What Is Oil Pulling?
In today’s busy society, people often overlook their dental health, but yet they always wish they had better teeth or a brighter smile. Fortunately, there is something so basic that you can improve your dental health and the best part about it is it is cheap and easy to do!
Oil pulling sounds like some term you might hear coming out of your mechanic’s mouth when have your car looked at, but in actuality, it is a thousand-year-old practice that can dramatically improve your dental health. Today, most people turn to commercial products like mouthwash or ultra-whitening toothpastes. Not to get into too much detail on those products, but the results are extremely over exaggerated and the chemicals in those products can do damage to your health.
Oil pulling can replace those fancy teeth whitening scams and reduce your dentist visits and bills, plus, and most importantly, improve your health and give you that brighter, whiter smile you desire.
So what is oil pulling? In its basic form, oil pulling is using oil as a mouthwash or oral rinse. It is an Ayurveda approach to improving your health. Ayurveda has been around for over 5000 years and its goal is to improve your health by daily routines to prevent disease from manifesting in your body.
The Basics of Oil Pulling
The two best parts about oil pulling are that it is easy to do and it is cheap to do!
Basically, all you need is an oil, such as sunflower, sesame, or coconut. Coconut oil seems to be the most popular of choice right now, but any of the above mentioned oils will work and give you the desired results. Next, take a tablespoon of the oil of your choice and swish around in your mouth for no longer than 20 minutes.
It is recommended that you build up to that 20 minutes. Start with a goal of 5 minutes the first few times you oil pull and slowly add more time until you reach the 20 minutes. We have provided a routine below that will help get you to the 20 minutes gradually.
How To Oil Pull
So now that you have the basic info and setup to oil pulling, committing it to a routine will be beneficial. People that have smaller mouths may have a harder time starting out, so using a little less oil is ok.
Oil pulling is simple, yet it is still an art form that takes time to get used to. Start by swirling oil around the front and back of your mouth and over your tongue. Move the oil toward the back of your throat, making sure not to swallow it. Now the tricky part that takes time to get used to, move the oil between your teeth. This takes some practice and use of jaw muscles you probably are not used to using, but getting between your teeth will drastically increase the benefits of oil pulling. Finally, make sure that you swish the oil around your gums too, as oil pulling will improve your whole oral health if done correctly!
Quick note: you do not want to spit the oil down the drain or toilet because it can create clogging. Instead, spit the oil into a trash bin.
It is not uncommon for your mouth and tongue to feel sore or tired after doing this. This is why it is recommended to start with 5 minutes and build up to the 20 minutes.
Maximize Oil Pulling
There are a few different things you can do before and after oil pulling to help increase the results and prepare yourself better for oil pulling.
- Flossing: just like before brushing, it is best to floss before oil pulling as flossing will help remove particles from between your teeth and gums and help the oil reach deeper.
- Drink water: water will help prepare your teeth for the oil and help your mouth handle the oil easier. Plus, like with any detox (yes oil pulling a detox!) it is important to stay hydrated.
- Eat later: You don’t want to always oil pull right after eating as some people may experience slight nausea from oil pulling.
- Brushing: Some people will replace brushing all together with oil pulling (that is your choice) regardless, it is important to brush your teeth, without any thing, to remove any particles or toxins that might be still stuck.
Best Guide to Oil Pulling
This is best performed first thing in the morning when you wake up
- Drink a glass of water (skip this if you are oil pulling later in the day)
- Floss your teeth and if you want to use a tongue scraper to help remove particles and open up your gums
- Choose your oil of choice
- Put one tablespoon of oil in your mouth
- Start swishing
- Pull the oil between your teeth and around your gums, making sure not to swallow it
- Continue step 6 for at least 5 minutes and no longer than 20 minutes
- Spit the oil into a cup or trash bin
- Gargle a little warm salt water to help remove any bacteria
- Brush your teeth without anything to help remove dislodged particles
This is a basic guide to help you get started on your oil pulling adventure. Oil pulling has been cautioned as something you should not do every day as it can do things to your enamel, but the results are mixed on that. There are plenty of people and studies that have recommended oil pulling on a daily basis to help detox your mouth. However, some also recommend to only oil pull three times a week. The decision is your personal preference and one you can build up to based on how you feel and how your mouth is reacting to this new routine.