Friday, February 12, 2016

Coconut oil is a popular oil of choice for people who do oil pulling. Many people online claim that oil pulling has a wide range of health benefits, including cleaner and healthier teeth, reduced muscle ache and helping with hangovers. (Raramaurina/Flickr)
Oil pulling leads to whiter teeth, other health benefits, some say
Posted on March 10, 2014 at 4:00 p.m.

Have you seen your friends on Facebook sharing a blog post about "oil pulling?"

The practice is apparently gaining popularity. Some sources claim health benefits like whiter, stronger teeth, and decreased plaque.

Oil pulling involves swishing specific types of oil through the mouth for about 20 minutes a day and then spitting it out, RTV6 in Indianapolis reports.

Indianapolis dentist Dr. Ted Reese thinks the practice is helpful.

“Our patients are just very impressed with the results they're seeing. I'm impressed with the results we're seeing orally in terms of hygiene and reduced bacteria and improved heal,” Reese told RTV6.

Reese practices oil pulling himself and said it can help fight problems that start in the mouth and spread to the rest of the body.

And while organic coconut oil is recommended, using sunflower oil or sesame oil can also work.

But not everyone is sold on the idea.

Dr. Michael Beachy, a dentist in Goshen, says it's a bunch of hype.

"If you swish any kind of fluid in your mouth, it's helpful," Beachy told The Elkhart Truth in a phone interview Monday. "If you swish water around a couple times and spit it out, you'll cut the amount of bacteria in your mouth by 50-percent."

But oil? Beachy isn't convinced that it would work much different than water for cutting down on bacteria, and only brushing and flossing are proven ways to reduce plaque.

"It's not being taught in dental school or in any dental journals," he said. "But it's not going to hurt you (to try it)."

Have you heard of oil pulling? Have you tried it? What were your results like? Leave your story below.