Oil Pulling 101

Figure Out The What, Why and How of Oil Pulling!

Oil pulling is an ancient Ayruveda holistic dental care method that involves nothing more than swishing cold-pressed oil in your mouth for a certain amount of time. Sounds simple, right? It also sounds a little, well, strange. Maybe even totally gross. Totally understandable. We thought the same thing. But we're always open for trying new home remedies so we've been giving it a try for the past few weeks. Here’s what we’ve learned!

The idea behind oil pulling, as well as the name itself, is that swishing with the oil helps “pull” toxins from your system as you pull the oil through your teeth and gums. The oils typically used are coconut, olive or sesame oil. That part seems to be a matter of personal preference. I’ve been using coconut oil since I already use it for everything, and my cupboard is already well stocked. It also shows anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties. Plus, I’m bit of a coconut fiend and love the way it tastes.

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Oil Pulling Regimen

  • Place 1-3 teaspoons oil in your mouth.
  • Swish and “pull” the oil around the inside of your cheeks and in between your teeth.
  • Continue for 5-20 minutes.

10 Tips for Making Oil Pulling Work

  1. Start first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.
  2. If using coconut oil, melt it first, or let it melt in your mouth. I sort of “chew” it until it melts.
  3. Use less oil if it feels like it’s too much.
  4. Keep the oil in the front of your mouth – don’t gargle with it. You will have a mouthful of liquid by the end from the oil and the extra saliva.
  5. If your mouth and jaw get tired, take a break and let it sit without swishing in the front of your mouth.
  6. Try doing a small task that takes between 5-20 minutes – folding a load of laundry, taking a shower, checking emails, packing your kids’ lunches, vacuuming the living room, etc.
  7. Be sure to do it long enough so that the oil and the enzymes in your saliva interact.
  8. Spit the oil into the garbage can, not in the sink to prevent it from clogging pipes.
  9. Swish really well with salt water afterward.
  10. Brush your teeth and floss as normal. 
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Benefits We’ve noticed

  • Our gums feel healthier and they don’t get sore anymore.
  • Our teeth feel stronger. I noticed after just the first few days – really!
  • Much better breath.
  • Less plaque.
  • Our tongues feels cleaner.
  • Our lips are super soft!
  • Our jaw pain has lessened a lot. 
  • More oil pulling benefits
  • Reduced headaches, insomnia, PMS, sinus congestion
  • General detoxification benefits
  • Overall increased oral health
  • Reduced inflammation in the body, including reduction of arthritis symptoms
  • Pain relief
  • Skin problems (eczema, acne, rashes) reduced
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