Your feed on social media is full of ads. One minute you’re looking up pulpal necrosis on Google and the next, a plush, personalized, toothpaste subscription box is asking for your email on Instagram. As a dental student, you can’t help but be skeptical of these products and the broad claims they make.
Many are familiar with the adage: “Cheap, fast or good … you can only pick two.” However, a fourth term is creeping into the conversation: natural. From juice cleanses to raw water, many American products are being marketed as chemical-free, untreated or pure. Dentistry, of course, has not been immune to these influences. Two of the most popular trends among patients are charcoal toothpaste and oil pulling. While it is easy to jump to conclusions regarding the safety and efficacy of these techniques, one must consider whether there is science supporting their use.
The topic of oil pulling usually sparks the same types of responses:
“What type of oil?”
Yes, oil pulling. The act of oil pulling involves the user placing a teaspoon to a tablespoon of their choice of oil in their mouth and gently swishing it around for 20 minutes. The term “pulling” is referring to the medicinal action of the oil “pulling” out toxins and bacteria from the user’s blood stream. Keep reading to learn more about this health craze!