Earlier I posted a blog about my morning detox routine and mentioned Oil Pulling. This seems to be making a swing up in popularity but a lot of people still don’t really know what it means to oil pull.
What is oil pulling?
Every morning I wake up, and if I am lucky enough to have a previously sleeping toddler when I wake up, I run into the bathroom and put some oil in my mouth. They recommend the morning because oil pulling activates enzymes in your mouth and digestive tract that increases digestion, and the nasties in your mouth are the highest levels first thing in the morning. The internet says so. Look at this chart I found! *I am not taking it super seriously because it has no citation BUT it does make sense*.
- 1tbsp oil (cold pressed organic sesame or sunflower oil are the best, followed by coconut oil as a close second) in the mouth. I also add essential oils depending on my goal for that day. Lemon for general detox/cleaning/mood uplifting. On Guard if I am feeling sick/under the weather/have angry gums or tooth pain. Melaleuca if I have an infection or yeast problem.
- Swish the oil in the mouth, all around, through the teeth, around the cheeks, in the back part of the mouth, for 15-20 minutes. If you can’t pull for a full 15-20 minutes do it as long as you can and work your way up. The first few times it will be kind of gross and could tire out your mouth. *Note* When you swish oil in your mouth you cannot speak. Toddlers do not like it when you don’t talk to them, this is why I do my oil pulling in the morning, before she wakes up, or while my husband is still home so that someone else can take care of her when I am pulling/ dry brushing/ showering.
- Spit it out! A lot of websites recommend spitting it in the toilet as it will contain a lot of bacteria and toxins from your system and it is easier to spit it in the toilet than it is to spit it in the sink then wipe it down and disinfect it every day.
- Rinse your mouth thoroughly. Warm water swish and spit 3-4 times then brush your teeth!
Oil pulling is most commonly used to improve dental health, decrease bad bacteria in the mouth, prevent cavities, whiten teeth, and reduce plaque. It is also claimed to improve health by pulling toxins out of the body through the mucous membranes of the mouth. The reduction of these toxins are claimed to help resolve health issues such as diabetes, immune problems, digestive problems, arthritis, joint pain, and more. There have been no studies to confirm the other health benefits, but the dental hygiene benefits have been noted in several studies.
I have been oil pulling consistently (4-5 days a week) for the last three months or so. It isn’t every morning, some times E wakes up before I have a chance to pull and shower and all that, or sometimes I just want some extra sleep. These times I will either pull during nap time or at night once everyone is sleeping. It may be less effective but you do what you gotta do. I have been using sunflower or coconut oil, depending on what I have at the time. When I pull I notice my teeth are whiter, have less plaque, and feel better than they do when I do not pull. I love oil pulling because it gets the extra food stuff out of my teeth that flossing and brushing does not. Also my mouth feels much cleaner all day than it did.
I stopped pulling for a few weeks after having the baby and noticed that meat and veggie matter gets stuck in my teeth really easily and flossing just does not get them out. My gums started hurting and getting red after about a week of no pulling. I also have not been as good about brushing my teeth twice a day. When you have a new born sometimes these things get lost in the shuffle for a while until you establish your new routine. If you have ever been a new mom you know what I mean. After oil pulling for 3 mornings in a row my gums felt great, I could brush without pain, and they were nice and pink like they should have been.
I cannot speak to the health claims, unfortunately. I have cut out gluten from my diet since January and have had great drastic health benefits from that. Reduced joint pain, more energy, better immune system, decreased allergies, and improved digestion. Because of these changes from my diet I cannot say if the oil pulling has helped improve it any more. But hey, my teeth look great, feel great, and it doesn’t take much time in the morning because I pull while doing the other things in my morning routine.
People with damaged teeth that may damaged fillings or cracked teeth should consult a dentist before oil pulling. Many people have reported already damaged teeth splitting while oil pulling.
Here are some good websites about oil pulling:
For more natural health information check out “What is in my natural medicine cabinet”.
Have you tried oil pulling? What have your results been?
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