A while ago I announced on Twitter my intention to start ‘oil-pulling’ and I have had some success in building this into my morning routine. I did say at the time that I would blog about the results, but to be honest it has slipped my mind.
This morning I read this article on the practice in Elephant Journal (contributed by Jennifer Hunt) which triggered my memory, so I started to think about what my experiences had been.
Like Jennifer, I use organic, extra-virgin coconut oil which smells and tastes, unsurprisingly, of coconut. The oil is solid (ish – I would describe it as having the consistency of lipbalm) and melts in your mouth. You then rinse it around your teeth and gums for between 5 and 20 minutes (I usually do this whilst dry-brushing my skin, showering and whilst I cleanse, tone & moisturise.)
When you’re done you spit it out. The one way in which I would deviate from the article is that I tend to spit into the toilet rather than the sink, as apparently it can solidify.
After that you brush your teeth as usual and carry on with your day.
I was worried that I would find the sensation of rinsing my mouth with oil a bit…disgusting – but actually it is completely fine and once the oil has melted, feels just like any other mouth wash. The coconut flavour is very mild and does not leave an oily residue.
I have been doing this for about three months and I have noticed a few things I wasn’t expecting. The first thing is that this has become part of my daily morning routine very easily and is not inconvenient or chore-like in any way.
The second thing is more exciting (and it is also true that I can’t prove it is due to the oil pulling) but for several years now I have suffered from very sensitive teeth – not only are they sensitive to hot and cold – but they also hurt sometimes when I eat chocolate or sugar (which happens more often than I care to admit.)
This sensitivity has completely stopped and my teeth have not hurt for some time. I cannot attribute it to a better lifestyle (I still eat more sugar than I should), or to the fact that I have changed any other element of my dental hygiene routine – so I am assuming it is down to oil pulling.
If this is the case then I can highly recommend this simple, natural and inexpensive practice as an easy way to improved oral health and a happier smile. 😀
More generic information on the traditional Ayurvedic practice of oil-pulling is available from Morgan Potts on MindBodyGreen