While there are many fads out there that claim to be beneficial for your general or dental health, oil-pulling actually is. It can reduce the number of cavity causing bacteria as well as reduce the tooth-eroding acidity in the mouth. Studies have also shown that oil pulling can reduce the plaque index of your mouth. In this post we will explain how to perform oil pulling and how it acts to protect your teeth.
But what is Oil Pulling?
Oil pulling is an extremely simple process that you can add you your brushing and flossing routine.
1. Just take 1 or 2 teaspoons of coconut or sesame oil and swirl them around in your mouth making sure to pull it through and around gaps in your teeth.
2. Do this until the oil turns thin and milky white (with practice you will know how long this normally takes).
3. Spit out the oil into the garbage or sink, depending on how well your plumbing handles grease.
4. Go on with your regular brushing and flossing routine.
How Does Oil Pulling Stop Cavities?
Scientists don’t know yet the exact mechanism that makes oil pulling work, they just know that it does. Research has shown that oil pulling reduces the number of cavity-causing bacteria. Further research has also shown that coconut oil is the best acting oil but that sesame is also a very good oil for oil pulling. So if you want to decide which oil to use for oil pulling consider using either sesame or coconut and then go with whichever you prefer.
One way in which oil-pulling may work is in the reduction of the acidity in the mouth. Since these oils are alkaline they can counteract the effects of the acid in the mouth. Not only will the neutralization of the acid stop the demineralization of your teeth’s enamel but it has also been shown to stop the growth of cavity causing bacteria.
A Word of Caution
Just because oil pulling works, doesn’t mean you should rely solely on oil pulling to take care of your teeth. In places like rural India where oil is available and toothpaste, toothbrushes, and floss may not be, oil pulling can be the dominant form of dental care. But in developed countries where you have the advantage of the best dental care possible, oil pulling is just another tool in your belt with which you can fight cavities.