Can Oil Pulling Really Give You Brighter, Healthier Teeth?
Celebs swear by it. Influencers rave about it. But can oil pulling really give you brighter, healthier teeth?
What IS Oil Pulling?
Oil pulling is the ancient Ayurvedic dental practice of swishing a tablespoon of oil (usually coconut, but sesame and sunflower work as well) around in your mouths for 20 minutes a day. The benefits supposedly include whiter, cleaner teeth, fresher breath and less bacteria. It’s become super popular in recent years thanks to the likes of celebrities and influencers, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Malin Akerman and Shailene Woodley.
But Does it Actually Work?
There is no evidence that oil pulling helps strenthen your oral health, Dr. Heller tells us. Which is one of the reasons the American Dental Association does not endorse it. Though it is widely touted that the oil helps pull out other oils hiding in the the mouth and teeth, the science just does not back it up. In fact there is no biological or mechanical reason that gargling with coconut oil would help fight plaque and prevent cavities.
Why Are People Claiming it Brightens Their Teeth?
It might not help much, but oil pulling certainly doesn’t hurt. In fact, if you swished just water around in your mouth for 20 minutes a day, you would get healthier, cleaner teeth. That doesn’t mean you should switch out your favorite tube of toothpaste for a jar of coconut oil. If you want to use oil pulling as a supplement to your daily routine (and you have that kind of time in the morning) go ahead and swish away! And you might even find you like the way it makes your mouth feel. After all, a confident mouth is a sexy mouth!