Oil pulling is a centuries-old Ayurvedic oral treatment that has made its way to the U.S. in recent years. Many swear by its ability to clean the teeth and “pull” toxins from the mouth, curing everything from bleeding gums and tooth infections to irritated skin.
How to Do Oil Pulling
Oil pulling involves swishing a small amount of oil, usually coconut oil, around the mouth for 15-20 minutes daily.
- Measure one tablespoon of oil, such as coconut or olive oil.
- Swish the oil in your mouth for 15–20 minutes. Do not swallow the oil.
- Spit the oil into a trash. Don’t spit it into the sink or toilet, as oil buildup may lead to clogging.
- Rinse your mouth with water before eating or drinking.
- Do oil pulling a few times per week or up to three times daily. If the 20 minutes is long, you can also begin by swishing for 5 minutes and increase the duration until you’re able to do it for a full 15–20 minutes.
Does Oil Pulling Really Work?
A dentist in Canada set out to find out just how beneficial oil pulling can be. The dentist at the University of Toronto prescribed 20- minutes of oil pulling each night to 12 patients diagnosed with an immune system disorder that causes dry eyes and dry cheeks. The result? The patients’ mouths were moister, their teeth glossier. Cavity-causing bacteria were reduced, as well as the yeast that causes oral thrush.
Despite the results of this one study, more research is needed for a definitive benefit to oil pulling. Brushing the teeth is still be best form of dental hygiene.
Do you do oil pulling? If so, what is your experience? Sound off in the comments