Dr. Holly Austgen, DDS of Southeast Family Dental in Indianapolis, Indiana talks about the new oil pulling craze, whether it has any real benefits and why you shouldn’t use it in place of your regular brushing and flossing.

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Hi, my name is Dr. Holly Austgen and I’m from Southeast Family Dental. Today we’re gonna talk about something called oil pulling. Oil pulling is kind of the newest health craze out there. And what it involves is a user to basically put anywhere from a teaspoon to a tablespoon of some type of an oil. Most commonly, people use coconut oil for its taste but you can also use sesame and sunflower oil as well.

The claims to oil pulling include anywhere from whiter teeth, fresher breath and less gingivitis or gum disease. The problem for oil pulling enthusiasts is that there’s no scientific literature to back up those claims. We know that by brushing regularly for two to three minutes a day, flossing once a day and using an anti-bacterial mouth rinse, you get known health benefits to your mouth.

The bottom line is though, if you are somebody who does oil pull, and you feel like it’s helping you, either alleviate jaw pain or have fresher breath, then go for it. But just don’t do it to replace your normal daily things like brushing and flossing that we know to work.

And remember, when you oil pull, you’re supposed to swish gently for 20 minutes and the dental community is just asking you to brush for two to three minutes and floss once a day. Thanks. This is Dr. Holly Austgen from Southeast Family Dental.