Written by: Bonnie Feldman, DDS, MBA, Kelsey Ouyang, Ishita Dubey, Ellen M. Martin
We have frequently heard this bumper-sticker quote, “Do what you love, and you will never have to work another day,” but can we apply this sentiment beyond the workplace to oral care? Here to prove that we can–Dr. Ginger’s products show us that oral health can be fun and delicious!
An idea that came from listening to her patients
For 35 years, Dr. Ginger Price has been a clinical dentist, who loved going to work knowing that she was helping others. Then about 5 or 6 years ago, her patients began asking her about oil-pulling, so she started researching and “found that there were no oral care products on the marketplace that had coconut oil as the key component.” Therefore, she created her company, Dr. Ginger’s.
What is oil pulling?
Oil pulling is an Ayurvedic method that involves swishing a tablespoon of oil around your mouth for about 15 to 20 minutes in order to remove toxins and reduce the number of bacteria.
Several studies have supported the benefits oil pulling claims. In one study, researchers observed a 20% reduction in bacterial count after 40 days of oil pulling using sesame oil, as well as a reduction in the severity of dental caries (1). Another study showed a statistically significant reduction of plaque and gingival indices among adolescents with plaque-induced gingivitis (3). Singla et. al. observed a significant reduction in the average count of harmful bacteria S. mutans and Lactobacillus in saliva. Additionally, they found a reduction in the plaque scores and gingival scores in 32 subjects upon gum massage using sesame oil, olive oil, and coconut oil (6).
How does it work?
Some claim that the oil moisturizes the gums, increasing saliva production and activating salivary enzymes, which can absorb various toxins, including chemical, environmental, and bacterial toxins, that are then removed from the body through the tongue (4).
Others posit that oil coats the teeth, which inhibits bacterial growth and aggregation (i.e. biofilms). And some further note that oil attracts the lipid bilayer of bacterial cell membranes, which allows the bacteria to be flushed out after swishing (4).
Benefits of Oil Pulling
Regardless of the exact mechanism oil pulling uses to reduce bacterial cell count, it is a beneficial practice, since too much bacteria in the mouth can create plaque. While having plaque on our teeth is not abnormal, excessive amounts can have harmful effects, including gum inflammation, cavities, and periodontal diseases (2).
What ingredients go into Dr. Ginger’s products?
All of Dr. Ginger’s products feature the key ingredient: coconut oil. Combining coconut oil with other natural ingredients, Dr. Ginger has worked with her team to develop clinically proven formulas that provide many natural benefits. Her addition of antimicrobial agents such as xylitol, white charcoal, and zinc chloride has transformed a typical 15-minute oil-pulling process to a quick 2-minute swish or brush.
Additionally, Dr. Ginger’s products avoid the use of unhealthy ingredients such as fluoride, peroxide, alcohol, sugar, and artificial dyes or sweeteners. Therefore, customers can be confident that they are only consuming high-quality and non-toxic ingredients.
So what do we think?
Our entire team, though we have tried a multitude of other products, was immediately impressed by the design of Dr. Ginger’s products, especially knowing that her “own son worked on the branding and packaging”. It seemed that even the look was designed with “fun” in mind!
For coconut lovers, these products, which have a slightly sweet coconut taste, are definitely a must-buy! However, even if you are not fond of coconut, the coconut taste is quite mild and has an accompanying minty flavor.
Fresh Breath, Clean Teeth, and Other Thoughts
After brushing with the coconut oil toothpaste for two minutes, I was impressed by how clean my teeth felt – almost like I had just come out a visit with my dental hygienist. In spite of my not preferring coconut flavors, the mint left me with fresh breath. Additionally, I was excited to continue using these products knowing that the ingredients are safe and healthy!
Don’t just take our word for it!
Some customers have noted that Dr. Ginger’s products have been a miracle! Before using Dr. Ginger’s, one customer tried many different products but was sensitive to all of the brands and found brushing to be a painful experience. After finding Dr. Ginger’s toothpaste, she discovered she could brush without pain, as some of the ingredients such as xylitol help with sensitivity and mineral rebuilding.
Some others are most impressed with the flavor and have also noticed whiter teeth. Many have tried a multitude of other natural oral care products but stopped using them because of the abhorrent taste. Preaching Dr. Ginger’s own mission, customers claim that these products are pleasant to taste, making brushing and swishing into routines that they look forward to every day.
What’s Next for Dr. Ginger’s?
Dr. Ginger hopes to continue improving the formulas so that all of her products provide natural benefits and make oral care more enjoyable for customers. She also intends to expand as she notes that they have “a whole line of products they plan to release, including a dry mouth spray and tooth powder.” Overall, we see great potential for these products to help in the reimagination of oral care and hygiene, and thereby total body wellness and autoimmune care!
- Anand T.D., Pothiraj C., Gopinath R.M., Kayalvizhi B. Effect of oil-pulling on dental caries causing bacteria. Afr J Microbiol Res. 2008;2:63–66.
- Kriebel, Katja, et al. “Oral Biofilms from Symbiotic to Pathogenic Interactions and Associated Disease–Connection of Periodontitis and Rheumatic Arthritis by Peptidylarginine Deiminase.” Frontiers in microbiology 9 (2018): 53.
- Peedikayil, Faizal C., Prathima Sreenivasan, and Arun Narayanan. “Effect of coconut oil in plaque related gingivitis—A preliminary report.” Nigerian medical journal: journal of the Nigeria Medical Association 56.2 (2015): 143.
- Shanbhag, Vagish Kumar L. “Oil pulling for maintaining oral hygiene–A review.” Journal of traditional and complementary medicine 7.1 (2017): 106-109.
- Singh, Abhinav, and Bharathi Purohit. “Tooth brushing, oil pulling and tissue regeneration: A review of holistic approaches to oral health.” Journal of Ayurveda and integrative medicine 2.2 (2011): 64.
- Singla, Nishu, et al. “Effect of oil gum massage therapy on common pathogenic oral microorganisms-A randomized controlled trial.” Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology 18.4 (2014): 441.