This may sound kind of strange, but for the past couple of months I have been using coconut oil as a teeth whitener. This method is called oil pulling, and amazingly it really does work pretty well. Oil pulling is actually an ancient Ayuverdic tradition that has been found by researchers in modern times to be just as effective has commercial mouthwashes in many ways. The technique is formally called oil pulling and it has been found to
Reduce Bacteria that cause cavities
Shown to be as effective as medicated mouthwash at reducing bad breath
Reduce plaque buildup and relieve gingivitis
Sounds great right? All these benefits packed in one simple health product
How to do Oil pulling
Now to do oil pulling, all you need is 1 tsp of oil. I use coconut oil because it is a healthy oil that also has antimicrobial properties. If you don’t already have coconut oil you should probably get some because it has amazing health benefits beyond oil pulling. A short Google search on the internet will give you ample reason why you should incorporate organic coconut oil into your life.
Ok back to oil pulling, so you put 1 tsp of oil in your mouth and gently swish it around in your mouth for 15-20 minutes. What you are doing is trapping unwanted bacteria in the oil. After 20 minutes you spit the oil out. If you don’t want oil going down your drain sink, you may have to spit it out in the trash can.
My experience with Oil Pulling
Honestly when I first heard of oil pulling I was pretty repulsed by the concept. “You want me to hold oil in my mouth for 20 minutes?? That sounds ridiculous.” But when I kept seeing people talking about it, even notable health professionals like Dr. Joseph Mercola, and that there was growing scientific evidence showing that it was effective against cavity forming bacteria and bad breath, I decided one day, “Ok, I am going to try it!”. The first few days were hard. I could barely keep the oil in my mouth beyond 5 minutes the first day and 10 minutes the next day. I kept going though, and over time doing 20 minutes of oil pulling was a breeze.
Now let me say this, my gums have always been very dependent on Listerine. Whenever I would stop using Listerine, my gums bleed when I flossed my teeth, without fail. I was really concerned about oil pulling because I was afraid that if I did oil pulling instead of using Listerine, that my gums would bleed like they always do when I don't use Listerine.
Amazingly when I did oil pulling and then later flossed my teeth, my gums did not bleed. Also my teeth felt cleaner. Additionally bad breath issues are conquered using this method. Needless to say I am shocked by the results. I went to the dentist for a cleaning early in December, about a month into my oil pulling routine. My dental hygienist said “Looks good, excellent job.” So all of these results are just about enough evidence for me to feel comfortable with continuing the oil pulling. I have kissed Listerine good bye and I have not looked back.
Why would you ever want to do this??
I know oil pulling does not sounds very glamorous, it actually sounds a bit gross, but let me give you a reason why you should try this beyond the fact that it is cheap.
One thing that Americans really should consider very hard is how to decrease the toxic load of our bodies. In the 21st century we are toxin laden because almost every aspect of our life involves a synthetic chemical. From processed foods all the way down to mouth wash to household cleaners to even our tap water, we take in a lot of chemicals and the prominent health professionals and scientists are calling us to seek ways to dramatically decrease the synthetic chemicals we take in everyday because they are making us sick and diseased and shortening our lifespan. Now I am not saying oil pulling will increase your lifespan, but it is an easy way to cut down on ingesting (yes you do ingest some of your mouthwash) synthetic chemicals.
Granted oil pulling alone will not work for everyone, but it can be a helpful addition to your tooth-care routine and maybe you can even use it to replace your mouthwash. You can add some peppermint extract to the oil to make it minty too. I have had good results with it and perhaps you will too.
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How do you feel oil pulling? Do you think you may give it a try? Comment below!