As a trained and experienced dental clinic in Sterling we always approach homemade or DIY oral health regimens and so-called dental remedies with a bit of skepticism. “Oil-pulling” is one such home remedy that has gotten a lot of attention lately though the practice is centuries old.

Also referred to as “oil-swishing”, the practice of washing the mouth with oil dates back to ancient tribes for the practice and washing and whitening teeth. Dr. F. Karach re-introduced the technique to the US as a way to prevent infection, reduce bacteria and whiten teeth. But does oil-pulling really work? Are the benefits truly genuine or are the promises too vague in nature to actually quantify?

Disregarding the professed general health promises made by proponents of oil-swishing and staying with just those that are concerned with oral health, reduced bacteria and infections can be more easily produced with modern oral health techniques. Whiter teeth can also be attained by simple dental care techniques or whitening products when needed. The reason ancient civilizations used oil-pulling for oral health benefits is because they did not have the modern techniques, products and technologies that we have access to today.

Because the professions of those who do oil-swishing themselves are all that exists as “evidence” of the benefits of the practice, we will reserve any thoughts of its true effectiveness. Regular dental cleanings leave no doubt as to their effectiveness, unlike oil-swishing, and is recommended by health professionals and advocates everywhere. Stick with the tried and true and schedule your family’s routine cleaning and exam with your trusted dentist in Sterling today.