Skip to main content

The Science Behind Oil Pulling for Teeth

March 04, 2019 | Oil Pulling for Teeth | The Palisades Dentists

Oil pulling is an ancient dental hygiene technique that has recently become popular in the mainstream with its promises of whiter and healthier teeth. This alternative practice involves gently swishing vegetable-based oil in the mouth for approximately 20 minutes to draw out toxins and oral impurities. Many individuals swear by this folk remedy and even use it on a daily basis, but the reality is a bit less fantastical than it is made out to be.

Selection of dentists tools on a stainless steel background with coconut oil, toothpaste, toothbrush and floss-img-blog

The Truth About Oil Pulling

The teeth are covered in bacteria at all times, even when they are at their cleanest. Bacteria are coated in fat which makes them adhere to other forms of fat. Oil pulling is commonly performed with coconut oil for its antibacterial properties, as it does attract some of the germs in the mouth. However, it cannot remove daily plaque buildup that causes gum disease. Those who include oil pulling in their oral hygiene routine may notice some benefits but only when it is combined with proper brushing and flossing.

How to Achieve a Beautiful Smile

woman teeth before and after whitening-img-blogWhile there are some small advantages to this at-home oral hygiene process, it should not be used as a replacement for expert dental care. Rather than relying on the possibility of oil pulling getting the job done, patients can see an immediate improvement in the health and appearance of their smile with professional services. Patients of all ages are advised to schedule a routine check-up appointment with their dentist at least every six months. Those who struggle with severe oral conditions, such as periodontitis, will likely be asked to go in for more frequent treatments. Other successful methods of obtaining a brighter smile are:

  • Teeth whitening: Depending on a patient’s needs, they can opt for in-office or at-home treatment. Teeth whitening is often performed in stages until the desired result is achieved.
  • Veneers: These restorations are custom-made to deliver the most attractive results possible. Veneers can be used to improve the size, shape, and color of the teeth, creating a dazzling smile.
  • Composite bonding: Patients who are unhappy with small chips, gaps, or stains on their teeth can benefit from composite bonding.

To learn more about at-home oral hygiene or to schedule a dental appointment, please contact The Palisades Dentists by calling 310.459.2303.