Hollywood actresses Gwyneth Paltrow and Shailene Woodley have shared their support of tooth whitening treatment known as ‘oil pulling’, which involves rinsing the mouth out with coconut oil to whiten the teeth and improve oral health.
Gwyneth Paltrow, who is known for her love of natural, healthy living, spoke to E! News about the practice, saying ‘I just started ‘oil pulling’, which is when you swish coconut oil around [in your mouth] for 20 minutes, and it’s supposed to be great for oral health and making your teeth white’
The technique is an ancient Ayurvedic treatment that is thought to strengthen the gums as well as improve the enamel shade. Shailene Woodley, star of the new young-adult film Divergent, described the practice as ‘amazing!’ in an interview with Gloss magazine. The 22-year-old added that ‘it really makes your teeth whiter, because the plaque on your teeth is not water-soluble, its fat soluble.’ The young actress went on to explain that lipids in the oil will dissolve the fat to improve dental health and get rid of the plaque. Most of the time, coconut oil is recommended but Shailene said that she prefers sesame oil.
New York based cosmetic dentist, Dr Marc Lowenberg, told Us Weekly that ‘there’s no downside’ to this treatment and that oil pulling is ‘probably the most harmless natural remedy.’ He added ‘mouthwash makes your breath better for around ten minutes; if [oil pulling] really takes the toxins out of your mouth your breath should stay fresher longer.’