Coconut oil pulling for teeth is an ancient Ayurvedic practice from India, dating back around 3,000 years. It involves swishing coconut oil gently in your mouth before spitting it out. Other common oils used in this natural therapy include sesame, sunflower and olive oil.
Proponents believe the practice cures more than thirty systemic diseases including various dental health ailments when practiced regularly and as directed. Below King Street Dental takes a look at the evidence.
How Does Coconut Oil Pulling Work?
Coconut oil pulling is incredibly simple:
- Put about a tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth
- Swish the oil around your mouth for about 15 to 20 minutes
- Spit out the oil, then brush your teeth
Coconut Oil Pulling Benefits – What’s the Evidence?
Look online and you’ll find plenty of testimonials from people who praise its use, but scientific evidence is lacking. One recent review found that oil pulling for teeth might be as effective as chlorhexidine mouthwash in reducing plaque, but there isn’t enough information about the benefits and potential harms of daily oil pulling.
The handful of studies conducted have found that any positive dental health results from oil pulling are no more effective than using a chlorhexidine (antimicrobial) mouth rinse. These studies also emphasised that coconut oil pulling wasn’t a replacement for regular oral hygiene practices and dental treatment but may be used more as an adjunct to them.
Another review looked at the oil pulling literature and identified 21 studies but concluded that only six had proper study design. Many studies were found to be unreliable due to poor design or small sample science.
Pulling Coconut Oil for Teeth
Proponents claim coconut oil pulling can maintain dental health, including preventing dental plaque, bad breath, staining, gingivitis, strengthening gums and jaws, and even healing cavities. While the evidence is limited, many people swear by the benefits of oil pulling for teeth.
There are few reported side effects from oil pulling so, as long as the practice isn’t used in place of regular recommended dental hygiene practices, it is unlikely to cause any harm. Whether the practice of coconut oil pulling can make a positive contribution to good dental hygiene is uncertain. While it may have some beneficial effects in dental hygiene, it requires more rigorous and better reported clinical trials.
Maintain Regular Oral Hygiene Habits
If you want to try coconut oil pulling, make sure you only do so as a supplement to your regular oral hygiene habits. This includes brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily, using mouthwash and visiting your dentist every 6 months.
Book a Consultation at King Street Dental Today
Booking regular dental appointments is another important factor in maintaining good dental health. At King Street Dental, we offer quality general and specialised dental care services in Templestowe. This includes everything from regular check-ups to teeth whitening and dental implants.
Book an appointment today by calling 03 9841 8033 or contact us online.