We’ve all heard about the numerous benefits of coconut oil: it can help you burn off fat, it improves blood cholesterol levels, it can protect your skin from the sun, and it can even boost brain function. But what if we also told you that coconut oil could also improve your oral health? Through a method called ‘oil pulling’, you can clean and detoxify your mouth and gums in as little as a few minutes. Keep reading to find out more.
Oil Pulling – The Basics
Oil pulling is an age old remedy that basically involves using natural substances, such as coconut oil, to clean the teeth and gums. The basic idea is to swish the oil around in your mouth for around 20 minutes, before spitting it out. This action helps to whiten your teeth, decrease sensitivity, and lower the amount of harmful bacteria in your mouth. Traditionally, sunflower oil and sesame oil were most commonly used for oil pulling, however coconut oil tastes better, and so it is becoming the more common ingredient.
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Experts recommend oil pulling to be done first thing in the morning, just after you get up. However, for people with particularly bad oral health, the process can be done before each meal. The process is simple:
- Place 2 teaspoons of coconut oil into your mouth. The consistency of the oil doesn’t matter, however if it is solid, you may prefer to chew it at first to encourage it to melt before swishing.
- Swish the oil around your mouth for 20 minutes. According to experts, the length of time that you swish is key. 20 minutes is just long enough for you to kill the plaque and bacteria, without re-absorbing the toxins. You don’t need to be particularly energetic whilst swishing – if your facial muscles begin to ache, you can slow it down a little.
- Spit the mixture out into a rubbish bin – As you swish, the mixture will become thicker and creamier, and it could block up kitchen pipes. You also don’t want to swallow it as it will contain the bacteria and toxins that have been removed from the mouth.
- Rinse your mouth with warm water.
- Brush your teeth.
Recommended Reading: 9 Reasons To Use Coconut Oil DAILY (3 Of These Are Shocking!)
Does it Work?
According to studies, oil pulling is a proven way of improving your dental hygiene. In 2009, a small study involving 20 adolescent boys suffering from gingivitis, found that oil pulling reduced the amount of plaque and Streptococcus bacteria in the mouth. And, other, much larger studies have produced similar results. Although it is unclear as to whether oil pulling could help with other conditions, it’s fair to say that it could. Inflamed teeth and gums do lead to other health problems, so treating this issue could lead to other health improvements.
Dental experts have been keen to point out, however, that oil pulling should not be used as an alternative to brushing your teeth. It is important to still follow the same oral hygiene pattern that you are used to. So, don’t forget to floss!
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