I first heard about oil pulling a little over a year ago. I thought to myself, whiter teeth, fresher breath, and health benefits? Sign me up!
So I tried it.
I don’t know if it’s just me, but I definitely wasn’t accustomed to swishing coconut oil around in my mouth for 20 minutes. And just like that I fell off the oil-pulling bandwagon and it became a distant thought. Over the next year or so I dabbled occasionally, but never truly committed for long enough to see results.
That is until this past month! I’m happy to tell you that it’s almost (yes, almost!) become a part of my daily routine.
What is Oil Pulling?
Originating in India, oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic practice.
It is the act of swishing oil around in your mouth anywhere from 5-20 minutes, usually first thing in the morning when you have the most bacteria in your mouth. Coconut oil is an anti-bacterial and it is able to reduce plaque and remove toxins contributing to an improved oral health.
Oil pulling is usually done using coconut oil or sesame oil. I have always used coconut oil because it is a natural antibacterial, and is loaded with vitamins (is there anything coconut oil can’t do!?). So naturally coconut oil seems to be the best match for this practice.
Benefits of Oil Pulling
Oil pulling is one of those things that many people swear by, but there is a lack of deep scientific evidence. It is deemed safe, but there is a debate on how effective it actually is. Although there must be more research done on the practice, I’ve personally noticed benefits and many others have as well. It won’t hurt you to try it!
Naturally, coconut oil makes a perfect natural replacement for mouthwash. It is able to cut through plaque and reach all of the crevices that brushing can’t reach.
After implementing oil pulling into my routine i’ve noticed my teeth feel cleaner, look brighter and my gums are less sensitive. I’ve also noticed that my breath does in fact feel fresher.
How To Oil Pull
Take a tablespoon (or less if you find the idea repulsive. It takes some getting used to.) of coconut oil and place it into your mouth. Swish gently while multi-tasking for 5-20 minutes. If you find this hard at first then start small and increase as you become more accustomed. It shouldn’t be hard if you like coconut.
I’ve also heard of people combining the coconut oil with an essential oil like peppermint, but I’ve never given it a try.
Once you’re finished swishing, spit it out (not into the toilet or sink because it could clog once hardened) into the garbage and swish some water around and spit that out!
If you’ve tried oil pulling or want to, leave me a comment below and let me know your thoughts!
HV Amith, Anil V Ankola, L Nagesh. Effect of Oil Pulling on Plaque and Gingivitis. Journal of Oral Health & Community Dentistry: 2007; 1(1):Pages 12-18
Peedikayil, F. C., Sreenivasan, P., & Narayanan, A. (2015). Effect of coconut oil in plaque related gingivitis — A preliminary report. Nigerian Medical Journal : Journal of the Nigeria Medical Association, 56(2), 143–147. http://doi.org/10.4103/0300-1652.153406
*I am not a medical professional of any sorts, I can only speak from personal experience.