Even though I’m a fairly new convert, oil pulling has in fact been around for a whole lot longer than we Westerners might realize. An Ayurvedic practice that originated in India thousands of years ago, oil pulling fans say it not only cleans the mouth and gums, but also helps to draw toxins from the body through the mouth.While most dentists agree that oil pulling shouldn’t replace your conventional dental routine, it does add a beneficial layer of oral care that can aid in eliminating bad breath, protecting your gums and keeping your teeth cleaner overall.I’ve been doing it for about a month and a half now and am thrilled with the results. Naturally, I want to share #alltheinfo with you guys. So here goes!
Take one to two tablespoons of oil, put them in your mouth, and swish around for anywhere from 5-20 minutes, depending on how much “cleansing” you want to do. The oil will get thiner as you pull and as it heats up.Although many practitioners recommend pulling in the morning, I’ve found it’s too difficult to give directions and moderate fights between toddlers with a mouth full of oil. So I pull at night for 5-7 minutes. When you’re done, spit the oil into a trashcan (this is SO important, because oil will re-form and clog your pipes if you spit into the sink), rinse your mouth thoroughly with water, swish and spit, then brush. I also always floss before pulling, so the oil can really get into more crevices and corners of my teeth.As far as what type of oil to use? Some people oil pull with sesame or olive oil; I use coconut oil. Specifically I use these oil pulling packets–for two reasons. One, they’re conveniently portioned out; and two, they have a natural mint flavor that makes the process a little less gag-inducing.
Yes, I did. Ick. I know. This is, in my opinion, the hardest thing about getting on the oil pulling train. It feels, well, gross. At least in the beginning it does.Think about it: You’re putting chunky (or not, but still, yuck) oil in your mouth and swishing it around for a period of 5-20 minutes. I’m not personally the biggest fan of anything coconut-flavored to begin with, so it took some time for me to get used to leaving this stuff in my mouth for minutes at a time. But that’s where the mint flavoring in the Kopari pulling packets comes in; the flavor made it much easier to tolerate, and now I actually enjoy the ritual.
Like I said, I now look forward to my nightly coconut oil pulling routine. My teeth feel so clean, they’ve whitened up a couple shades in just over the month-long period of time I’ve been doing this, and–this is going to sound strange–but I feel like my teeth are shiny or brighter, in a weird way.Add to the superficial benefits the fact that oil pulling is also antibacterial without using any harsh chemicals, and I’m all in.
You can use a tablespoon or two of the regular coconut oil from your pantry (just make sure it’s organic coconut oil with no additives), or you can buy the Kopari coconut oil pullers like I use.Here’s a tip I’ve found makes the process a bit smoother: Warm up the packet by rubbing it between your hands for about 10-15 seconds, and it makes it less chunky. Fewer chunks=less vom-inducing feelings. Yay!
Have any of you oil pulled before? What are your thoughts?
Sonni Abatta is a mom of three and runs this Orlando lifestyle and mom blog. Want to chat or collaborate? Reach out here!