The latest trend for home teeth whitening appears to be the oil pulling method, but what is oil pulling?
Many celebrities are beginning to follow this natural teeth cleaning regime, and are hailing it as a success.
What Is Oil Pulling?
According to Ayurvedic medicine literature, the procedure of gargling or holding oil in the mouth will not only whiten the teeth, prevent plaque, and promote good oral health, but will actually remove toxins and help a variety of ailments too.
Bacteria sticks to the oil, and is discarded along with the other contents, when you spit it out.
Using one of the various methods and oils, daily ‘pulling’ is said to leave your mouth and teeth feeling cleaner.
The Best Oil For Oil Pulling
Originally, coconut oil, sesame oil and ghee have been used for the procedure, but other oils are now being added to the list.
The top choices of sesame or coconut oil for oil pulling are now being rivaled by sunflower oil.
The Five Minute Oil Pulling Method
There are several techniques used during the procedure, but the two most popular involve you either;
- Filling the mouth with your chosen oil and holding it there for five minutes
- Part filling your mouth with your chosen oil, holding it for three minutes then gargling for a further two minutes.
Whichever method or oil you choose is purely down to preference, but there are some pointers that you should follow.
- Don’t swallow the oil
- Spit oil into waste bag or bin – the oil could harden on the waste pipe of your sink, eventually causing a blockage
- Rinse your mouth after ‘pulling’
- Finally, brush your teeth, floss, and follow your usual oral health regime
Does Oil Pulling Work?
Although most experts agree there is no known harm caused by following the practice itself, there is widespread disagreement as to the benefits of oil pulling or if it works.
Some dental specialists say that simply gargling oil, followed by a stringent oral care regime, means you are paying more attention to your teeth and gums, which can only be a good thing.
Other dentists are concerned that rather than seeking a specialized treatment for periodontitis, such as LANAP surgery, men and women are trying DIY solutions for gum disease.
There appear to be no known oil pulling side effects, although some people complain of an aftertaste. However, most supporters of the method say that their teeth feel squeaky clean and look whiter.
It’s hard to know whether it’s the process of swilling the mouth with sesame oil has a placebo effect or if it really is removing toxins and bad breath.
Eminent periodontists worry that some people on a low income could try this bad breath remedy because they can’t afford dental treatment. This could be detrimental to their dental health.
Some reports claim that the treatment can be used to cure gingivitis, plus gum and periodontal disease. However, there seems to be little evidence to support these claims, other than personal testimonies.
There appears to be no proof that gum disease or any other serious dental health problem can be cured.
If bad breath is a symptom of a serious teeth or gum condition and treatment is delayed, the outcome could be more invasive treatment or tooth loss.
Even the skeptical dental experts might agree for you to give it a go, along with a traditional oral healthcare routine and regular dental check.
So does oil pulling work at all, or is it just psychological? Some cosmetic dentists and celebrities say, “Yes, most definitely,” but others say, “No way, it’s tedious, time consuming, and doesn’t make a difference.”
One thing’s for sure, this ancient art/traditional folk remedy is going to be around for a long time to come.