Oil Pulling: What It Is & Why You Should Do It
This ancient practice cleanses your mouth to transform the health of your entire body.
Besides improving your oral health, cosmetically speaking— whiter, more glossy teeth and healthy pink gums—oil pulling can rid your body of toxins and bacteria hiding in the nooks and crannies of your mouth. Dentists who practice holistic and biological dentistry believe that each tooth is connected to an organ. That means if there is something ‘not quite right’ with a tooth, it will be reflected in another part of the body.
Oil pulling also rids your mouth of bacteria that can lead to problems of oral health. According to a study in the Journal of Oral Health and Community Dentistry, this simple practice reduced gingivitis by 52-60% and cut plaque by 18-30%!
Not sure how to get started? Try these simple steps:
- Put 1-2 tablespoons of oil in your mouth (coconut oil, sesame, sunflower, etc.) I recommend starting with coconut oil. It is the most mild when it comes to flavor, which is a major deal when you’re just getting used to holding oil in your mouth for a matter of minutes.
- Start swishing! Work the oil around your mouth for 15-20 minutes, being sure to pull it through your teeth. Go wash some dishes, take a shower, or work through a few yoga poses while you pull. Just keep swishing!
- Spit out the oil—it should be a milky color at this point. If your mouth feels oily or if the oil is still clear, you didn’t pull long enough. I recommend spitting it in the toilet because you can just flush it down and it won’t create oily build-up as it would in the drain and pipes of the sink.
- Rinse your mouth with warm water (some prefer warm salt water) to remove any residue.
- Brush as usual.
- Oil pull on an empty stomach—first thing in the morning works best.
- Find something to do while you’re pulling. This will help the 15-20 minutes pass, easily.
- Don’t swallow the oil. It has been absorbing toxins and pathogens.
- Brush your teeth after pulling to ensure a thorough clean.