Hey guys! I’m pretty sure you’ve heard about the oil pulling craze that has taken the Internet and social media by storm over the past year. In case you haven’t, here’s a quick break down:
Oil pulling, also known as “kavala” or “gundusha,” is an ancient Ayurvedic (Indian) dental technique that involves swishing a tablespoon of oil in your mouth on an empty stomach for around 20-45 minutes.
When is it the best time to do oil pulling? It’s best to do this on an empty stomach and prior to brushing your teeth. An empty stomach is best for this technique to work as more of a thorough detox. The oil pulling technique is said to draw out toxins in your body which can lead to improved overall health. More importantly, oil pulling has been said to improve oral health by reducing and removing harmful bacteria. This also leads to the prevention/reduction of plaque-induced gingivitis, plaque, and bacteria that can cause bad breath. It has also been said that oil pulling can help to whiten teeth naturally. I’m not sure of the validity of the teeth whitening claims but it’s not a bad trade off at all!..lol.
How will I know when it’s time to spit the oil out? The oil you choose to use will move around more freely in your mouth, almost like water but more dense. Also, the oil should turn white in your mouth. Remember, you should be swishing 20-45 minutes and on an empty stomach. Spit oil into trash and not your drains. It will clog up your drains and cause you a hefty plumbing bill.
How can swishing oil around your mouth kill bacteria more than mouthwash? Don’t worry, I was thinking the same thing. I used to love that burn in my mouth while using Listerine. I felt as if it was burning all the germs away. After a while though, I realized it caused me to have extreme dry mouth. So I switched to ACT Restoring Mouthwash and I love the restoring and cleansing properties it gives my teeth and overall oral health. Trust me, my dentist has no complaints!..lol. So how can oil kill more bacteria than mouthwash? Jessica T. Emery, DMD, owner of Sugar Fix Dental Loft in Chicago, explained exactly how this occurs in the following interview with WebMD: “Most microorganisms inhabiting the mouth consist of a single cell. Cells are covered with a lipid, or fatty, membrane, which is the cell’s skin. When these cells come into contact with oil, a fat, they naturally adhere to each other.” (Source :WebMD).
Now, I’m more of a visual learner so I had to picture the oil working as a magnet and naturally attracting the bacteria out of their hiding spaces and towards the magnet.
What oil can/should be used for oil pulling?
It is best to use unrefined cold-pressed, less refined, virgin oil.
Sesame oil is the most commonly used oil for oil pulling. Other oils used for oil pulling include olive oil, sunflower oil and coconut oil. Now, I’ve been using sesame oil since I first started oil pulling. However, I’ve been reading that coconut oil is best because of the following: 50% of the fat in coconut oil contains lauric acid. Lauric acid is a natural antimicrobial agent. An antimicrobial is an agent that destroys or inhibits the growth of microorganisms (bacteria). Coconut oil specifically inhibits the growth of Streptococcus mutans. This bacteria makes its home in our mouths naturally and is also the primary bacteria behind tooth decay. I may switch to coconut oil for a bit for a change. Here are the brands of sesame oil I’ve been using and coconut oil I will switch to using for the time being:
I hope this post was helpful to you. Now, I’ve been oil pulling on and off for quite some time now but definitely not as consistent as I would have liked to. So I’ve decided that I’m going to give the oil pulling technique a run consistently for the next 30 days. I will check back in with you guys mid-way for a follow up. Let me know if you’d like to join!
Feel free to keep up with me via Instagram (_Cebelamour_) for daily updates!