Oil pulling has gained traction in the holistic wellness world. This alternative oral care practice which essentially involves the swishing and spitting of oil, is thought by many to improve oral and dental health. But does it actually work?

Oil pulling, first came into play more than 3,000 years ago. In this ancient gargling process, people swish coconut, sunflower, or sesame oil between their teeth for a couple of minutes to help remove bacteria and debris while also keeping the mouth clean.

With no known health risks of oil pulling, it’s a generally safe practice. It is also a great way to keep your teeth clean and white naturally, and helps produce additional saliva, which helps keep bad breath at bay. Oil pulling works like liquid floss, and works to create a more favourable microbiome in your mouth. It helps ensure that there’s no harmful bacteria hiding in the crevices of your mouth and between your teeth.

Are There Any Health Benefits Of Oil Pulling? 

Studies have found that oil pulling does have

several potential health benefits. It can kill harmful bacteria in your mouth, get rid of bad breath, and even reduce inflammation. Most dentists recommend using an organic oil, and coconut oil is typically the best choice for its nutritional benefits.

Coconut oil contains vitamins A, D, E, and K, and has natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, and helps fight plaque and gingivitis. But having said that, oil pulling shouldn’t replace your other daily oral care practices. Instead make it an addition to your traditional dental routine, to help maintain optimal oral health and hygiene.

How Do I Start?

If you’re new to the practice, try swishing one teaspoon of coconut oil in your mouth for five minutes daily. Eventually, you can try to work your way up to 20 minutes per day for maximum benefits. 

While it might not be for everyone, the practice does have health benefits and zero risks, provided you don’t end up swallowing the oil and getting an upset tummy.