Having become popular on social networks, oil pulling – or bathing in coconut oil – would allow you to obtain whiter teeth and a healthier mouth. But what is it really? We asked the question to Dr. Christophe Lequart, dentist.
Have you ever heard of oil pulling? This mouthwash with coconut oil – already adopted by many stars, including Gwyneth Paltrow and Miranda Kerr – would eliminate oral bacteria and whiten your teeth. Explanations.
An oil mouthwash, from the Ayurvedic tradition
In fact, oil pulling consists of cleaning the mouth using vegetable oil (most often coconut) in order to “detoxify” the oral cavity, in other words the teeth and the mouth.
This is then rinsed with a glass of water.
Thanks to this technique – which must be carried out, according to followers, every morning – the breath would be fresher, the teeth whiter and the mouth healthier.
Better yet, oil pulling would improve your general health.
“Oil pulling helps cleanse the mouth of bacteria that have a bad impact on the functioning of our body., specifies Claire Nouy, co-founder of Atelier Nubio, at 20 minutes. “The mouth is connected to our digestion and our immunity, which is why it is crucial to take care of your oral microbiota“.
On paper therefore, oil pulling would have everything to please. But in reality, very few studies have been carried out on the supposed benefits of this mouthwash.
“No scientific proof exists” about it
According to our expert, no serious reports exist on the virtues of this oil bath.
“This is not something that is taught in faculties. No scientific study shows the benefit of this oil. Oil pulling will not whiten your teeth, as everyone claims.“, says Dr. Christophe Lequart, dentist and national spokesperson for the French Union for Oral Health (UFSBD).
According to him, nothing beats good tooth brushing to prevent tartar and infections. Mouthwash should also be used sparingly.
“Mouthwash does not ensure good oral hygiene. It’s brushing that promotes it. Also be careful with regular mouthwashes which can mask gum disease: they will in fact reduce bleeding, but will not treat the causes, such as tartar or dental plaque.“, he warns, before specifying: “Mouthwash can therefore be a complement to brushing but it cannot replace it. If you want to limit the number of oral bacteria, I recommend brushing your teeth twice a day, for two minutes, with a soft toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste. Without forgetting, of course, cleaning between the teeth using interdental brushes or wires.concludes the dentist.