Let me introduce you to a simple daily practice that has been used for thousands of years for the maintenance of oral health!
Oil pulling is the Ayurvedic practice of swishing high quality oil around the mouth as a way to remove harmful bacteria and keep it in tip top shape. Think of it as the new mouthwash. Given that the mouth is the gateway to our body, it is important that we do whatever we can to maintain it. Like nutrients from food, bad bacteria can enter the blood through the mouth so it does make sense that lowering the risk could have an impact in other parts of the body. Many people claim that oil pulling has helped them to heal from everything from skin disorders, asthma, chronic headaches, inflammation, liver problems and hormone imbalances!
There are thousands of different types of bacteria in our mouths, they are the little guys that produce plaque! Oil pulling attracts and drastically reduces the amount of bacteria in the mouth that can cause common dental issues like gingivitis, cavities and bad breath.
How does it work?
Put 1-2 teaspoons of organic, cold pressed oil such as coconut, sunflower or sesame into the mouth. It does take a little getting used to, so just keep an open mind. Once its in there close your lips and make sure it doesn’t go down the back of your throat. Start to swish the oil in your mouth using a little force to pull it through the space between your teeth. The oils warm up and mix with the saliva, thinning it out and making it easier to pull. As the oil is swished around the mouth it begins to pull toxins from the saliva, the surfaces of the teeth, gums and tongue, making this a very detoxifying process!
Recent studies have shown the benefits of coconut oil in the prevention of tooth decay. Coconut oil is great because 50% of the fat in coconut oil is comprised of the bacteria killing ingredient called lauric acid. Lauric acid is very well known for its antibacterial and anti-fungal actions as it inhibits Strep mutans that are the primary bacteria that cause tooth decay.
Oil pulling should be done for 20 minutes to get the full benefit. Long enough to pull everything out but not long enough to reabsorb the toxins back into the body. So set your timer!
Oil Pulling Benefits:
- Cleanses and detoxifies mouth and teeth
- Helps prevent bad breath, gingivitis and tooth decay
- Removes harmful bacteria, lessening the load on the immune system
- Whitens teeth naturally without harmful chemicals
- Relieves gum and tooth sensitivity
Some of the other reported benefits beyond the mouth include:
- Migraine relief
- Correcting hormone imbalances
- Reducing inflammation of arthritis
- Aids in the reduction of eczema
- Reduced hangover after alcohol consumption
- Helps detoxify the body of harmful metals and organisms
Oil Pulling Tips:
- Its best to do this first thing in the morning when you wake up on an empty stomach.
- I like to floss first, why not get the big stuff out of the way so the oil can do a deeper clean.
- Most sources say its best to alternate oils to get the full range of benefits. However, my favourite is coconut oil.
- You probably want to do it while you are busy with something else so you don’t think about it too much, I like doing it while I’m making breakfast, cleaning, answering back to emails or showering.
- After you pull for 20 minutes, spit it out into a garbage or toilet. It will clog a sink quickly!
- Rinse your mouth with warm water to clear away any remaining oil.
- Brush teeth after pulling or before if you don’t do it first thing in the morning.
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