'Oil Pulling' Gaining In Popularity As A Form Of Oral Care

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UPDATED: Thursday March 20, 2014 5:41 PM

Over the last few weeks, a coconut jar has made its way out of Thomas McClure’s kitchen and into the bathroom.

He is trying out the latest trend in oral care.   "I saw it on Facebook and I have coconut oil and we use it for healthier eating, but I never thought about putting it in my mouth."

It's called oil pulling.   A natural method of mouth cleaning that comes with a lot of promises: whiter teeth, better breath and more energy.   Benefits that McClure says were worth a daily teaspoon of oil.

"The texture is fine.  After it's in your mouth for a few minutes, it becomes more liquid and less oil."

Dozens of videos on YouTube and Facebook explain how to do it.  And they're getting a lot of views.  In one video, we're told to swish the oil for 20 minutes, and be careful not to swallow it.

"It is difficult to gargle for 20 minutes, but I guess if you're doing something around the house, cleaning, ironing clothes, it goes by really quickly," says McClure.

10TV showed some of the tutorials to Dr. Missy Baker of The Gentle Dentist to get a professional opinion on the new trend.

However, after watching the videos, Dr. Baker says the oil just isn't enough remove plaque and bacteria.  "I feel like your mouth would be super tired after all of that.  If it makes you feel good, great - but it can't replace brushing flossing and using a mouth rinse like Listerine."

But for Thomas McClure, he says oil pulling made him feel good, giving him more energy and better breath.  "I think the less chemicals I can put in my body and expose my body too, the better."

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