Almost everyone I know wants whiter, brighter teeth, including me. But I don’t want to rely on commercial toothpastes to get that look as they often have fluoride or other chemicals in them that personally I prefer not to have. So what is a girl to do? I have been following this ancient Ayurvedic technique called oil pulling to clean my mouth and at the same time, it has been whitening and brightening my teeth! Let’s discuss what this is, how it works and how you can do it too.
So what is oil pulling?
Oil pulling refers to the practice of using an oil similar to a mouthwash, in the sense that you are swishing it around in your mouth and then spitting it out. However the technique is different than a mouthwash, as you are gently swishing (no gargling) for about 15-20 minutes, first thing in the morning, before you brush your teeth.
What is oil pulling good for?
Oil pulling is good for overall mouth and dental health and has been used for centuries in places like India. It works by cleaning (gently detoxifying) the oral cavity as it sucks the toxins out of your mouth and creates a clean, antiseptic oral environment that helps prevent cavities and disease.
Oil pulling has also been shown to be useful as an effective preventative in maintaining and improving oral health as it reduces bacteria, a contributor to tooth decay.
It has also been shown to help with bad breath as well, bonus!
What oil to use?
There aren’t a ton of studies to back up the claims of oil pulling, especially in regards to it whitening your teeth, but I have personally been using this and seeing results and I know of a lot of other people that also have noticed a difference as well. Most often, when it comes to the research that has been done on oil pulling, it is in regards to sesame oil, as this is the oil most often used in oil pulling. I prefer to use coconut as there are a lot of benefits to using this oil as it is naturally antibacterial and antimicrobial. The oils I would recommend would be sesame or coconut, using organic oils are always my personal choice as well.
How to oil pull?
- Start off with about 2 tsp. of coconut or sesame oil. Melt the coconut oil if using this first before you put it in your mouth is my suggestion, but you don’t have to! If you find 2 tsp. to be too much, then simply reduce it to 1 tsp. Do what works for you.
- Swish it around in your mouth for about 15-20 minutes. Gently swish it around, there is no need to be aggressive here plus it will hurt your jaw after a while if you go too hard. You will notice that the oil is getting thicker as time is going on as it is mixing with your saliva and can double in size. It may seem hard to do it for 20 minutes at first, I know I found it hard and only managed about 10 minutes or so in the beginning, but you’ll get used to it. You can go about your morning routine while you are oil pulling, just keep an eye on the time to know when you have reached 15-20 minutes.
- Spit it out into a garbage can or toilet, but not in the sink as this can clog your drain. Do not swallow the oil as this contains plenty of bacteria (not the good ones) and toxins, so be sure to spit it out.
- Rinse with some water and spit and make sure you get it all out.
- Brush your teeth well afterwards and get on with your day.
That is all there is to it! Whiter, brighter and cleaner gums and teeth can be easily attainable with the addition of oil pulling in your regimen. I recommend trying it for at least a few weeks to see results and if need be, work your way up to the full 20 minutes over time.
Let me know, have you tried oil pulling? Are there any traditional health and wellness remedies that you use and noticed results with? Let me know!