I woke up with a toothache. It had been bothering me for quite some time, but today was particularly bad. So, I decided it was time to try oil pulling, which I had been reading about for a while now, but had never actually tried.
So, what is oil pulling, you might ask? Oil pulling is simply swishing oil around in your mouth, “pulling” the oil back and forth between your teeth. You might also ask WHY would someone do this?!
The practice of oil pulling serves more than one purpose. It is particularly good for toothaches and tooth and gum health in general. Oil pulling also acts as a detoxifying process for your entire body, as the oil activates enzymes, pulling the toxins out of other systems. When you expel the used oil, toxins are released with it. This process of detoxification has been known to help with many diseases and disorders, including excema, migraines, sinus issues, and even more serious blood disorders like leukemia!
So, how do you oil pull, exactly? First, it’s important to use a high-quality oil. Some people use cold-pressed oils such as olive, sesame or sunflower. I used coconut oil, because I always have some on hand, and because it has a multitude of health benefits (plus, I like the taste).
Usually my coconut oil stays in a liquid state, but it has been uncharacteristically cool here in Texas lately, so it was a little more solid. It can be used in this solid state, but it’s a little gross to get started. Place one tablespoon of the oil in your mouth and begin to swish it around, pulling it back and forth through the teeth.
That’s it. It has been suggested to start off for five minutes at a time and work your way up to 15-20 minutes. I just went for 15 minutes today. It was not hard to do (other than the fact that I couldn’t holler at my kids for 15 whole minutes!).
Swishing away… try to ignore the bags under my eyes 😉
When you’re done, spit the oil out in the trash- you don’t want it clogging your drain! Try not to swallow any of it, as it is toxic once you’re done with it! Brush your teeth to thoroughly cleanse your mouth of lingering toxins.
Some things to consider: I have read that if you have a metal filling that is not properly installed, oil pulling can cause it to come out. I have one of these type of fillings (have been wanting to look into getting it replaced…), and I guess there is no way to know for sure that it will not come out, but it’s been in there for more than ten years, so I’m guessing I’m safe. Secondly, there is a little concern about oil pulling while pregnant or breastfeeding. Most of what I have read says it is safe in either case. I’m currently breastfeeding my two-month-old and feel comfortable oil pulling. The alternative is dental work, which I’d rather avoid if possible.
I plan to continue oil pulling daily until the toothache is relieved (maybe longer). I will keep you updated on how long this takes, and other health benefits I may receive in general.