"This oral therapy is a type of Ayurvedic medicine [a traditional Indian system] that dates back 3,000 years," says Dentist Jessica T. Emery, DMD, owner of Sugar Fix Dental Loft in Chicago. "It involves swishing approximately 1 tablespoon of oil -- typically coconut, sesame, or sunflower oil -- in your mouth for about 20 minutes and then spitting it out."
Unlike some alleged remedies, oil pulling is not a practice based on pseudo-science.
Here are WebMD's Oil-Pulling Tips:
"Use coconut oil. While you can get the same bacteria-fighting benefits with sesame or sunflower oil, coconut oil has the added benefit of lauric acid, which is well-known for its anti-microbial agents, Emery says, making it more effective. Also, a recent study found that coconut oil may help prevent tooth decay.
Get Started - with just 5 minutes a day. Twenty minutes of swishing is a long time, and while the longer you pull, the more bacteria you'll remove, 5 or 10 minutes will still offer some benefit. Also, if your jaw starts aching a few minutes in, slow down. "Don't work too hard," Emery says. "A gentle swishing, pushing, and sucking the oil through the teeth is all that's required."
Don't swallow. "If you find it hard not to, you likely have too much oil in your mouth," Emery says. "Spit it out and try again with a smaller amount." Also, don't spit it down the sink or the shower, as the oil could clog your pipes. Just spit out the used oil into the nearest bin or even into the loo.
Don't skip brushing and flossing. "Oil pulling should never replace routine dental visits and traditional home oral care," Emery says. "It doesn't reverse the effects of tooth decay, but it's a great supplemental therapy."
So what are the Five Reasons to Oil Pull? We've written a free report all about it - send us a message here and we'll send you a free copy :)