Chances are you’ve heard of oil pulling.
And if you’re like me, the whole idea of swishing oil around in your mouth for 20 minutes sounds not only disagreeable and slightly pukey, but also ain’t nobody got time for dat.
However, after a month of diligently committing to it, I’ve changed my mind: Everybody gotta make time for it.
The first day of my oil swishing experience wasn’t exactly easy. I used a giant dollop of coconut oil, and since it was cold, it was solid and copious-seeming. I had to chew it around to get it to melt, and it just felt gross. Though once it started to melt it was just like swishing any liquid, and my reflex to call the whole thing off after 20 seconds was assuaged. I decided to watch YouTube videos about the benefits of oil pulling while oil pulling to: a) distract myself, and b) to reassure myself that this crazy practice was worth it. As we all know, YouTube makes time go by like nobody’s business and suddenly my 20 minute timer went off, and I was feeling pretty accomplished. And I could have sworn that my teeth felt cleaner already… Hm.
Day two I remembered the beauty of peppermint essential oil, and put a few drops on my scoop, and this made a world of difference. I still had to gnaw on my coconut oil to get it to liquify, but at least it now kind of tasted like those Trader Joe Peppermint Oreo cookies I used to eat in LA. (Mmm.)
As the days went by, it became easier and easier. I started experimenting with different kinds of Living Libations essential oils, and honestly, my teeth felt so clean and smooth that I was hooked, sold, a believer. Plus my complexion seemed to look more dewy and clear. (Yes!)
Now after a month, I cannot recommend this practice enough.
There are many reasons (and if you’re interested, read this page turner,) but, in a nutshell, all the funk in your mouth is a lipid (i.e. a fat) so when you put another fat in there (an oil), the two congeal and the oil removes the bacteria more fully and completely than anything else can.
But also, it’s very important that we see our body and our immunity holistically. The state of our mouth largely effects the health of our entire body.
Let’s not over complicate things here…
Put a scant tablespoon of coconut oil (or sesame oil) in your mouth and swish around for 20 minutes. Add a couple drops of an essential oil if you like. Spit it out when you’re done, then floss and brush like usual. That’s it.
Don’t have 20 minutes? Do it for ten. No one’s expecting perfection here — especially with a new practice. Chances are you’ll love how clean your mouth feels after a couple times and you won’t need to coerce yourself into doing it every day, or for 20 minutes.
It’s best to do it first thing in the AM on an empty stomach. Our mouth bacteria has been having a massive fiesta in there since we’ve just gotten up from sleeping — oil pulling will promptly shut that party down.
I strive to do it morning and night. I don’t always do it twice a day, but when I do, I feel fresh and so clean clean, so… I’m motivated. But you’ll notice a difference with doing it even three or four times a week.
I know it’s hard to imagine finding 20 minutes in the morning, especially if you have to be at work at a certain time, this is why multi-tasking is very helpful here. (Yes, I’m all about mindfulness and focusing on one activity fully and completely, but with oil pulling, I think multi-tasking is the sustainable answer.) Here are some things you could do while oil pulling:
Plus, please make sure the oil is organic, virgin, and cold pressed.
Also, swish gently, as it will be working some new muscles so initially your mouth might get a little tired/sore. And make sure you spit out the oil — never swallow it. (Also, remember if you’re using coconut oil, and it’s winter, or you live in a cold country, it will be solid at first.)
Now, you might still be skeptical… and I get it, but this where I must say, Don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it. Brushing only reaches 60% of the teeth’s surfaces… you may be be missing out on a lot if you’re not oil pulling.
Would love to hear from you! Have you tried oil pulling? Has it worked as wonderfully well for you as it has for me? Interested in more holistic dental care tips? Let us know — I’ve been thinking of posting about my whole dental routine and all the natural products that knock my socks off.
Here’s to starting out 2016 freshy-fresh,