Oil pulling is one of the latest health trends claiming to be a natural way to prevent illness and disease. The theory is that swishing a tablespoon of coconut, sesame or sunflower oil for 20 minutes daily helps prevent cavities by pulling bacteria out of the mouth and into the oil. Some studies even claim that oil pulling can help with gingivitis, plaque, bad breath and tooth whitening. But does it really?
Though there doesn’t seem to be any harm in oil pulling, the long-term beneficial effects haven’t been proven either. If you’re experimenting with oil pulling, you should also follow an oral health routine of brushing with fluoride toothpaste1 twice daily for two minutes each time as recommended. Don’t forget to floss thoroughly at least once a day, as well.2
One more tip for oil-pullers: When you’re done swishing, don’t spit the oil in your sink drain. When it solidifies again, it could clog up your plumbing. Instead, discard the oil into a trash can.3 You may also want to check with your physician or dentist to make sure that oil pulling won’t interfere with medications you may be taking or otherwise affect your health.