We all want whiter teeth and better breath, but the latest beauty trend in getting those pearly whites even whiter is not found in the dentists office. In fact you may have the tools at home right now, according to Daytime's resident doc Srini Iyengar.
Believe it or not we are talking about coconut oil. Lately there has been a coconut oil craze, boasting conditioned hair to improved skin and some people are even use it as a lubricant. But what we want to focus on today, and what has a lot of dentists talking is the practice of oil pulling.
The idea is to take a ½ teaspoon of coconut oil and swish it all around your mouth for about 20 minutes then spit it out and brush your teeth twice a day. It is believed that the oil absorbs toxins and bacteria in the mouth, preventing them from being absorbed into your body.
The practice is best done daily in the morning when the mouth is said to have the most bacteria. It is important that you do not swallow the oil as it carries bacteria, and it is recommended that you spit the oil into the garbage, as it might clog your sink drain.
Those who practice oil pulling on a daily basis including dentists claim, whiter teeth and reduced plaque. Some have gone so far as to claim better skin and fewer asthma attacks and sinus problems. There are studies taking place now. Back in 2009 a small randomized controlled trial compared the efficacy <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Efficacy> of oil pulling against chlorhexidine mouth wash in male adolescents. The authors concluded that both groups experienced a significant decrease in dental plaque.
We are talking specifically about Cold pressed or raw oil. This has been said to be critical to the alleged effectiveness. Sesame oil, Ghee and Sunflower oil have also have also been used, but patients prefer the taste of coconut oil.
It is important to note that oil pulling is not a replacement for good oral hygiene. Also all medical regimens for asthma and other ailments are not to be replaced with coconut oil alone.)