Would you swish coconut oil around your mouth every morning? New research reveals this technique – called oil pulling in Indian culture – has both general and oral health benefits. It seems a swish a day can whiten teeth, reduce plaque, make skin glow, boost immune systems and help exhaustion.
The Oil Pulling Technique
Oil pulling has been a part of Ayurvedic medicine for 3000 years and involves swishing one teaspoon of coconut oil around your mouth for five to 20 minutes every morning. Dr Deepa Apte, an Ayurvedic doctor in London said the name oil pulling, “literally means to pull out toxins from the stomach and spit them out.” He said it must be done on an empty stomach after brushing and flossing. Famous oil pulling advocates include Tinie Tempah and Made in Chelsea stars Lucy Watson and Jamie Laing.
The Research Findings
Researchers from India’s Kennur Dental College published their findings in the Nigerian Journal of Medicine’s March/April 2015 issue. They studied 60 people between the ages of 16 and 18 who used the oil pulling technique for 30 days. After just seven days there was a significant reduction in levels of plaque and gum disease. “Coconut oil is unique because it contains predominantly medium chain fatty acids, of which 45-50 percent is lauric acid. Lauric acid has proven anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects,” the study said.
A Swish a Day
London dentist Dr James Goolnik believes oil pulling is likely to reduce the bacterial load in mouths. However, the long-term oral health benefits are unknown, so he wouldn’t recommend it as a replacement for oral care and hygiene. A swish a day won’t keep the dentist away, so if you decide to try oil pulling ensure you continue to visit us for regular check-ups.