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Are you one of those who, each morning, wakes up, stumbles to the bathroom, grabs their oil of choice, and gets busy? How long do you last? For beginners, 5 minutes is probably long enough. But if you’re a pro, if you have the endurance and control, you can go for 20 or even 30 minutes without an, uh, accident. And when you’re done, you clean up, and smile big and bright and welcome the day with a clearer mind. Today’s session may be over, but you can hardly wait to do it again tomorrow morning.
Huh? What am I talking about? Uh, what are you thinking about? Am I speaking of… Nope. Not that. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. No, I’m talking about putting oil in your mouth and swishing it around and pulling it through your teeth. You know, oil pulling (OP). Ever heard of it?
What is OP?
Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic practice whereby a natural oil is swished and pressed and pulled through the teeth to capture and remove toxins and bacteria. Most recommend using raw, organic oils such as coconut, or sesame and pulling for 15 to 20 minutes in the morning on an empty stomach. After 20 minutes, the oil is then spit in the trash (not in the sink or toilet). To finish up the process, one then rinses the mouth out with warm water and / or brushes their teeth using a wet brush without toothpaste.
Why Would I do This?
As with any alternative medicine practice, OP is not without controversy, and some even call it pseudoscience. Even so, the potential benefits* are worth the time and the effort:
- Soothes inflammation and irritation
- Boosts the immune system
- Helps dry mouth
- Aids bleeding gums
- Strengthens gums and teeth
- Whitens teeth
- May prevent cavities
How to Get Started
It is quite easy to begin the practice of OP. First, decide that you want to try it, then read up on it. Make sure you know exactly what to do and what to expect; again, it is really easy to do. Finally, pick your oil. I’d recommend either organic or non-GMO coconut oil or sesame oil. Some have trouble with coconut oil at first, because it can be solid when it first enters the mouth. If coconut oil doesn’t work for you, try another oil, or purchase liquid coconut oil. Whatever the case, here are several of the best non-GMO oils to consider.
Nature’s Way Liquid Coconut Premium Oil
Masigi FRESH Oil Pulling Mouthwash made with Organic Coconut Oil + Essential Oils
GuruNanda Oil Pulling Oil. Natural Mouthwash, Ayurvedic Blend of Coconut, Sesame, Sunflower, and Peppermint Oils
Dale Audrey Ayurvedic Oral Pulling Rinse. Cinnamon , with Neem, Myrrh, Clove and Oil of Oregano
Skinny and Co. 100% Raw Oil Pulling Peppermint Coconut Oil
Banyan Botanicals Daily Swish, Mint, Ayurvedic Oil Pulling Oil
For more oil options, visit our Oral Care page.
Start slow; try just 5 minutes a day for a week and see how it goes. It may take more than one week, but you’ll probably soon begin to notice a difference. Does it brighten your smile and soothe your gums? The best way to find out is to have a go and try it for yourself. I think you’ll be glad you did.