In that past few years, you may have come across the term, oil pulling. It’s become one of the most prevalent techniques in regards to battling plaque, general tooth decay, bacterial overgrowth, and general oral health. We’ve thrown together an expert guide on how to oil pull along with some of the best oils to do it with.
Let’s get started…
What is oil pulling?
Oil pulling has been a growing trend in the world of oral hygiene for quite some time now. You may not know the exact details about oil pulling yet, but it is a technique that many people have been using over the years to help promote oral health and efficiently prevent tooth decay.
The process may seem like a strange idea when you first consider it but trust me… it’s not that strange after you actually try it.
In fact, there are many benefits you attain by adding coconut oil pulling to your regular oral regimen.
Primarily as a replacement for your regular mouthwash.
Oil pulling is a traditional oral health technique used to remove an excess amount of unwanted elements and harmful substances from your teeth and gums.
Requiring natural substances, such as natural oils, the actual pulling technique is not harmful (unless allergic to said oil) and helps improve overall oral hygiene and health.
Not only that – but the process of oil pulling removes a substantial amount of harmful bacteria infestations that build orally on a daily basis.
How to do oil pulling
Despite the strange name, oil pulling is actually quite simple. In this article, we’re referencing coconut oil. (my favorite)
I’ll get into the process more in-depth below, but when oil pulling, you basically place a small amount of oil in your mouth and swish it around.
The swishing motion allows the oil to pull harmful toxins and bacteria away from your teeth and gums.
You want to do this in a start-stop motion.
You can try to swish as long as you want but trust me; it starts to get tiring.
Again, it is recommended you use a natural oil. Oil pulling is often recommended as a replacement for over the counter mouthwash. (which is full of harmful chemicals)
After swishing several rounds of oil, you then want to spit everything out.
DO NOT SWALLOW.
Rinse, and repeat till you feel your mouth has been thoroughly cleaned and pulled.
Benefits of oil pulling with coconut oil
Oil pulling, especially with coconut oil, actually has a wide range of benefits to your overall oral health.
After oil pulling, you will discover oils will bind to the biofilm, or plaque, that has been developing on the surface of your teeth.
When this process happens, you will find the plaque is more accessible to remove from the mouth, but also that the unhealthy bacteria in your mouth have been reduced as a result.
Keep in mind, bacteria and plaque are significant contributors to tooth decay and cavities.
The frequent process of oil pulling for teeth can help avoid and eradicate any/all tooth decay that results from free sitting plaque and bacteria.
Again, coconut oil is probably what I would recommend. It also doesn’t taste bad, which is nice.
Oil pulling benefits on the whole body
Many have claimed that coconut oil pulling can help with a wide variety of ailments from acne to sore throats.
There are even some individuals claiming they overcame heart disease from coconut oil pulling.
However, there are no confirmed studies that have come to any conclusive results on that matter yet.
Nonetheless, I believe caring for your dental and oral health can indeed have benefits for the rest of your body as well.
Regular coconut oil pulling reduces a large number of harmful bacteria along with mitigating strong inflammatory effects that could reach other parts of your system.
Benefits of Oil pulling with Olive Oil
Aside from coconut oil, olive oil has often been used for oil pulling. While I’m not a huge fan of the taste, unless mixed with balsamic, it does work.
Note: DO NOT SWISH ANY TYPE OF VINEGAR IN YOUR TEETH (THAT WAS A JOKE)
Olive oil pulling works in the same exact way. However, I recommend coconut oil for the more trustworthy manufacturing, organic traits, and taste.
It’s honestly your call. I wouldn’t tell you not to try it.
Oil Pulling with Coconut Oil Side Effects
There aren’t many side effects of coconut oil pulling. To be honest, it’s one of the most noninvasive oral practices you can do.
However, some individuals with certain allergies to coconut, or any oil your using, should not be using it for oil pulling.
That part should be obvious.
Other than that – coconut oil pulling seems pretty harmless. I will tell you, the actual motion of pulling too much a swishing can actually cause some strain on the jaw and mouth. If you’re consistently working them for a long period of time, you’re going to get some general soreness.
Especially the following morning.
