There have been reports in the mainstream media on “oil pulling” and its benefits for dental and general health. The claims state that oil pulling—swishing oil in the mouth—whitens teeth, and improves dental health and overall health.
Oil pulling is an ancient, traditional folk remedy that has been practiced for centuries in India and southern Asia. The practice involves placing a tablespoon of an edible oil (e.g., sesame, olive, sunflower, coconut) inside the mouth, and swishing or “pulling” the oil through the teeth and mouth for anywhere from 1-5 minutes to up to 20 minutes or longer.
Currently, there are no reliable scientific studies to show that oil pulling reduces cavities, whitens teeth or improves oral health and well-being. Based on the lack of scientific evidence, the American Dental Association does not recommend oil pulling as a dental hygiene practice. The ADA continues to recommend that to maintain good dental health you brush twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste and floss between your teeth once a day and don’t use tobacco.