Let me just start off by saying that when I first heard about oil pulling, I thought, "I am pretty green, pretty crunchy, very open-minded about natural living, but this is just crazy!"
Now, I am oil pulling every day. (and so is my hubby) Ha!
So, what caused me to change my mind?
Let's start at the beginning...
What is oil pulling?
Oil pulling or oil swishing is a traditional folk remedy that involves swishing oil in your mouth. Although scientific evidence is lacking to support any systemic benefits of oil pulling (like most healthy things - no scientific evidence, blah, blah, blah), some studies have suggested that it may reduce oral plaque, bad breath, and gingivitis. (For references, click here)
In answer to one of our reader's questions, "Do dentists recommend this?" Probably not. First of all, they probably don't know about it, unless they have an interest in healing teeth naturally. If you go to a Naturopathic dentist, then the answer may be yes. However, I highly suggest you try to fill them in about it, because if more dentists did recommend this, we'd all have a lot healthier mouths.
How do you do it?
- You take a tablespoon or so of oil - sesame oil, sunflower oil, coconut oil or even olive oil, and you swish it in your mouth like mouthwash for 20 minutes. You want to do this on an empty stomach, so I do it first thing when I wake up in the morning.
- When you finish your 20 minutes of swishing, (do not swallow the oil because it is drawing toxins, bits of food and other nasties out of your mouth) spit it out in the trash can. I was spitting it out in the sink, and I got an earful from my plumber husband about how bad that is for the pipes.
- When your mouth is empty, I recommend brushing your teeth with some more coconut oil and baking soda (or you can just use regular natural toothpaste). After brushing for awhile to get rid of any remaining gunk, spit it all out.
- Ahhhh...run your tongue all over teeth and feel how AMAZINGLY clean your teeth feel - BETTER than any cleaning your dentist gives you!
- I recommend using coconut oil. That is what I have experience with, and I use it for many reasons. Coconut oil is naturally antibacterial and has a milder taste than the other oils. Make sure you use a cold pressed, organic coconut oil like Edible Haven. It makes a huge difference when you are using high quality oils. During colder months, the coconut oil will be solid, but after you swish it around a bit in your mouth, it will turn liquid.
- Start out with a small amount of oil and build from there to a tablespoon or two. Some people need to develop the muscles that help them swish. If you start out with a small amount, you won't have to work so hard to swish it around.
- Don't give up! It is worth it, and let me tell you why...
Yes! Before I started oil pulling I had noticed three things going on in my mouth I wanted to change:
- A little staining or enamel wearing away on my four top front teeth.
- Sensitivity in the back right side of my mouth
- Off and on pain on one of my molars that I thought may be a small cavity
- The staining is completely gone off two of the four teeth I mentioned above. The staining on the remaining two teeth is almost completely gone also.
- I haven't noticed any real change in the sensitivity issue.
- The pain in my molar seems to have lessened, at least I haven't felt it in a long time.
- I have also noticed something else that many people say they also notice, which is stronger immunity. There have been several times I have been amidst a lot of sick people for extended periods of time, thinking I was going to get sick, for sure. Nope. In fact, I can only remember once that I got a bit of runny nose and sore throat.
- And let's not forget how clean my teeth feel all day and night long! Less plaque buildup means less cavities and happy teeth!
Basically, when you break it all down, my question is "Why not try it?" What have you got to lose? (Besides a LOT of plaque and toxins)
Any other questions? If you are already a fan of oil pulling, have you noticed any benefits?