I tell people about all of my coconut oil remedies and they typically think one of three things:
1 – She’s a crazy, hippy nut!
2 – Maybe she’s onto something!
3 – It’s about time she jumped onboard the coconut oil train!
1. What is Oil Pulling?
So what on earth is oil pulling, you ask? It is an age-old remedy that uses natural substances to clean and detoxify the teeth and gums. It naturally whitens teeth, and evidence has shown over and over again that it improves gums and removes bacteria.The basic principle is that the oil is swished around the mouth for a short time, daily, and the overall process improves oral health. The oil is able to cut through plaque and remove toxins, without disturbing the teeth or the gums. I like to think of it less as “pulling,” but more as “swishing,” because that’s the action that happens.
When oil pulling, the oils (especially oils like coconut oil that have natural antibacterial properties) bind to the plaque on the teeth and reduce mouth bacteria. Streptococcus Mutans is one of many bacteria that is prominent in the mouth and it has been studied for its role in gum disease and tooth decay. Oil pulling has been shown to reduce the number of Streptococcus Mutans bacteria in the mouth, in particular, when coconut oil is used.
Now, don’t get too excited here. It doesn’t replace your normal everyday hygiene of brushing and flossing your teeth. It’s a great thing to do daily, but don’t tell your dentist that that crazy Crunch of the Mom lady told you to stop brushing and flossing!
2. What Type of Oil?
Coconut oil, hands down, is what I prefer. People have been using all kinds of oils for hundreds of years however, including sunflower oil or sesame oil. Coconut oil is effective in attacking Streptococcus Mutans bacteria which causes cavities. It is rich in medium chain triglycerides and high in lauric acid. Coconut oil is the miracle oil, as I have mentioned before. I truly believe this, but obviously it is just my opinion.
3. How Do I Do This “Oil Pulling”?
- Put 1-2 teaspoons of coconut oil into the mouth. It feels strange, but over time, you will get over the weird texture.
- Swish for 20 minutes. Apparently the timing is key, according to Dr. Bruce Fife, author of Oil Pulling Therapy. According to him, this is long enough to break through plaque and bacteria but not long enough that the body starts re-absorbing the bacteria and all those nasty toxins that you’re essentially pulling out. The oil should be creamy white by the time you spit it out.
- Spit oil into the trash. You don’t want this going down your sink, especially if you are country folks with a septic field. Don’t swallow it.
- Rinse well with warm water. I like to do it before bed, so I don’t spend all day overanalyzing the strange oily residue that is sometimes left behind. It isn’t terrible, but it is noticeable at first. It’s better to do this at night.
- Brush well with your favorite toothpaste.
4. Where Do I Buy Quality Coconut Oil?
- You want unrefined, cold-pressed and organic coconut oil. The best price I have found is at Costco. It’s an epically enormous amount you get (2 jars that are each 42 ounces), but we go through it quickly between cooking, health and beauty, using it as a carrier with essential oils, and even as diaper cream. More on all of that later! Stay tuned!
Interested in more uses for coconut oil? read my blog post, 10 coconut oil beauty remedies.
Now friends, I want to know…have you ever used coconut oil for oil pulling? Comment below with how you liked it!