What Is Oil Pulling? Does It Actually Whiten Your Teeth?

The internet is full of hacks that promise to offer a faster, cheaper, and healthier way to brighten your smile and maintain your oral health. One of them is oil pulling. 

What is it and can it actually whiten your teeth? 

Here's what you need to know. 

What Is Oil Pulling?

Oil pulling is a traditional oral health practice that originated from Ayurvedic medicine, in India. It basically involves swishing oil (usually coconut oil) in your mouth for about 15 to 20 minutes to remove bacteria, clean your teeth, and give them a whiter shade. 

Those who practice this remedy think that by swishing it around your mouth, the oil is "pulling" the stains and bacteria off the teeth. 

But is it really effective? 

Can Oil Pulling Whiten Your Teeth? 

While there is some anecdotal evidence that oil pulling might pull stains from the teeth, there is very little to no research to sustain this claim. 

One small study published by the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research in 2015 found that oil pulling with sesame oil can reduce plaque and gingivitis but did not specifically study teeth whitening.

Another small study showed that oil pulling with coconut oil can kill bacteria in the mouth, but no whitening effects were mentioned. 

Why Choose Professional Teeth Whitening Instead of Oil Pulling 

Professional teeth whitening uses hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, which have been tested and are proven to have a significant whitening effect on teeth. 

There's plenty of data and evidence on the safety and effectiveness of professional whitening treatments. The dentists at Rio Vista Family Dentistry are professionals who are only using the latest technology and best products. They can ensure the treatment is done safely, protecting your gums and mouth from the potentially irritating effects of the whitening agents. 

Moreover, before applying the treatment, the dentists will also check for signs of decay, gum disease, and other oral health problems, which may not be noticed when performing oil pulling at home. While oil pulling might help remove some harmful bacteria from your mouth, you won't know if other underlying oral health issues need to be addressed. 

Professional whitening treatments can be customized to your specific needs. Dentists can control the concentration of the whitening solution and adjust the treatment based on the severity of the stains and the health of your teeth.

Get Professional Teeth Whitening at Rio Vista Family Dentistry

We get that you are concerned about your health and want the safest and best treatment available. Let us reassure you that professional teeth whitening has been proven to be a safe and effective way of brightening your smile. Moreover, the Mission Valley dentists at Rio Vista Family Dentistry will leave no stone unturned to ensure that you will get fantastic, personalized treatment. 

If you're curious to learn more, get in touch with us now to book your appointment.

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