Ditch Your Mouthwash For Oil Pulling
I remember when I first heard of oil pulling (years ago) and when I first tied it. I only did it a few times and definitely found it hard to stay consistent with it.
Time went by and I sort of forgot about it.
That is until now, everyone seems to be talking and raving about it now. Of course, when it comes to any beauty trends I must say I am eager to try. This time around, I was eager to give it a second chance.
Oil pulling is a Ayurvedic detoxifying technique (dating back thousands of years) that involves swishing around oil in your mouth on an empty stomach for 15-20 mins. By doing this you are literally pulling toxins and other bad bacteria from the mouth and cleaning out your blood.
Our mouths carry tons of bacteria and microorganisms that are eventually swallowed with our saliva and therefore it reaches our bloodstream causing negative health issues. There are studies suggesting a strong tie between bacteria in our mouths and chronic diseases. We can get serious health conditions if bad bacteria enter our bodies through the bloodstream and make their way to our hearts or other parts of our bodies. (source)
Basically, the oil sucks out all the bacteria hiding in the crevices of the gums, pores and within the teeth and binds this bacteria to the oil. After pulling for about 15-20 mins, the oil is now filled with tons of bacteria, organisms and viruses...yuck! Seriously... just the thought of that makes me cringe. Once the time is up, you spit it out (trash can is preferred since the oil may solidify and clog up your sink) and you can brush and floss your teeth as usual.
People who are devoted to this practice say it whitens teeth, leaves you with fresh clean breath for longer (compared to rinsing with a mouthwash) and it helps to relief gum and tooth sensitivity. Additionally, it can actually help with health conditions such as migraines, diabetes, chronic blood disorders, asthma, an hormonal disorders. Reports have even shown improvements in certain skin conditions, such as acne, psoriasis and eczema!
Oh let me not forget to mention.... that it helps with hangovers... so the next time you wake up with a nasty hangover due to the fact that you had one to many glasses of rosé... try oil pulling!
I am a bit skeptical about oil pulling solely improving serious health conditions and would like to see more studies supporting these claims, but I can't deny the positive effects it must have on the mouth and therefore preventing some health complications.
It makes perfect sense....
For example, the main cause of bad breath and tooth decay is bacteria. By regularly pulling out the bad bacteria from your mouth you will be preventing these two conditions. Additionally, since the mouth is the door to our bodies getting rid of all this bad bacteria can improve our immune system and prevent us from getting sick.
Learning all this and also finding out that most conventional mouthwash is SO BAD for us, made me more intrigued with the concept of oil pulling.
First, mouthwash kills good and bad bacteria in our mouth. As we know, just like with antibiotics, killing good bacteria is never a good or beneficial thing to do to our bodies. Additionally, the alcohol in mouthwash can lead to dry mouth, which in turn leads to other oral issues such as decay of the teeth, plaque, and bad breath! The alcohol also strips your teeth and gums of their protective shield and you can actually get more stains on your teeth from things such as coffeee, tea, wine, etc. Even more, commercial mouthwashes are acidic (and we all know how bad acid is for the tooth enamel, right?? If you don't, just know that the acid will eat away at your tooth enamel.) and they contain cancer causing chemicals like artificial food dyes.
Is that enough reason for you to give up commercial mouthwash and try oil pulling? It definitly was for me! I must add that with the rise of more natural and safe brands there is a "safe" mouthwash out there. I am still trying a few out to really pick my fave though and will keep you guys updated.
Ok back to oil pulling...
Wanna give it a whirl? I recommend coconut oil because it has strong antibacterial properties. If coconut oil is not your thing try olive oil. I bought the Kopari oil pulling packets because I liked the they were flavored and were in convenient little packets. But you can just get a regular jar of organic coconut oil and put one tablespoon of the oil in your mouth and swish it around for about 20 mins.
Sounds like an eternity, huh? If you are just starting out try 5 minutes and work your way up until you get to 20 mins. Also, if one tablespoon is too much for you at first start with one teaspoon and again, work your way up.
The first time I did it the oil made me gag and I literally thought I couldn't even bear a minute of it. But I definitely got better, haha.
Remember to swish gently so you don't get a stiff jaw and do not gargle the oil. Just swish and once you are done spit it out in the trash can. After that, rinse your mouth with water and brush and floss your teeth as usual.
Aim to oil pull at least once a day, best done in the morning before food and when the most bad bacteria is present. If that's too much for you, then every other day will have benefits as well.
Have you tried oil pulling? What's your experience like? Let me know if you have any other tips!
My Coconut Oil Picks For Oil Pulling