A lot of hubbub has been going around recently about coconut oil pulling, so it made me curious. After doing some reading, I was pretty amazed by the effects of coconut oil on oral health. So today on OiB, I would like to introduce the awesomeness of coconut oil, because you might be skeptical about this trend like I was once.
What is Oil Pulling?
As explained on WebMD, oil pulling is a “type of Ayurvedic medicine that dates back 3,000 years… [that] involves swishing approximately 1 tablespoon of oil—typically coconut, sesame, or sunflower oil—in your mouth for about 20 minutes and then spitting it out.” The idea behind oil pulling is that the oils detoxify the oral cavity by drawing out toxins to create a clean, antiseptic environment.
Benefits of Oil Pulling
A study in 2015 looked into the benefits of coconut oil pulling and the effects it has on plaque-related gingivitis. At the end of the 30 day period where the participants swished coconut oil, the results showed a “statistically significant decrease in the plaque and gingival indices” that was noted since day 7. The “scores continued to decrease during the period of study,” reports the head researcher.
The Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine published a full report on oil pulling in 2016 that details the following benefits:
- Prevents dental cavities
- Improves overall oral hygiene
- Decreases oral microbial count (the lauric acid in coconut oil is great for this)
- Reduces the stickiness of plaque
- Reduces gingivitis
- Decreases halitosis (bad breath)
- Swishing strengthens the mouth and jaw muscles
- Whitens teeth
Pretty cool, right? After reading the the studies, I could not wait to try it.
How To Pull Oil
Okay, first, let me just say that while 20 minutes of swishing is how the ancients did it, you do not have to. Next, remember to buy organic, non-GMO coconut oil for maximum results.
Here is how I like to do oil pulling:
- Pour 1-2 teaspoons of coconut oil into your mouth (either with a spoon or from a medicine cup). Some people recommendto dothis right in the morning before drinking or eating, but I say whenever it works best for you.
- Swish for 5-20 minutes. Because 20 minutes is a long time, aim for around 10 minutes to receive the benefit.
- Go slow. Gentle swishing and sucking the oil through and around the teeth is all you need.
- Do not swallow. Spit the oil out in atrash can. Never spit it down the sink, because the oil will clog the pipes.
- Immediately rinse your mouth out with same warm sea salt water.
- Brush and floss as normal.
I was skeptical about coconut oil pulling at first, but I am astounded by the results. That is why I wanted to share my thoughts and findings with you today on OiB. If you have tried coconut oil pulling before, feel free to share your experiences!
Coconut Oil Pulling