What the heck is Oil Pulling?
Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic dental technique that involves swishing oil in the mouth for a short period of time. The oil can cut through plaque and remove toxins without disturbing the teeth or gums.
Benefits of Oil Pulling
The reported benefits include:
- Whiter teeth
- Stronger teeth and gums
- Helps with bleeding gums
- Cavity and gingivitis prevention
- Better breath
- Alleviation of headaches & hangovers
- Helps ease the symptoms of acne/ eczema/ psoriasis/ & other skin care issues.
- Helps clear sinuses
Does Oil Pulling Work?
Personally, I’ve tried oil pulling for a week just because and I’d say my teeth and gums were happy. My mom swears I got my teeth whitened so that’s a plus. Oil pulling is inexpensive and can be beneficial, plus it has no downside as long as a quality oil (that is high enough quality to eat) is used and it is done correctly.
How to Oil Pull
Swish a tablespoon of either coconut or sesame oil in the mouth for 20 minutes and then spits it out and rinses well. Oil pulling is best done in the morning, before eating or drinking anything, though Dr. Bruce Fife suggests that it can be done before each meal if needed for more severe infections or dental problems.
Oil Pulling Instructions
Put 1 tablespoon of oil into the mouth.The oil traditionally used in oil pulling is organic sesame oil, and this is also the oil that has been the most studied for use in oil pulling. This can also be done with coconut oil, which is naturally antibacterial and has a milder taste that other oils. Anyone with a sensitivity to coconut oil or coconut products should avoid using coconut oil in this way.
Swish (push and pull through teeth) for 20 minutes. Apparently the timing is key, according to Dr. Bruce Fife, author of Oil Pulling Therapy, as this is long enough to break through plaque and bacteria but not long enough that the body starts re-absorbing the toxins and bacteria. The oil will get thicker and milky as it mixed with saliva during this time and it should be creamy-white when spit out. It will also double in volume during this time due to saliva. At first, it can be difficult to make it the full 20 minutes, and I didn’t stress if I could only swish for 5-10 minutes when I first started.
Spit oil into the trash can. Don’t spit into the sink! The oil may thicken and clog pipes. Do not swallow the oil as it is hopefully full of bacteria, toxins and pus that are now not in the mouth!
Rinse well with warm water. Warm water seems to clean the mouth better (my opinion). I swish a few times with warm water to get any remaining oil out of my mouth. Some sources recommend swishing with warm salt water.
Brush well. Natural toothpaste is preferred.
Have you ever tried Oil Pulling? What was your experience? Share below!