Oil pulling is a popular natural remedy for detoxing the mouth and improving oral health. But does it actually work?
If you’re questioning whether to add pulling to your oral health routine, here’s some things to consider.
- What is it?
- How Does it Work?
- The 4 Step Routine
- When To Pull
- Is it Safe?
- Does it Work?
- Best Oils for Use
- Buy Pulling Products Online
What is Oil Pulling
If you’re unfamiliar, oil pulling is an ancient practice, often associated with Ayurveda, that involves swishing oil in your mouth to remove bacteria and promote oral hygiene.
How Does Oil Pulling Work
The basic gist is as you’re swishing the oil around, it’s “pulling” the bacteria from your mouth, moisturizing your gums and increasing saliva production.
After all the swishing you’re left with a thin milky substance that’s full of bacteria.
4 Step Oil Pulling Routine
Oil pulling is easy to do and involves just a few simple steps.
Here are the 4 simple steps:
- Measure one tablespoon of the oil of your choice: coconut, sesame or olive oil etc.
- Swish it around in your mouth for about 10-15 minutes. (Tip: Start with 2min and work your way up)
- Spit the oil into a trash can or spare bottle once you’re done. Do Not Swallow and avoid spitting it into the sink or toilet. It’s oil. After a while it may clog the pipes.
- Rinse your mouth well using water.
When Should You Oil Pull
It’s recommended that you pull first thing in the morning on an empty stomach but I’m sure you can adjust to fit your lifestyle and preferences.
7 Oil Pulling Benefits
1. Kills Harmful Bacteria in Your Mouth
There are approximately 700 types of bacteria that can live in your mouth. Certain types of harmful bacteria can contribute to problems like plaque, tooth decay, bad breath and gum disease.
Oil pulling helps reduce the number of harmful bacteria in the mouth.
2. Treats Bad Breath
Random fact: Halitosis, also known as bad breath, affects an estimated 50% of the population.
It is the result of many things like infection, gum disease, poor oral hygiene and tongue coating, which is when bacteria become trapped on the tongue.
Pulling is great for removing bad breath causing bacteria.
3. Cavity Prevention
Cavities, holes in the teeth caused by poor oral hygiene, eating too much sugar and a buildup of plaque and bacteria, are a common problem that stem from tooth decay.
Oil pulling can help reduce the amount of bacteria in the mouth, preventing tooth decay.
4. Reduces Inflammation and Improves Gum Health
Gingivitis is a type of gum disease marked by red, swollen gums that bleed easily.
The bacteria found in plaque are a major cause of gingivitis. Pulling improves gum health and reduces inflammation by decreasing the gingivitis causing bacteria in the mouth.
5. Removes Toxins from the body
Who doesn’t love a good detox! Your mouth is the gateway to any of the things in the body. Besides activated charcoal, oil pulling can help to remove radical elements and other toxins from the mouth that might ultimately go into the body and cause havoc.
6. Whitens Teeth
There are some rumblings that pulling could be a natural way to whiten teeth by pulling the stains off your enamel.
7. Cheap and Easy Treatment
The biggest benefit to oil pulling is that it’s easy to do and you can incorporate it into your routine with a common kitchen staple.
Is Oil Pulling Safe?
There aren’t any known negative side effects from pulling – when done properly.
If you swallow the oil, it could cause an upset stomach or diarrhea so remember to spit it out. Also, your jaw may be a little sore from all the swishing if you’re doing a full 10 min.
Does Oil Pulling Work?
Short answer – Yes!
While I try not to be biased in natural alternative recommendations and am fully aware that everything does not work for every body, I find it hard to not be a stan.
There have been many studies that concluded pulling is just as effective as traditional antiseptic mouthwashes in reducing the amount of harmful bacteria, and in treating bad breath.
Jury is still out on the teeth whitening but I think with consistent use it’s a definite possibility.
Best Oils for Oil Pulling
Traditionally, sesame oil has been used for oil pulling, but other types of oil can be used as well.
Sesame Oil for Oil Pulling
Sesame Oil has nice antibacterial qualities that can help to control oral problems like the gingival plaque. Its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties help in healing issues like swelling and bleeding gum problems.
Coconut Oil for Oil Pulling
Coconut oil is one of the most commonly used oils for oil pulling activity. It has antibacterial properties that help to remove the bacteria by diluting them during the oil pulling. It cleans the mouth much effectively and keeps away from bacteria and other organisms that are not essential.
Sunflower Oil for Oil Pulling
Sunflower oil is very nice for oil pulling because it has the ability to dilute the thick plaque and tartar.
Olive Oil for Oil Pulling
Olive oil is another optiont that has many antibacterial properties and the ability to control other development of organisms
All in all I think it’s personal preference as well as what you have on hand. .
Brand Name Oil Pulling products
Maybe you’ve tried pulling and decided that it’s something you want to keep in your oral routine, but you want a little razzle dazzle to your pull.
If the idea of blowing through your kitchen oils isn’t appealing and you want a dedicated oil to keep in the bathroom – I have good news.
There are companies that actually sell products specifically for pulling
While not as cost effective, the benefit to going with a company made product is that they often flavor it with mint so it’s a bit more appealing to the tongue.
So far I’ve tried these two brands and enjoyed them both so I’ll recommend them for you.
Paavani Ayurveda The Oil Care Ritual – Mint $32
Guru Naanda Pull Oil $14.99 (comes with tongue scraper)
Pulling for Next Level Oral Health
I’m in no way telling folks that they should throw away their toothbrushes, floss and stop going to the dentist.
Oil pulling should be used as a supplemental treatment to add to your oral hygiene.
It’s like the cherry on top!