This technique is all the craze at the moment and is meant to give us gleaming white teeth, all you have to do is pop some coconut oil in your mouth, allow it to melt and swirl it around for at least 10 minutes. We think this is a bit bizarre, we know coconut oil has a million uses but can it really help clean your teeth?!

Oil pulling with several different oils has been used to ‘cure’ oral diseases. However, it majorly lacks evidence that it is effective! Coconut oil sounds like the perfect oil to use as it is cheap, really easy to get your hands on and more importantly, safe to eat! It also seems to have more scientific benefits over some other oils too as it is mainly medium chain fatty acids, whereas most oils are made up of long chain fatty acids. Around 50% of these medium chain fatty acids are lauric acid, which is anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial. In terms of our teeth this suggests that coconut oil can soothe any irritation of the gums and help get rid of some of that bacteria, which we have literally thousands of in our mouths!

As far as we can see no-one really knows for sure exactly how this works but there are several theories. It is thought that swishing the oil around your mouth emulsifies the oil, allowing it to coat your teeth to reduce the amount of plaque, as well as bacteria sticking to teeth. Another theory is that the alkali in our saliva reacts with the coconut oil in a saponification reaction, this means it is turned into a soap-like substance for cleansing and as it happens, coconut oil is really good at this due to the lauric acid!

BUT we got all this from one small study – as that was all we could find! There is a serious lack of evidence to back up the science behind coconut pulling and the evidence that there is shows that it works no better than your usual mouthwash! It seems like a faff to do, takes far too long and the little evidence there is shows a quick and easy mouthwash is just as good. We really do believe this one is just a mad craze that will die down quickly!

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