You may have heard about oil pulling, but you may be unsure of exactly what it is. Oil pulling is an alternative dental health practice where you use an oil and swish it in your mouth. Those who swear by it say that it not only improves your dental health but can have a positive impact on your overall health as well, including headaches, acne, bad breath, and stomach problems.
Oil pulling is an element of traditional Ayurvedic medicine that has become popular again in recent years and it must be done on an empty stomach.
There are over 700 different kinds of bacteria in your mouth and a number of studies have shown that oil pulling can reduce them, therefore reducing the risk of tooth decay, bad breath, and gum disease. It also helps to dislodge particles that are lodged between teeth and can make a viable replacement for mouthwash for those that are not happy using chemicals in their mouths.
In order to oil pull, you need to select the kind of oil that you want to use- sunflower oil, coconut oil, olive oil, or a blend of oils specially designed to improve health in your mouth, and throughout your body. Put around a tablespoon in you mouth, sit back, and get ready to swish!
You need to swish and swirl the oil through your mouth, around your teeth and gums and you need to do this for between 15 and 20 minutes, at least three times a week. Once you have finished swirling, spit the oil into the bin (not the sink as this can cause a blocked drain) and rinse your mouth with warm, slightly saline water. Yes, it might take some getting used to, and no you cannot swallow it- but persevere and you will not regret it.
After you have swilled, you are free to continue flossing and brushing as usual.
Most oil pullers notice that their teeth become whiter in about 10 days and that other oral health complaints diminish after two weeks of regular use. It is important to note that pulling should not be considered as a replacement for brushing and flossing and definitely should not stop you from making regular visits to your dentist. Whilst it has a whole host of great benefits, it should be used along with other measures for optimum dental health!