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Is Oil Pulling Really for You? Here’s All You Need to Know

June 3, 2024

We live in an age of great advancement in dentistry, where new methods for maintaining good oral hygiene are constantly emerging. Although nothing can replace the effectiveness of regular check-ups with a qualified general dentist in Sioux City, some of these new practices offer their own benefits.

Oil pulling, in particular, helps reduce the number of bacteria in your mouth, improves gum health, and prevents bad breath or cavities. Moreover, it’s a simple and easy method to add to your dental hygiene routine. Here's everything you should know about it and how it can impact your oral health.

Coconut Oil's Benefits by a General Dentist in Sioux City

What exactly Is Oil Pulling?

Oil pulling is an age-old technique whose origins are associated with India's traditional medical system, Ayurveda.

As the name indicates, oil pulling involves swishing a small amount of vegetable oil in your mouth. The oil’s unique properties, along with its force, pull remaining food particles out of your mouth tissues, helping improve oral hygiene.

You can use a tablespoon of any type of vegetable oil—as long as your taste buds can withstand it. Coconut oil is recommended due to its beneficial properties and softer taste. After swishing it around for 20 minutes, spit it out and brush it away with a toothbrush and toothpaste.

How Does Oil Pulling Work?

There are many theories on why oil pulling is effective in erasing bacteria.

Many oils have been used for hygiene throughout history due to their antibacterial properties. Bacteria have an oily outer coating that makes them stick to other fatty substances, like oil, when they encounter them. And because liquids can reach more areas of the mouth, oil pulling can effectively pick up remaining bacteria.

Another major element is what chemists call ‘polarity.’ When you mix oil and water, their difference in polarity keeps them separated.

Brushing your teeth and rinsing with water can effectively remove polar remnants, but non-polar leftovers may remain. Oil pulling beforehand can help dissolve and flush those out, keeping you and your family’s teeth healthy.

Is Oil Pulling a Valid Oral Care Technique?

Various individual studies regarding oil pulling have been conducted, and most conclude that this technique does help remove bacteria and improve oral hygiene. However, there’s no official verdict among dentists.

The issue is that even swishing just water around your mouth for 20 minutes will help remove more bacteria than if you didn’t. Additionally, oil’s natural properties can help strengthen and protect your teeth and gums.

For this reason, many dentists might suggest oil pulling to patients who want a more natural alternative to mouthwash. However, oil pulling needs to be done in addition to regular brushing and flossing because it is not as effective at removing plaque and tartar as a toothbrush and floss.

Mantain Your Family's Oral Hygiene With a General Dentist in Sioux City

Need to Visit a General Dentist in Sioux City?

Oil pulling can never replace the effectiveness of regular brushing and flossing. However, with proper oral hygiene and regular visits to your go-to Wheelock and Associates dentist, it can be the tool you need to keep your mouth healthy.

If you want to learn more, give us a call!

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