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Oil Pulling – What Is It & How Does It Work?

Oil pulling is when you swish oils around your mouth for 15-20 minutes and then spit them out. The most common oils used are sesame, sunflower or coconut oil. Many claim that oil pulling can cure all sorts of ailments including arthritis, halitosis, gum disease, and eczema, while whitening your teeth in the process! But this isn’t the case.

So what’s the truth about oil pulling? It’s probably not as helpful as many people on the internet claim it is, but there can still be benefits.

Below are a few things you should know about oil pulling before trying it for yourself:

  • Oil pulling can’t replace your oral hygiene routine – Some say that swishing with certain oils can remove the bacteria from your teeth better than brushing, but this is not true. It may reduce the amount of plaque that builds up on your teeth, but it can’t get rid of the plaque that does. Brushing and flossing are still vital to your dental health.
  • Oil pulling can be used a mouthwash – Traditional mouthwash kills bacteria – including the good kind! A certain amount of healthy bacteria is needed for your body to be healthy. Because of this, oil pulling can be a good replacement for regular mouthwash. We recommend using coconut oil because it includes antioxidants and also has anti-bacterial properties.
  • Be sure to use the right oils – If you use the wrong kind of oils, oil pulling can cause harm to your health. Be sure to use organic, high-quality oils. Otherwise you may be unknowingly allowing mercury, arsenic or lead into your body.
  • Oil pulling isn’t for kids – Kids aren’t great at swishing fluids around their mouth and if the oil goes down the wrong tube, it can cause pneumonia. So instead of oil pulling, make sure your child is flossing and brushing every day!
  • Oil pulling won’t cure disease – There is no evidence that supports any claims that oil pulling can help cure arthritis, asthma, diabetes, eczema or migraines. Don’t spend the time or the money on oils if you believe this will cure any problems you may have!

Here at Coastal Periodontics, we want you to be informed about your health and about anything that may help. While oil pulling does have merit, it’s not the cure-all that it is sometimes made out to be. As long as you’re aware of how to safely practice oil pulling, there aren’t many downsides to the practice.

For more

information, or to make an appointment, please contact Coastal

Periodontics today. Our office is located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Posted on Sep 23, 2016
Image Credit: © Dreamstime.com

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