2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

Oil pulling vs. brushing your teeth

Published: July 11, 2014, 3:10 pm, by Jen Mulson

This is not me.

This is not me.

Have you heard of oil pulling as a means of dental care?

It’s not some new fad, but a folk remedy that’s been around for centuries, and mostly practiced in India and southern Asia, according to the American Dental Association’s website.

Everywhere I turn these days, I read another story about it. And I’ve heard of a couple of acquaintances who decided to give it a go.

Oil pulling goes like this: You take a tablespoon of an edible oil, like sesame, olive, sunflower or coconut, and swish it around slowly in your mouth for up to 20 minutes.

The theory is the oil collects all the toxins and other garbage in your mouth, which you then dispense of when you spit the oil out. It’s also said to whiten the teeth.

Gross. I’m sorry, people, the thought of doing this for 20 minutes makes my tummy turn over. And what if you accidentally swallow it?

For the most part, I’ll try anything once. But not this. I’m sticking with my fluoride and floss.

I’m going to write a column about oil pulling soon, and would love to hear from those who’ve done it. Do you give it a thumbs up or a thumbs down? jen.mulson@gazette.com