The weirdest way to clean your teeth
Oil pulling (aka the ancient Indian technique of swishing coconut oil around in your mouth) has been around for a longggggg time – but now new research has confirmed its benefits.
Of course, devotees of the method have been convinced that it’s legit all along, saying it whitens teeth, adds a glow to your skin, keeps colds away, wards off exhaustion…and the list goes on.
But until now, there’s actually not been much evidence to suggest it has any real health benefits.
Published in the Nigerian Journal of Medicine‘s March/April 2015 edition, the new research has shown it can decrease plaque formation and plaque-induced gum disease – fo’ real.
Assessing 60 people between the ages of 16 and 18, the study saw participants test the technique over a 30-day period.
Their plaque and gum disease levels were assessed on days 1, 7, 15, and 30.
Promisingly, after just seven days of oil pulling, plaque and gum disease levels were significantly reduced. They then continued to decrease over a period of a month.
But why? Well, the researchers (from Kennur Dental College in India) say it’s to do with coconut oil’s unique, “predominantly medium chain fatty acids, of which 45-50 percent is lauric acid.”
“Lauric acid has proven anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects.”
I’m pretty sure brushing your teeth the regular way is good for this, too – but who am I to argue with science?
Whether you think it’s a fad or not, there’s no question oil pulling is becoming more and more popular, and is being added to many a morning brush-and-floss routine.
Even bh’s Rosie jumped on the bandwagon back in April, when she tried the Hollywood way to whiten your teeth.
As a devotee of coconut oil for skin (I always have some on hand in the shower), I can’t deny I’m a fan of this nourishing natural wonder.
But I’ll be holding out for further studies to verify the other aforementioned health benefits (in particular, the farfetched claim that it fights colds, exhaustion and apparently, even dark under eye circles).
Have you tried coconut oil pulling? What other health fads do you swear by?