There is a new and growing trend among many people that are becoming more interested and involved in a holistic approach to health care. While there are many new and upcoming trends, one that seems to be all the rave lately is oil pulling. While some say this is an ancient practice dating way back, to those of us living in the 21st century, this concept is new and a little exciting.

So, what exactly is oil pulling? Oil pulling is pretty simple. It involves lightly swishing one tablespoon of coconut, sesame, or sunflower oil in your mouth for approximately 20 minutes. Coconut oil is the most commonly used as it is said to be most effective.

Why join the movement? While there is no scientific evidence that oil pulling is effective, the reasoning for jumping on the band wagon sounds good. The bacteria in our mouths are single celled organisms that have an outer later composed of a fatty material. When this outer later is introduced to an oil, it tends to bond and stick to it. Lightly swishing oil around in your mouth for 20 minutes and then spitting it out (in the garbage, not the sink as the oil can clog the drain) is believed to help rid your mouth of unwanted bacteria. This in turn reduces the likelihood of gingivitis, periodontal (gum) disease, developing cavities, and reduces the chances of bad breath. Oil pulling is also said to whiten and brighten your smile.


For many beginners, one tablespoon or 20 minutes can be a little much, so it is recommended to start with a smaller amount and shorten the time. Five or ten minutes will not going to give you as much of a benefit as 20 minutes, but it is a start and more effective than not trying at all.

For more discussion, contact your local Plymouth, MN dentist at Life Smiles family dentistry.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *