Oil Pulling to Whiten Teeth

It has a long history but oil pulling became a hot topic in 2013 and it’s a trend that is set to continue. Oil pulling has many unproven health benefits including many aspects of oral health but can it really whiten teeth?

What is oil pulling

Oil pulling is a simple process that involves swilling a spoonful of oil in the mouth for up to 20 minutes at a time. The oil needs to be swished around the whole mouth, teeth and gums before spitting out in much the same way as you would use a mouthwash. Once done you should brush your teeth as normal with your usual toothpaste.

To get the maximum effect from oil pulling, it needs to be done first thing in the morning before you have had anything to eat. During the night the bacteria in your mouth has a chance to multiply, so when you eat it’s swallowed along with your breakfast.

How does oil pulling work?

There are hundreds of bacteria species living in your mouth. While some can be beneficial, many are harmful and can lead to health problems including gingivitis. They also contribute to the buildup of plaque and tartar which can be removed from teeth by brushing alone.

Bacteria and toxins are said to be dissolved (or pulled) in to the oil as it is swilled around the mouth so that you can spit them out and rid them from your body. It is for this reason that oil pulling is most often used as a detox solution but ridding toxins and bacteria has obvious benefits for teeth.

What is the best oil to use for pulling?

The best types of oil to use for pulling are sesame oil, sunflower oil, olive oil or coconut oil. Your choice will come down to taste or which one you can tolerate most but coconut oil would be a good choice since it has anti-bacterial properties and a pleasant taste.

The disadvantage of coconut oil is that it’s solid at room temperature so you will either have to warm it first or chew it first before it melts. For the same reason you should also be careful where you spit your used oil since it will harden again once cooled and can cause blocked pipes!

Does oil pulling whiten teeth?

If you are interested to try oil pulling or looking for further reading about it’s benefits, there are books available on the subject like this one by Dr Bruce Fife.

There are no significant studies to support most of the claims made by oil pulling especially those relating to teeth whitening. Testimonials suggest that if done regularly, oil pulling can freshen breath, encourage healthier gums and reduce plaque build up.

While it seems oil pulling will not bleach teeth, having healthier gums and improved oral hygiene are clearly going to give your teeth the best possible chance to be at their best.

One of the best things about oil pulling is that it’s easy to try and if it works for you then it’s a cheap solution. For people with yellow or stained teeth try looking for a bleaching solution instead for more effective teeth whitening.

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