Oil pulling has been an on-and-off staple in my daily routine for quite a few years now. It can be hard to get used to at first, but I recommend it to almost everyone because it is so beneficial for health. It is also the absolute best way to naturally whiten your teeth!
What is Oil Pulling?
Oil pulling involves swishing a tablespoon of oil in your mouth for 20-minutes a day to remove bacteria, detoxify the body and support oral hygiene. It actually originated in ancient India as an Ayurvedic dental technique used to ‘purify’ the body by pulling out toxins through the soft tissue of the mouth and gums.
You can think of oil pulling as a natural Ayurvedic mouthwash: It gets rid of bacteria, maintains a natural pH in the mouth, freshens breath, prevents infections and even whitens teeth, all without the use of the synthetic chemicals found in products sold at the drug store. It also serves as a mini workout for your facial muscles and jaw!
Benefits of Oil Pulling
Cavity and Gingivitis prevention
Stronger Teeth and Gums
Less Jaw Pain and TMJ pain
How to properly Oil Pull
Oil pulling is most effective first thing in the morning because we actually tend to detoxify through our mouths while we sleep.
As soon as you get out of bed, put one tablespoon of oil in your mouth and set a timer for twenty minutes. Swish the oil continuously for the entire twenty minutes and then spit it into a garbage can.
If you are just starting out, it can be helpful to start by using only a teaspoon of oil and working your way up to the full tablespoon. You can also start by setting your timer for five minutes and slowly working your way up to the full twenty-minute mark.
What type of Oil should be used?
Oil pulling is typically done using Coconut oil or Sesame oil, but any high-quality oil will work, including olive oil and avocado oil.
I personally prefer to use coconut oil because it contains Caprylic acid, which is a natural anti-microbial that kills off bacteria. I also find the taste and texture to be a lot more tolerable!
Things to keep in mind
Oil pulling should always be done on an empty stomach, which is another reason it is best to do it first thing in the morning.
You should never spit the oil down your drain. Spit it in the garbage can to avoid clogging your pipes!
Be careful not to swallow any of the oil while you swish it around in your mouth. It acts as a sponge by absorbing bacteria and toxins which we definitely don’t want to ingest!
Oil Pulling & Healing Crises
Since oil pulling is a form of detoxification, it is not uncommon to experience symptoms of a ‘Healing Crisis’ within the first few days. A healing crisis occurs when large amounts of toxins are drawn out from the tissues and you begin to feel worse before you feel better. Symptoms typically only last a few days and include headaches, nausea, fatigue and brain fog. A healing crisis is nothing to be concerned about but if the symptoms are too severe it might be a good idea to take a break.
Oil Pulling & Teeth Whitening
I personally find that oil pulling on it's own does an amazing job of brightening my teeth (literally within 1 - 2 weeks) but if you are looking for some 'extra' whitening, try adding a bit of activated charcoal powder!