Some are ditching their traditional mouthwash in favor of a slightly greasier dental routine. “Oil pulling” is the new oral hygiene trend to alleviate bad mouth habits like tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath.
Since oral bacteria thrive on fat, the belief is that by swishing and rinsing your mouth with oil, it will attract and pull the bacteria from the surface.
Coconut oil, noted for its antimicrobial, antiviral and antifungal properties, is the preferred modern-day choice for oral habit but oil pulling is not new—it’s an Ayurvedic practice that is centuries old. And it’s not a quick rinse—an article in the Journal of International Oral Health recommends swishing with oil for 10 to 15 minutes will get the job done. While no solid scientific data is available to confirm the health benefits of using oil as a mouthwash, dental experts say there’s no proof it’s harmful either.