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More people turning to new trend for whiter teeth

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Courtesy: NBC News

Forget whitening strips and special toothpaste, the answer to a brighter smile might be in the baking aisle at the grocery store.

More people are turning to a new trend called “oil pulling” for help whitening their teeth.

Candace Ebbinghaus, who practices oil pulling, says she does it everyday.

Ebbinghaus said, “I’ve had some good benefits from it.”

The way “oil pulling” works is, you take coconut oil, scoop out a tablespoon, and start swishing.

Unless you melt the coconut oil ahead of time, it will be solid at room temperature.

Ebbinghaus said, “It’s kind of gross but you just chew it and then it melts.”

After putting the coconut oil in your mouth, swish it around for 15 to 20 minutes and then spit it out.

Ebbinghaus said, “It’s supposed to pull the toxins out of your body.”

Oil pulling is a relatively new hot topic, but it dates back to ancient Indian culture.

The theory is the oil should get the bacteria to cling to it as you swish it around your mouth.

When you spit out the oil, you get rid of toxins and whiten your teeth.

Dentist Christine Tenaglia says there is no proof this theory actually works.

“There’s no proof that says that it’s gonna work. It’s just by testimonial,” said Tenaglia.  “Some people say, oh it works great. Well, I don’t know. But the jury’s still out and I would say give it a try. The oil pulling is certainly not going to hurt you.”

Oil pulling is not a substitute for regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups.

If you try it, make sure you spit the oil into the garbage can, not the sink.  The coconut oil will solidify and can clog your pipes.