What is Oil Pulling? Does it live up to the hype?

Does Oil Pulling Live Up to the Hype?
Posted on 12/30/2023
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What is oil pulling and does it live up to the hype?

Oil pulling is an oral hygiene remedy that has been around for centuries in other cultures but has become a TikTok sensation in the past couple of years. The way oil pulling works is simple, you choose an oil, typically extra-virgin coconut, for its flavor, then you swish the oil around your mouth with the goal of having the bacteria get swept away and dissolve in the liquid oil. The reduction of bacteria is purported to result in brighter, whiter teeth.

But does it work? Wellllllll, the catch here is two-fold. First, the common instructions for oil pulling consist of swishing the oil around in your mouth for 20 MINUTES each time. So, perhaps one oil pulls while binge-scrolling TikTok? Secondly, while oil pulling is not considered particularly harmful, neither has much research been done on the practice.

The upshot? Over-the-counter and professional dental whitening is more likely to get you the results you seek in the brighter, whiter teeth category. And for keeping bacteria at bay, nothing beats good oral hygiene accomplished by good brushing and flossing habits. So swish if you wish, but for more reliable results, look to the established standards.

Tollgate Orthodontics, an orthodontist in Rhode Island, offers Zoom one hour, in-office whitening which whitens up to 8 shades in just one visit. Call 401-739-3900 to schedule.