What You Should Know About Oil Pulling

Oil Pulling
02 October 2017

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There are many ancient folk remedies that promise cleaner, whiter teeth. In recent years, oil pulling has entered the spotlight and many people are asking their dentists if this is a technique they should try to improve their oral health. A comprehensive dental examination can reveal the extent of your oral health situation and let your dentist know what needs to be done to improve on it. However, it’s safe to say that oil pulling isn’t the answer.

What is oil pulling?

Oil pulling is an ancient folk remedy practiced in southern Asia and India that involves swishing edible oil in your mouth for anywhere from 1-20 minutes. Basically, you are treating the oil like mouthwash and pulling it through the teeth to remove debris, food particles and bacteria.

Is oil pulling an effective oral health technique?

Often, oil pulling does not do anything to improve your overall oral health. Although edible oils (olive, sesame, sunflower, coconut) do not have an adverse effect on the body when ingested, you could find yourself with an upset stomach after swishing these oils around in your mouth for long periods of time. In severe cases, oil pulling can cause lipoid pneumonia from the high fat content in the oil. As of yet, there lacks proof that oil pulling whitens teeth, reduces the potential for cavities and gum disease, or even has any positive effects on your overall oral health.

What you should be doing instead of oil pulling

Due to the lack of scientific evidence, Canadian dentists recommend that you stay away from oil pulling. Instead, visit a dental clinic for a comprehensive dental examination. This exam will reveal what extra care is needed to reduce plaque and gingivitis. You should already have an oral health plan in place that involves brushing twice daily, flossing and using mouthwash. Your dentist will inform you of which mouthwashes and toothpastes are approved by the Canadian Dental Association so that you can be sure you’re getting ample oral care at home. Moreover, you should be visiting your dentist every six months for cleanings to ensure that you are keeping on top of your oral health.

Please contact Discovery Dental by phone at 289-624-1809 or online to book a comprehensive dental examination. We can recommend a better course of action for your oral health that is safer and more effective than oil pulling.


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