By Stephanie Stahl
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A new trend with claims to be able to cure bad breath, arthritis, hangovers and even whiten teeth. 3 On Your Side Health Reporter Stephanie Stahl explains.
Many doctors are skeptical, but this one is all over social media. A special way to use oil that’s supposed to do wonders.
Gargling and swishing your mouth with oil might sound gross, but it’s supposed to be good for your teeth and gums.
“I think it works really well, and my teeth are whiter so that’s a bonus,” said Anna Datillo, who uses oil.
It’s called oil pulling, gargling with an oil like coconut or sesame for 20 minutes. The oil supposedly pulls toxins from your body when you spit it out.
“Well you know it can’t hurt,” said Dr. Wayne Brueggen, a dentist. He says the oil acts like a natural soap. He hopes the trend helps people improve their overall dental hygiene.
“If you will rinse for 20 minutes, for certain take two minutes to brush and maybe a minute to floss, so I think if it brings our attention to that it’s a very good thing,” said Dr. Brueggen.
In addition to the claims it can improve dental health, some believe oil pulling can also help with everything from arthritis to psoriasis and can even cure a hangover.
Even though there’s no hard science to back up these claims there are plenty of believers.
“Make a commitment to try it for at least three weeks before you see any real benefit,” said Becki O’Brien, who uses oil.
Ideally you’re supposed to swish for 20 minutes, and then it has to be thrown into the trash because the oil can clog pipes.
Also we called the American Dental Association. It doesn’t have an opinion on oil pulling because additional research is needed.