Oil pulling. You've heard a lot about it recently but what does it actually do? Celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Shailene Woodley have gone on the record, swearing by the technique—but is this trend actually pulling in results? Or should we spit it down the sink for good?
"It's amazing! It really makes your teeth whiter because the plaque on your teeth is not water soluble, it's fat-soluble," Shailene said.
While this beauty trend has come off as a recent craze, oil pulling is actually an ancient ritual that was established in India over 3,000 years ago. The effects are said to help with oral care by whitening teeth, reducing plaque and pulling excess bacteria from your gums. In addition to cleaning your mouth, oil pulling has been known to clear skin, decrease headaches and help with sinuses.
"Reduction of gum inflammation can clearly be seen by examining your gums and seeing pinker, healthier looking gum tissue. It is important to note, that oil pulling does not take the place of brushing and flossing, and I suggest using a tongue scraper after swishing with the oil for 20 minutes to remove the oil from the surface of the tongue. The proof of efficacy of this treatment is something you can see and feel after several days of this treatment," said NYC based cosmetic dentist, Dr. Marc Lowenberg.
To kick this off, you will need a tablespoon of organic pressed oil (coconut or sesame is preferred) and that's it! Swish in your mouth for about twenty minutes—the lipids in the oil mixed with your natural saliva will begin to pull the toxins out of your mouth.
Warning: don't do this for longer than 20 minutes because you run the risk of having the toxins reabsorbed in your mouth. Gross.
With all the perks of oil pulling, it seemed like the perfect trend to try out. The biggest struggle I faced was getting over the initial texture. I let the oil sit in my mouth for the first minute while it dissolved, then I began swishing to allow the coconut paste to break down. Once it turned into liquid, reaching 15 minutes wasn't too difficult.
After a week of keeping this up, I can vouch that my mouth does feel cleaner. My teeth are also whiter than when I started, which is another great incentive to keep it up.
Don't take my word for it though—try this trend out for yourself! Sound off in the comments below if you get the results that you're looking for.
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