Oil Pulling

Oil pulling is a subject several patients have asked about in the past few weeks.  To learn  more about the topic we gathered information by searching “oil pulling oral” on Pub Med and here is what we found:

Oil pulling is a technique that is associated with the practice of Ayurveda, which is a traditional natural system of medicine in India that has been practiced for thousands of years.

The process of oil pulling consists of swishing (sipping, sucking, and pulling), but NOT swallowing, an edible oil (the studies that we read used sesame oil) for 20 minutes.  Oil pulling is completed with the intent of preventing tooth decay, bad breath, and gingivitis (gum inflammation).

One study found that oil pulling can reduce the amount of Streptococcus mutans (the primary bacteria linked to tooth decay) in the mouth after 1-2 weeks of daily use.  The study found that there are other mouthrinses that reduce bacterial counts more rapidly than oil pulling.

While oil pulling has recently resurfaced in social media, keep in mind it is not a substitute for good brushing and flossing or for daily fluoride exposure!

Source:  Asokan S, Rathan J, Muthu M S, Rathna PV, Emmadi P, Raghuraman, Chamundeswari. Effect of oil pulling on Streptococcus mutans count in plaque and saliva using Dentocult SM Strip mutans test: A randomized, controlled, triple-blind study. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent [serial online] 2008 [cited 2014 Mar 24];26:12-7. Available from: http://www.jisppd.com/text.asp?2008/26/1/12/40315

We are on Facebook!

Check out Great River Dentistry’s new Facebook page at:


Pregnant Dental Patients- here is some encouragement!


Health groups spread the word that dental care is safe and necessary during pregnancy.  Click on the link below for more information.


Bemidji Mission of Mercy

Thank you to all who participated, whether as volunteers or patients!  I was moved by the willingness of my neighbors to become involved in my profession to help our neighbors. There were many instances of patients that turned around and volunteered.  That is a testament to living as a village! Thank you for caring for one another!  Incase you missed the numbers: 1,652 patient encounters, 6,879 procedures accomplished, $961,724 worth of dental care provided. Thanks again!  Doug

Mission of Mercy

There are numerous opportunities for participation in the upcoming Bemidji MnMOM (Minnesota Mission of Mercy).  The greatest need at this time is for volunteers to escort patients to and from treatment areas. It is easy (you will receive great instructions) and fun (you will meet new people) and you will be serving others!  Go to mndental.org now to sign up for June 13,14 and/or 15! See you there!

Great River Dentistry Welcomes Dr. Willams-Furfaro to its Practice

GRD_123 (1)

Great River Dentistry is proud to announce the addition of Dr. Baret Williams-Furfaro, daughter of dentist, Dr. Doug Williams, to its Bemidji practice.

Dr. Williams-Furfaro joins the practice after completing a 12-month postdoctoral residency program at the VA Medical Center in Minneapolis. Prior to this, she received a Bachelor’s degree in Biology, graduating Summa Cum Laude from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, earning her DDS degree from the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry in May 2011. Dr. Williams-Furfaro is excited about applying her expanded knowledge of dentistry and years of professional development to further offer Great River Dentistry’s expanded services to the Bemidji area.

“I am excited to follow in my father’s footsteps by continuing to serve the Bemidji region with the exceptional care patients have come to know and deserve,” said Dr. Williams-Furfaro.

For more information about Great River Dentistry’s practice or to make an appointment, click here!