If you do a search online for alternative ways to promote dental care, strong gums and healthy teeth, apart from regular check ups with your dentist, one of the most talked about is the practice of oil pulling.
Oil pulling is about as old as medicine itself having been used as an Ayurvedic medicine in ancient India over 3000 years ago. Its rise in popularity in recent times is due in part to Dr. F Karach M.D., an Ayurvedic medical practitioner, who has espoused oil pulling as an effective means to detoxify the body and prevent disease. There have also been several celebrities who have spoken about the benefits of oil pulling including Hollywood actress Gwyneth Paltrow and Australian model, Miranda Kerr.
An important point to make is that the oil in oil pulling is not any old oil, so don’t worry that you are going to take a mouthful of engine oil out of your car. Instead, it is vegetable oil, and the one most recommended for oil pulling is organic coconut oil.
If you want to try oil pulling it is best done first thing in the morning before you have eaten or had anything to drink. Take a tablespoon of the coconut oil, which at room temperature should still be solid, and place it in your mouth. Start to move the coconut oil around in your mouth until it liquifies, which happens as the temperature of the oil increases in your mouth.
Once the oil is a liquid, continue to swish it around in your mouth for around 20 minutes. Try to get the oil to go between your teeth and to all parts of your mouth as you swish it around. To be truthful the first time you try this, it may not feel very pleasant. The consistency of coconut oil when it is solid will make it a bit tricky to swish at first, and unless you love coconut the taste might put you off too.
After 20 minutes spit the oil out, but it is essential you spit it into a bin and not down the sink, which could lead to the oil solidifying in the waste pipe and blocking it. Once you have spat the oil out, rinse your mouth out several times with water and brush your teeth.
The principle behind oil pulling is that the bacteria, such as the ones that create plaque, cavities and gum disease, become trapped within the molecules of the oil and are thus removed from your mouth when you spit it out. This is why you should not swallow the oil as it would mean all the bacteria entering your digestive system. Once you have been oil pulling for some time, your gums should be healthier and your teeth will look whiter…at least that is the theory.
There is no denying that lots of people using oil pulling have seen a dramatic improvement in their oral and dental health and if you search online you will see lots of these success stories. However, mainstream medical opinion is that there is little scientific research to back up the claims made about oil pulling and so the jury is still out, at least amongst the professionals.
If you are unsure about whether oil pulling will work for you the only way to find out is to try it. Ultimately your decision to go ahead will come down to whether you prefer to see fully detailed medical research which categorically proves it works first, or whether you believe those who are already oil pulling and getting positive results in terms of their dental health.