What’s the Deal with Oil Pulling?

There is a recent trend among the naturopath community that is being called “oil pulling”. Under this practice, tooth brushing is done away with in favor of vigorously swishing natural oil for twenty minutes, twice a day. This is supposed to clean your teeth, reduce inflammation, and give you all sorts of other benefits. But is this for real, or is it just a mouthful of snake oil? Before you decide to throw away your toothbrush, our Lynnwood dentistry clinic has some words of caution.

In truth, there is a lot to be skeptical about when looking at oil pulling. Many of the claims attached to this practice are downright absurd, and the rest are backed up with some fairly suspect studies. It can be difficult to entirely discount the practice, of course, but it does remain clear that it is no substitute for tooth brushing.

First of all, consider the prospect of swishing for twenty minutes, twice a day. Chances are good that your jaw will get tired after minute number two. And, after all of this work, you’re still not getting the same benefits of two minutes of conventional brushing. A toothbrush is the only known way to reliably scrub plaque off of your teeth, and toothpaste is important to reinforce your tooth enamel with a healthy dose of fluoride. With this in mind, think twice before casting aside proven oral hygiene techniques for unproven medical “miracles”.