Oil Pulling, an ancient Ayurvedic practice that claims to whiten teeth, strengthen gums, reduce plaque, improve bad breath and finally, ‘pull’ bacteria out of the mouth, teeth and gums, is all the rage (again) at the moment.
For 20 minutes this morning, I was swishing oil around in my mouth while I got ready for work. Two weeks ago when I began this experiment, my mind was racing and jaw muscles were aching. But today, that wasn’t the case – in fact, it felt very much a part of my morning routine.
I’d watched countless online videos, read some articles, and even knew a few people doing it. So I decided, what the heck, I’m practically an expert myself – let’s pull some bacteria.
Here’s how to do it:
1. Choose your oil, preferably an organic, cold-pressed, unrefined option (sesame, sunflower, or coconut)*
2. Measure out 1 tsp to tbsp
3. Swish it around in your mouth for 15-20 mins, max
4. Spit it out and rinse your mouth with salt water
5. Brush your teeth, as you normally would
*I opted for coconut oil
On day-one, “swish-one”, I had serious questions about what I was doing. My mouth hurt, the texture was unfamiliar, and time suddenly seemed to stand still. A few days passed, and I felt like nothing had improved, even worse, my gums seemed to be more sensitive. However, I committed to completing a full two weeks, so I swished-on!
As I got closer to the end, my swishing muscles got stronger, and any sensitivity I had in the first few days was now gone. However, I noticed my teeth weren’t necessarily whiter, and I had no way of easily telling whether or not there was less bacteria in my mouth.
All in all, I wasn’t personally convinced, and now that my two weeks are up – I’m ready to stop.
My two cents: those looking for a quick fix will probably be disappointed. But, if you’re looking for a natural alternative to help improve your oral health, then give it a try, and I say, swish-on!
Pro tip: don’t swallow the oil.
Tell us your thoughts – love oil pulling? Hate it? Never tried it? Comment below and join the conversation.