Oral Hygiene Doesn’t End With Oil Pulling
Just because you’ve added a general regimen of oil pulling to your daily routine doesn’t mean that you should stop focusing on other areas of oral hygiene.
It’s imperative that you continue to brush your teeth and floss on a general basis.
Many individuals make the poor mistake of thinking that oil pulling can be used to replace brushing and flossing.
Oil pulling should be used as a healthy addition to your general routine. Not as a replacement.
To remind you… along with oil pulling, you should be brushing and flossing your teeth at least TWICE per day.
Note: If you do have any allergies, it’s important to discuss which oils may work best with your doctor and/or dentist before adding oil pulling to your daily routine.
What is the best oil for oil pulling?
Traditionally, sesame oils or sunflower oils have been used for oil pulling, but coconut oil has many extra benefits you should consider if you want to try adding oil pulling to your routine.
Coconut oil is extremely effective in dealing with Streptococcus Mutans, a specific bacteria known to increase the occurrence of cavities in the mouth.
It’s crucial you focus on reducing the appearance of this bacteria in your mouth as much as possible.
Streptococcus Mutans is one of the leading and most harmful bacteria that contribute to widespread tooth decay affecting the entire mouth.
There are no scientific studies about the differences between coconut oil, sesame seed oil, or sunflower oil for pulling, but in my experience, coconut oil is better for plaque removal and whitening.
Ok – can you explain the process in how you actually use coconut oil for oil pulling?
As you may have already picked up, the process isn’t arduous, but let’s take a moment to go through the process to make sure it makes sense.
Here’s How You Do It
Start with 1 to 2 teaspoons of coconut oil and place it in your mouth. You may need to let it warm up in your mouth depending on how hard the oil might be at the time you use it.
Once the oil is liquified, you will want to swish the liquid in your mouth for up to 20 minutes depending on how long you can manage.
However, the ultimate goal is to reach 20 minutes. This will give you the maximum results and keep your body from reabsorbing any toxins or bacteria back into your body.
You will find that you will notice more liquid in your mouth as you swish because you will be adding saliva to the mixture.
Once you are done, you will want to spit the liquid in your mouth into the trash.
I don’t recommend spitting it out into your sink or toilet because oil can often cause detrimental and expensive problems with your plumbing.
Keep in mind… while the oil may be liquid in your mouth, once it cools down again, it will harden just like it did before.
When this happens, the oil can clog your pipes. Especially if it has the chance to build up over time.
Anyway, be sure to rinse out your mouth. Warm water is best since it will help to keep the oil soft.
You might want to include some salt in the warm water if you have difficulty with remaining oil in your mouth.
Be sure to brush your teeth after you swish to make sure that ALL bacteria has been thoroughly cleaned off.
Other Options for Oil Pulling
If the thought of scooping or pulling oil in your mouth is kind of weird, you can always make some of my famous coconut oil chews.
The process is straightforward, and you’ll be able to store the chews for an incredibly long time for later use.
You basically portion out the coconut oil into an ice cube tray. Do not fill the entire cube in the tray unless you want to choke on it.
The idea is to fill a half an inch in each pocket of the tray. After adequately filling the tray, you want to place it in the freezer and allow each chew to solidify.
When finished, you can carefully scoop and place each chew into a plastic bag for further use.
I usually throw together around 30 chews.
This process makes the habit of coconut oil pulling much more consistent. And personally, the cool chew feels really good.
If you do get into oil pulling, trying these chews is a MUST!
Which Coconut Oil is Best?
Is pulling with coconut oil the best option for you?
I get it. The idea of coconut oil pulling is actually pretty weird. But as you’ve learned above, it has a ton of amazing benefits for your oral health.
Not to mention, it’s one of the easiest and most beneficial things you can do for you mouth.
After building the habit of oil pulling, you may find yourself addicted to the process. It’s easy, fun, and your dentist will be begging you what you’ve done to keep your teeth so clean the next time you visit him/her for your dentist appointment.
While coconut oil isn’t for everyone, I definitely recommend giving it a try.
There is absolutely nothing to lose, and it’s a great replacement if you use over the counter mouthwash on a regular basis to take care of your oral health.