Have you heard of "oil pulling"?
It's the latest craze that some people say is the secret to whiter teeth and a perfect complexion. It's a trend among celebrities that continues to grow, but it's actually nothing new. People in India have done it for 3,000 years.
People are raving about the benefits they get from 20 minutes of swishing oil in their mouths. Devotees say the practice "pulls" toxins and bacteria out of your body and traps them in the oil.
Britney Gordon loves it and swishes oil every day.
"My teeth are definitely whiter,” she said. “It makes your mouth just feel really clean."
WCPO talked to Rebecca McGrane, a health coach, trainer and owner of FIT Montgomery . She teaches a monthly class on essential oils.
"You can see a reduction in your plaque and in your tartar which can lead to your teeth looking whiter," McGrane said.
According to the oil pulling website , you can use a tablespoon of any pure oil. Sesame, olive, coconut and sunflower are the most popular.
McGrane says it's just like training for a marathon - you don't have to start at 20 minutes, you can start small.
"If you start with a smaller amount, and a shorter time … 30 seconds, maybe see how that goes," McGrane said.
Gwyneth Paltrow credits oil pulling for her pearly whites.
"You're also going to be using a lot of facial muscles,” McGrane said. “It's the same muscles you would exercise if you want to have the appearance of a face lift.”
As for the science, there are a few studies that show oil pulling can improve oral health.
McGrane said, "The sesame seed oil and the sunflower seed oil have been clinically proven to reduce tartar and plaque build up."
While it's not a replacement for brushing your teeth, some dentists endorse the practice.
"Our patients are just very impressed. I'm very impressed with the results. We're seeing orally in terms of hygiene in terms of reduced bacteria and improved health in the gums as well too," Dr. Ted Reese said.
Thousands of videos on oil pulling populate YouTube, and people worldwide praise its results. Before you try it, check with your doctor or dentist.
In addition to improving your oral health and skin, it’s been said to help cure tension headaches, migraines, asthma and osteoarthritis.
• If you're going to try this at home make sure you use a "pure" oil.
• After you swish, put it in the thrash or flush it down the toilet.
• Add a drop of an essential oil to help with the taste
• Lavender: tissue repair
• Peppermint: invigoration
• Lemon: anti-fungal