Oil Pulling for Oral Health
Oil pulling said to achieve whiter teeth, fresher breath and better oral health
Oil pulling, a traditional Ayurvedic treatment for oral health (as well as dozens of systemic ailments) has been used in India and Asia for 3,000 years. It was introduced to the west about 20 years ago as a way to achieve whiter teeth (without chemicals), fresher breath, cavity and gingivitis prevention and less plaque build-up.
How does it work? Each morning, before eating or brushing teeth, swish one tablespoon of natural, food quality oil—safflower, sesame, olive or coconut—in your mouth for two to three minutes. For optimum results, the recommendation is to increase the swishing time up to 15 minutes.
After swishing, spit out (do not swallow!) the oil. Rinse mouth thoroughly with warm water, then brush teeth.
The theory behind the treatment is this: As the oil swishes around teeth and gums it ‘pulls’ oil-soluble bacteria and other debris into the oil and so detoxifies the mouth, ridding it of viruses, bacteria, parasites and fungi. The theory also suggests that by cleansing the mouth in this way, inflammation is reduced and overall health is improved.
I recently received a sample of GuruNanda Pulling Oil, which contains a proprietary blend of all sunflower, sesame, coconut and peppermint oil, specifically designed for oil pulling, and it harnesses the individual benefits of all three for a more balanced and effective approach.
When using the oil, I found that the peppermint flavor made it easier to swish the oil as directed. However, over a period of time, I found that I was just not able to keep it in my mouth for more than one or two minutes. I could not imagine working up to 15 or even 10 minutes.
Are my teeth whiter? I can’t tell yet. However, since this is a benign and non-chemical practice using only natural products, I’m willing to keep it as part of my oral hygiene routine for a while, just to see if I can achieve the results that regular oil pullers report.
Many regular oil pullers report that their mouth feels clean and fresh and their teeth are whiter. This is a much better home treatment to whiten teeth than commercial tooth whitening preparations which contain very strong chemicals and are fairly expensive. Users also report having clearer, healthier skin after using this natural treatment as well as feeling mentally invigorated. Many people have said that oil pulling helped to curb their appetites and helped them to lose weight.
To be continued.