Okay, maybe I am a little late to the party on this one. I came across oil pulling around six months ago and I tried but could not do it. I hate coconut so much, I hate coconut water, milk, anything that tastes like coconut I cannot stand. So, although this health revelation seemed great, for me it was an obstacle.
But before we get into my experience of it lets cover some basics.
What it oil pulling?
Oil pulling is swishing plant oil around in your mouth for an extended period of time (around 20 minutes). It is claimed to help strengthen teeth, whiten teeth and get rid of plaque. It does this by drawing out impurities in the mouth. It is an ancient Ayurveda method.
Does it really work?
Unfortunately, there is very little scientific research around the area. There are many people who preach this method and believe it is the holy grail. It is also great for those practicing a zero waste lifestyle and those wishing to avoid harsh chemicals that can be found in mouth wash. One article states that the coconut oil makes a great organic substitute for mouthwash due to its anti-fungal properties and antioxidant properties from the vitamin E. With the lack of scientific research, taking peoples testimony and persoanl experience is the current best judge.
What are the benefits from oil pulling?
I found this incredibly interesting article which you can read here (and I would recommend reading) which talks about the benefits that you can see from oil pulling.
- Reduces a bacteria (Streptococcus mutans) that is a contributor to tooth decay in the plaque of children.
- Improved gum health, reduced plaque and microorganisms in plqaue in adolescent boys with plaque.
- It is as effetive as mouth was for improving breath and reducing the bacteria that causes it.
- The cleaning action alone, benefits your mouth.
Should you do it?
I would personally recommend giving it a go. I would not suggest that you swap it out for traditional toothpaste however, as I know some people do. I use a herbal toothpaste that is fluoride, paraben and sulphate free which I much prefer using compared to ‘normal’ toothpastes. I brush my teeth as normal and use the coconut oil as a mouthwash beforehand. I think this is a great, alternative way to clean your teeth, especially if you do not like using products that are heavily chemically based. You can use sesame, sunflower or coconut oil. I use coconut oil and made sure I buy organic, virgin coconut oil.
How to oil pull?
I have been doing this daily for two weeks and I do personally, feel a great benefit. I do it in the morning before I eat, if you have the time doing it in the evening as well could be beneficial but I prefer to do it just once a day.
The first time I did it I put in a teaspoon of solid coconut oil and tried to wait for it to melt in my mouth. I gagged and retched and spat it out within five minutes. The taste was too much for me.
The second day I put a teaspoon in the sun and let it melt for a few minutes and the tipped it into my mouth UNDER my tongue. I very gently swished it around my mouth. You do not need to do it rapidly as the aim is to be doing it for 20 minutes. I managed to do it for 20 minutes and spat it into the bin once I was done. I then rinsed my mouth out with water and brushed my teeth as normal.
You shouldn’t spit coconut oil down the drain as it can cause blockages once it solidifies. I would also say to try not to swallow any of the oil. The idea is that the oil is pulling bacteria from your mouth, so to swallow it would mean that the bacteria is going back into your body.
On the third day I put a tablespoon into the microwave, melted it and the poured it under my tongue. This technique works well for me. Keeping it under the tongue lessens the taste and I can easily do it for 20 minutes. The mixture does increase in size overtime as your saliva mixes in with it. My teeth do feel great from it, I feel like they are whiter (I stupidly forgot to take before pictures) and they also rarely feel ‘dirty’ at the end of the day like they used it.
I would suggest giving oil pulling a go and see how you find it. It may not be for some people but I feel like it works well for me.
Let me know in the comments if you have ever tried oil pulling. Is it something that worked for you or not? Thank you for reading this blog post.
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