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Oil Pulling and Your Oral Health

Through media and websites oil pulling or swishing oil around your mouth, seems to have become very popular. It is being said that oil pulling can enhance your oral health, whiten your teeth and improve overall health and well being. For centuries India and Southern Asia have practiced the folk remedy of oil pulling. The act of oil pulling involves taking a tablespoon of an edible oil, such as sesame, olive, sunflower and coconut oil and swishing it inside your mouth and through your teeth for anywhere from 1 to 20 minutes or longer. Studies have shown using a chlorhexidine rinse to be more effective than oil pulling by reducing levels of streptococcus mutan levels in plaque and saliva. Oil pulling is not recommended as a supplement or a replacement for standard oral hygiene practices. The ADA recommends we brush our teeth twice-daily with a fluoride toothpaste as well as floss once a day to prevent cavities and keep our gums healthy. For those who need help with gingivitis the ADA recommends using a mouth wash stamped with the ADA SEAL of approval this will ensure it contains the right amount of essential oils necessary unlike the oils used in oil pulling. Studies done on oil pulling are inconclusive and have not shown evidence of reducing dental caries, whitening teeth or improving oral health and well being. With that said we recommend you continue to brush and floss your teeth and have regular dental check-ups!

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