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What the what?! Oil pulling might be the next big thing


Flossing. Brushing. Mouth wash. Check, check, check. But swishing oil around your mouth, per the centuries-old Ayurvedic practice? OK, that’s a little bit outta left field.

 

Believe it or not, oil pulling is making waves in Western culture. The ancient Indian practice involves swirling a food-grade oil around your mouth for 10 to 20 minutes, until it turns from a viscous oil that you’d cook with to a thin, milky white substance, per Huffington Post. Rumor has it that oil pulling cures everything from heart problems to acne, as well as preventing gingivitis, bad breath and cavities. Sounds good, but is it true?

 

A very small study conducted by a professor alongside her students sought to test the oral hygiene benefits. The students pulled oil for two weeks straight, then stopped for the third week. They used sesame oil (which has been studied quite a bit for oral health benefits), coconut oil (which has anti-microbial properties) and water (as a control). They found that those who used sesame oil showed a decrease in cavity-causing bacteria.

 

Not too shabby. If you’re interested in giving it a try, do use common sense: Don’t pick oils you’re allergic to, and look for a mild-tasting oil if you’re really sensitive to strong tastes and smells. And when you’re done, spit it out in the trash, not the sink—don’t wanna clog the drain. It’s common for beginners to only be able to oil pull for a few minutes at a time, but if you stick with it, you should be able to do it for longer periods.

 

And whatever you do, don’t toss the floss and brush routine, OK?

 

 

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BY BRITTANY TAYLOR ON 3/19/2014 3:49:00 PM

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