A Family Dentist Says It’s Time to Try This Unique Oral Health Practice
Brush your teeth, floss every day, and swish around mouthwash. This is what your family dentist would call a healthy oral routine. But did you know that there’s something more you can be doing for optimal oral health. More and more citizens of the world are trying something called oil pulling, an ancient practice used to optimize the health of the teeth and gums. But what is oil pulling? And does it actually work?
What is Oil Pulling?
Healthline says that oil pulling is “an ancient practice that involves swishing oil in your mouth to remove bacteria and promote oral hygiene. It is often associated with Ayurveda, the traditional medicine system from India.” It sounds a bit strange, but Eastern cultures have been practicing oil pulling for centuries. More and more Westerners are trying it out for the first time.
If you want to give it a try on top of your normal oral health practices, here’s what you do. Take a spoonful (about ½ – 1 tablespoon) of oil and swish it around in your mouth for 15 to 20 minutes. You can do this every day or just every once in a while depending on the benefits you’re hoping to see. No matter how often you choose to oil pull, try to do it first thing in the morning before you have eaten anything.
After at least 15 minutes of swishing, you’ll spit the oil out. Try not to spit it out in the sink since this will eventually wreak havoc on your plumbing system. Instead, spit it out in the trash can. Afterwards, swish some clean water, followed by brushing and flossing as you normally would.
What Oils Can Be Used?
There are certain oils that are much better for oil pulling, and certain oils that should be avoided entirely. Using a cheap canola or vegetable can do more harm that good, so don’t just gravitate to the cheapest options. You want a high-quality, preferably organic oil that is cold-pressed and unrefined. Coconut oil works best, but sesame, sunflower, or olive oil are also OK.
Keep in mind that pure coconut oil is often solid at room temperature. Don’t worry though, as soon as you start swishing the oil will de-solidify and melt in your mouth. Never swallow the oil afterwards, always spit it out. The whole idea is for the oil to pull the bacteria and toxins from the mouth as you swish, so it does you no good to swallow it afterwards.
What are the Benefits of Oil Pulling?
The main benefit of oil pulling is to detoxify the mouth. This practice has been proven to pull toxins from the teeth, gums, and tongue and rid them of the body. This is certainly not the only benefit, though. Oil pulling has also been proven to help with sensitivity of the teeth and gums, and it can even remedy bad breath. You might even consider adding a drop of pure peppermint oil for a boost in freshness while you oil pull.