth. Coconut oil, in particular, has been shown to have some antibacterial properties which could contribute to its usefulness in oil pulling.
While it’s still inconclusive whether oil pulling is an effective way to clean and whiten teeth, experts generally agree that it’s safe to do for adults and children who are old enough to not swallow the oil. As long as you are using an oil that is safe to consume in your food, it’s also safe to use for oil pulling. Coconut oil is popular due to its mild taste, whereas sesame oil is the traditional oil used in Ayurveda but has a stronger flavour.
How to Try Oil Pulling
If you’re interested in giving oil pulling a try, follow these steps and discover whether you’re on your way to a clean mouth, white teeth, and fresh breath.
- 1. Pour between 1 teaspoon and 1 tablespoon of your choice of oil into your mouth. You can also add a few drops of food-grade essential oils to the oil to improve the flavour.
- 2. Aim to swish the oil in your mouth for 20 minutes. This can be tough at first, as your mouth will fill up with saliva and you’ll be tempted to spit it out early. Try to stick with it as long as you can though, for a longer period will allow the oil to break up the plaque and bacteria.
- 3. Spit out the oil. It’s recommended to dispose of the oil into a trash bin rather than down the drain, as consistently putting oil down the drain can cause problems with your septic.
- 4. Rinse your mouth with warm water. The warmth of the water will help to get rid of any remnants of the oil.
- 5. After oil pulling, it’s recommended to brush your teeth to remove further any plaque and bacteria that may still be holding onto your teeth.
- 6. Repeat daily and see if oil pulling is beneficial for your teeth and gums!