Oil Pulling yes or no? Instead of making you read the whole article for the answer, I’ll give it to you right away—yah!
Oil pulling had its day in the spotlight a couple of years ago, and then like every other fad, faded away in the media to the next health craze. Fortunately, we’re not in the business of finding the newest health fad—we’re in the business of health.
And oil pulling stands the test of time (and the myopic media).
Oil Pulling 101
If you missed the hype, don’t worry, oil pulling is simple. It’s a way to use oil to give your mouth an extra squeaky clean. It doesn’t replace brushing or flossing (plus it shouldn’t, brushing the rest of the oil off your teeth is nice) because most plaque needs to be manually removed, but it definitely helps with your oral health.
Originally used in Ayurvedic medicine to safely detoxify teeth and gums, oil pulling has withstood the hands of time...
To oil pull, just take a heaping spoonful of oil, we prefer organic coconut oil but sesame is also fine, and swish it around in your mouth for up to 20 minutes.
You’re aiming for 20 minutes, but at first it might be hard to do if you’re not used to it. 20 minutes is the golden number but not a hard and fast rule, studies show that it’s enough to help break up ick on your teeth, but not long enough for your body to reabsorb the toxins that you’re releasing.
Protip: do this while you’re brushing your hair or doing an activated charcoal facemask.
After your 20 minutes is up, spit it in the trash. Note: Don’t swallow it—it’s toxic—and always spit it in the trash, not the sink.
Brush and floss normally with an organic tooth powder.
7 Reasons to Pull
It helps with bad breath. Say what you will about teeth brushing, flossing, and mouthwash (if you’re using mouthwash by the way, you might as well oil pull), none of them come close to the long term effects of oil pulling when it comes to bad breath. This is maybe TMI but when I’m oil pulling it feels like I can TASTE my bad breath leaving my mouth.
It kills and removes bacteria. Oils, especially coconut oil, have natural anti-microbial and antioxidant properties in them. Not to mention that many bacteria are fat soluble—plus the saliva your mouth naturally adds to your swish is made to keep your mouth hygiene balanced.
It breaks up plaque and toxic buildup. If you have ever used oil to dissolve toxins on your skin, this is the same principle of “like dissolves like.” It’s not strong enough to remove it, but (especially with continued use) it can certainly help so you can remove it easier with brushing and flossing.
It whitens. Oil pulling helps to remove external stains in the teeth caused by food and drink—intrinsic oral health issues are a different story and no amount of pulling or even bleaching can help that.
It’s safe for sensitive teeth. And not only is it safe and painless, it could help with sensitivity. When you oil pull, any coating from a non-natural toothpaste is removed and the saliva that mixes with the oil is able to remineralize your teeth, which makes them stronger over time.
It feels good. I’ll be honest with you, good health is wonderful, but I’m much more easily motivated by things that feel good. First, it’s 20 minutes of your day that you’re quietly focused on yourself. You can use that how you like, but (just so you know) most people won’t bother you if they know you have oil in your mouth (whether that’s because they think you’re a weirdo, I haven’t quite figured out yet). BUT after you spit, floss, and brush, run your tongue over your teeth. It feels so good and fresh…
But the best part…
Things taste better. Without all the buildup in your mouth from bacteria and food that brushing alone can’t remove, it’s like a new day has dawned for your taste buds. Oil pulling removes some pretty nasty stuff (re: you can taste that when you’re swishing!) and that stuff is blocking the deliciousness of your… everything. Remove it and BAM, bring on the yums. Oral hygiene aside, this reason alone is enough for me to keep oil pulling.
Do you oil pull? Tell us your favorite benefit in the comments below!