Don’t knock it ’til you try it. And if it’s coconut I’ll try it.
I’m sure many you have heard about oil pulling. Swishing coconut or sesame seed oil around in your mouth for improved oral hygiene and sparkly white teeth. It had me at whiter teeth. Europe as yet doesn’t have whitening strips. Our only options, whitening toothpaste which doesn’t work, the dentist (€€€) or a bicarb soda and oxygenated water paste to whiten teeth.
Oil pulling come from Ayurvedic medicine. Swishing a table spoon of either coconut, cold pressed sesame seed or olive oil around in your mouth for 20 minutes on an empty stomach, pulling toxins out from the body, ultimately improving oral health and overall body health. 20 minutes is enough to break through the plaque and bacteria without the body reabsorbing toxins and bacteria. Many infections can originate with mouth bacteria and oil pulling can help with skin conditions, asthma, headaches, liver problems and infections (source wellnessmama). It makes perfect sense as nasty things aside from spinach linger in our teeth!
I tried it for a few days last year, but couldn’t get past oily coconut taste and quit after day 2. Fellow blogger Bitzy-Ku asked if I’d tried it or heard about it 2 months ago when I posted Coconut Oil Eye Cream. I said I had but, 20 minutes a day dedicated to and swishing oil around, where’s the time for that. I decided not to take the don’t knock ’til you try it route and give it a go for one month. I love coconuts, white teeth, it’s natural, it’s harmless, what I’ve got to loose!
It’s best done on an empty stomach, so as soon as I wake up, I scoop out about a tablespoon of coconut oil after flossing. Diesel (the cat) loves it as his Mama’s response to breakfast demands are muffled. By the time I’ve feed the cats, woken up, checked emails, sorted out the washing, made coffee, 20 minutes is up. Initially it tastes oily, but it only takes a moment for the taste to disappear. When 20 minutes’s up, spit it out in the bin, not the sink as coconut oil clogs drains. I rinse and gurgle with water and swish with toothpaste (brush after breakfast. I like leaving the house with minty fresh breath). Then I’m ready for my first glass of water and coffee. Yeah, I know coffee after cleaning teeth, but I’m one of those annoying people who drink coffee through a straw to avoid coffee teeth and breath.
One Month of Oil Pulling
The first day, my teeth felt cleaner and smoother. Day 2, I noticed light yellow staining was disappearing. I know the British have a reputation for bad teeth. Mine were whitish to start with thanks to genes (Thanks Mum!) and I’ve always taken care to keep them white.
Try not to swallow while oil pulling as you’re reabsorbing toxins and bacteria. I learnt the hard way. It took a few attempts to learn to gently swish, not hamster cheek it as it gets thicker with salvia. If it feels too much, spit it out (in the bin) and start again until the said 20 minutes is up. I find the coconut oil taste returns nearing 20 minutes. A week in, I had slight tummy ache for a few days. I put this down to accidentally swallowing the oil and toxin detox removal. Once I realised the problem, tummy ache gone.
It’s cheap and cost effective. I keep a jar of organic coconut oil in the bathroom, just for eye make up remover, night eye cream, hair mask and now oil pulling.
A month in, I get told my teeth are looking much whiter! I also noticed the whites of my eyes are whiter. My skin’s clearing up too. I get nasty cystic spots (another tale, not a happy ending) and have only had 1 make an appearance. I’ve also noticed my hair’s in better condition, my eyebrows are filling in again much quicker (yay! Back to thick brows!) and my teeth are less sensitive. I’m curious to see if my dentist notices any changes at my next appointment. I’ll point out that my diet’s remained the same, so it can only be the oil pulling. It doesn’t removal all the stains (behind lower front teeth) but 6 weeks later I’m still oil pulling and noticing myself my teeth are whiter. My teeth also feel cleaner and smoother all day, even after meals and drinks. It’s now become part of my routine. Wake, floss, oil pull, wake up.
Do you oil pull? What changes did you notice? Are you for preventive medicine or cure medicine? Coconuts? Crazy for them?