A whiter smile is the desire of more than half of the dental patients in the United States alone. While many people are willing to have a professional whitening procedure done by their dentist, many others are willing to try different methods to achieve a bright white smile on their own. Coconut oil pulling is the latest fad that involves swishing a tablespoon of coconut oil in the mouth for twenty minutes at a time. This fad is actually an ancient traditional Indian custom that was used to treat various maladies 2,000+ years ago.
Oil pulling is a type of Ayurvedic medicine that “pulls” impurities from the teeth and gums and is then expelled when the oil is spat out. This method of alternative treatment is scientifically proven to help fight gingivitis, clear plaque from the teeth, and well as fight against microorganisms that cause bad breath. It helps to remember a bit of biology here: most microorganisms are single-cell organisms that are covered with a fatty membrane. When these cells come into contact with oil, there is a natural adhesion that occurs. Coconut oil pulling can help “pull” the unwanted microorganisms from the mouth so that they do not cause harm to the teeth and gums.
Plaque develops along the gum line every single day, and plaque is laden with harmful bacteria that eat away at tooth enamel (causing cavities) and the gum tissues (causing gum disease). Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which contains anti-microbial agents that kill microorganisms and inhibit their growth.
By adding coconut oil pulling to your daily oral hygiene routine, you can naturally boost the health of your mouth. You can so see some benefits of whiter teeth simply because your teeth and gums are cleaner. However, in no way should coconut oil pulling replace flossing and brushing every day. Coconut oil pulling is an “extra” step in achieving a healthy, beautiful smile. Simply swish a tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth for 20 minutes and then spit it out before flossing and brushing. If your jaw muscles get tired, you can swish for five minutes until you work your way up to 20-minute oil pulling sessions.
At Group Health Dental, we encourage all of our patients to achieve optimal oral health in safe methods. Oil pulling combined with regular flossing, brushing, and dental visits can help you obtain the smile you have always wanted.