Is Oil Pulling Just an Instagram Fad? Is Oil Pulling Just an Instagram Fad?

Is Oil Pulling Just an Instagram Fad?

Derek Gatta

You’ve probably read about oil pulling on your Instagram feed recently—but it’s not a new wellness fad at all. In fact, the practice dates back 3,000 years to ancient Ayurvedic medicine developed in India, which today is still practiced as a form of holistic or alternative healing that balances mind, body, and spirit.

Oil pulling is simple, and requires only one ingredient, which you probably already have in your pantry: coconut oil. Take one tablespoon of coconut oil and swish it in your mouth for 15-to-20 minutes. Yes, minutes—not seconds! It’s the perfect excuse to sit back and watch some Netflix. Then, spit it out. That’s it!

Here’s how it works: Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which is antimicrobial. The liquid membrane of the fatty acid attaches to the bacteria cells, which are pulled out of your mouth as you spit out the oil.

Now, there are outrageous claims on social media that oil pulling cures everything under the sun, from eczema to ulcers. Unfortunately, we don’t have enough research to back these claims. Currently, science only supports the following results: reducing bad breath, gingivitis, and plaque. As you can imagine, I’m pretty pleased with these benefits as a practicing dentist.

You can commit to oil pulling once a day to achieve the best results—but please remember: It doesn’t replace brushing and flossing! Oil pulling has the potential to benefit your overall oral hygiene, but it does not replace your dentist-approved oral care routine.  I have never tried it myself but would love to hear if you use it!

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About Dr. Derek

He is not only Co-Founder of RiseWell. Dr. Derek Gatta is a partner at Dr Max & Dr Gatta PLLC in Boca Raton, Florida. If you are in the area, he is your go-to dentist!

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