Healthy Living

22 Hipster Health Trends That Need to Just Stop

Coconut oil and oil pulling

Based on a 3,000-year-old Ayurvedic medicine, oil pulling is a treatment aimed at improving dental health. Its technique involves swishing a tablespoon of oil (usually coconut) in the mouth for about 20 minutes, then spitting it out. The trend claims to promote whitening and to fight against plaque, bad breath, and gingivitis. There are, however, a few caveats that come along with this fad: contrary to what some believe, the oil pulling method is not meant to replace flossing or your entire dental care regimen. Nor can it reverse tooth decay; despite popular opinion, coconut oil is not a miracle cure-all.

Oil pulling is not safe for children, either. If the oil is swallowed and goes down the wrong tube, it can cause lipoid pneumonia. What’s more, there is no strong evidence that the technique can actually displace plaque, and some users have also stated they experienced no whitening effects after trying oil pulling. Medical authorities say this trend isn’t necessarily bad for the teeth, but it is no substitute for tried-and-true flossing and brushing.