An old Ayurvedic practice for cleaning teeth is becoming a trendy topic for natural health lately. If you have not heard of the practice of oil pulling, it is likely you will read about it or hear others talk about trying it. Oil pulling is the practice of moving a choice like coconut oil through your teeth and in your mouth to promote health and prevent the buildup of plaque. The claim is that oil adheres to bacteria in your mouth cleaning better than just brushing and flossing. While this process has many people interested, does oil pulling really work and is it something your should try?
First – An Important Warning
It is essential to remember that there is no at home treatment that should replace regular dental checkups, which are recommended every six months. Nothing you do, including oil pulling, can replace that. What’s more, though, is that nothing you add to your routine should replace the practice of brushing and flossing on a daily basis.
Is It Safe?
There have been recent studies and reports indicating oil pulling can help prevent the growth of plaque on your teeth by getting rid of unhealthy bacteria in your mouth in between regular visits. The oils used for this technique like coconut oil contain healthy acids and vitamins important to maintain overall health. These include vitamin E an antioxidant, along with lauric acid, and monolaurin which both contain antibacterial and antifungal components.
While oil pulling is safe and will not cause harm to your teeth, it CANNOT heal already decaying teeth or gum disease.
Correctly pulling oil is a relatively easy process once you have gotten past the slightly unpleasant taste of the oil itself. Morning is best to start the pulling oil, before your have brushed your teeth or had anything to eat or drink. The recommended amount of oil to pull is 1 tablespoon for 20 minutes, but as this can be hard to stomach at first start with 1 teaspoon for 5 minutes and work your way up to a full tablespoon over time. Swish the oil around in your mouth for allotted time and then spit oil out in the trash. Spitting the oil in the sink can eventually lead to a clogged drain as the oil with harden.
Once you have finished swishing the oil brush as you normally would.
The Bottom Line
It is safe to add oil pulling to your brushing and flossing habits in between regular visits to your dentist. When correctly practiced oil pulling, the jury is still out on whether it could help prevent cavities and plaque buildup or help whiten your smile and keep your breath fresh throughout the day. Brushing and flossing regularly, though, certainly will. Talk to your dentist if you have more questions about trying oil pulling at home.
Call us today to schedule a dental exam and teeth cleaning at Cedar Park Premier Dentistry, your neighborhood dentist in Cedar Park TX! (512) 434-0560