Oil pulling is an ancient practice that has been used by many cultures as a type of oral cleanser and detoxifier. Recently, this practice has reemerged as patients have learned of the potential oral health and teeth whitening benefits that can be gained from oil pulling. As a cosmetic dentist with a great focus on preventative dental care and oral health maintenance, Dr. Bruce Wilderman explains the benefits of oil pulling for our Philadelphia patients. The practice can complement a patient’s regular oral hygiene routine and professional dental care services.
What Is Oil Pulling?
Oil pulling is a practice that studies have shown to be beneficial in cleansing the mouth of bacteria and other potentially harmful toxins. To perform oil pulling, oil is swished in the mouth for a period of 20 minutes until it becomes milky and somewhat frothy. The oil (typically sesame oil or a vegetable based oil) is then spit out and then the mouth is rinsed out with warm water. While most people perform oil pulling in the morning, about 30 minutes before eating, it can be performed before each meal.
Oral Health and Aesthetic Benefits of Oil Pulling
Multiple studies have been conducted to test the effectiveness of oil pulling. While studies suggest that oil pulling may have benefits that affect one’s overall health, the most obvious advantages seem to be those to a patient’s oral health and aesthetics. Oil pulling has the ability to cut through plaque and remove bacteria from the mouth and has even been shown to lower the germ count of saliva. This can be beneficial in helping to keep the mouth clean to prevent oral health problems such as tooth decay and gum disease. Oil pulling is also known to prevent plaque from sticking to the walls of the teeth, prevent bad breath, and even as a natural teeth whitening treatment.
How Effective Is Oil Pulling?
While studies vary, most suggest that oil pulling can significantly decrease the bacteria in the mouth after prolonged practice. However, oil pulling should be seen as a complement to, and not a replacement of, a patient’s regular oral hygiene routine. Regular brushing and flossing remains an integral part of oral health care, even in patients who perform oil pulling. Equally important is the maintenance of regular dental cleanings and exams.
Oil pulling cannot reverse tooth decay, so it is vital that patients continue to see Dr. Wilderman so that any oral health care concerns can be adequately addressed and treated. Similarly, patients may not see the aesthetic effects they would like from oil pulling. While this practice has been shown to whiten the teeth, if significant effects are not achieved, patients may wish to consider professional teeth whitening as a safe and dramatic smile brightening treatment.
Schedule an Appointment
Every patient deserves to have a beautiful smile that is the outward expression of a clean and healthy oral environment. While holistic practices may play a beneficial role in oral and overall body health, professional care remains and integral part of health maintenance. If you are in need of general oral care or are seeking restorative or cosmetic treatment, schedule an appointment with Dr. Bruce Wilderman at your earliest convenience. Dr. Wilderman will help you look and feel your best!