Coconut oil craze - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Coconut oil craze

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In the last few months coconut oil has burst on the scene.

People are drinking it, cooking with it, and using it for health benefits.

Some people are even using it for their teeth.

Oil pulling has been around for thousands of years, but just became popular again.

Is it beneficial?

We all know the routine for good oral health.

But what about using coconut oil on our pearly whites?

"Oil pulling is where people are taking coconut oil and putting it in their mouth letting it liquefy and getting into a situation where they're rinsing after about 20 minutes," said Dietitian Kristen Sousek.

"The theory is that the oil will pick up the bacteria and after you swish it you can spit out the oil with the bacteria to make the mouth healthier," explained Dentist Kris McKinney.

Websites say it'll whiten your smile, get rid of bad breath, help with sinus problems, along with a long list of other benefits.

But professionals aren't completely sold on the idea.

Sousek said coconut oil is a saturated fat, which can be a problem in it self, "Whether you're cooking, baking, substituting, putting it in your mouth, whatever you're doing with it, we still want to make sure that you're not overdoing, that it's all in moderation."

McKinney said it won't harm you to swish, but there aren't many studies to back all those benefits.

"The best studies say it's probably equivalent to a mouthwash. You can swish oil for 10 to 20 minutes in your mouth or you can swish mouth wash for 30 seconds," he explained.

He said it could make your grin a little brighter, just because you're teeth have less bacteria and plaque.

"If your teeth are discolored from that, brushing and flossing would remove that, but the oil pulling would remove that as well," said McKinney.

Even though the science isn't completely behind it, that hasn't stopped Regina Osborn from using coconut oil for lots of things.

"I've been doing really good my energy is up, I can run after my little grand kids that I baby sit for, I feel better, I sleep better," she said.

Including oil pulling.

"I know a lot of people dispute what it does, but there's that many people who swear by it," Osborn said.

She swishes for 20 minutes, once a day.

"You know how when you first get your teeth cleaned and polished at the dentist and they have that smooth feeling, I feel that all the time," she explained.

And she loves it.

"If I try it and it works for me, then it's good for me. And it's just like anything else, some things are good for one person and not good for another. So you kind of have to play with it and figure out what's right for you," Osborn said.

If you do decide to try oil pulling, do not spit it down the drain because it will become a solid again causing plumbing problems.

Instead spit it down the drain.

Doctor McKinney added swishing with water for 20 minutes could give you similar results as swishing with coconut oil.

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