Oil pulling is an old practice that involves swishing an oil, such as coconut, sunflower, olive or sesame oil, in your mouth for about 20 minutes. The oil reduces the bacteria in your mouth and promotes healthy gums and teeth. Here are a few questions and answers about oil pulling:
What happens during oil pulling?
While you are swishing the oil, it binds with oral bacteria and sucks it out of the cracks and crevices of your mouth. Oil pulling reduces Streptococcus mutans bacteria, which is a major cause of tooth decay.
How do you oil pull?
You should set aside a time in the morning to oil pull. It's best to oil pull as soon as you wake up and before you eat, drink or brush your teeth. Your mouth has a high amount of bacteria in the morning since it has had time to collect overnight.
Put a spoonful of edible oil into your mouth and swish. Gently swish the oil in a manner similar to the way that you would move mouthwash about the mouth. Your jaw will get less tired with gentle swishing, and you wont have to spit earlier than recommended. Try to not swallow any of the oil, as it will be full of toxins that it has gathered from your mouth.
When you're finished swishing, spit the oil into a trash receptacle. If you are using coconut oil to pull, the oil, which hardens at room temperature, can clog your plumbing. Coconut oil should be milky white when you spit it out.
Rinse your mouth with warm water and then swish for a few minutes with a disinfecting solution, such as salt water or hydrogen peroxide. Follow up your oil pulling routine with flossing and brushing.
Repeat this routine a few times a week. If you have a hard time swishing for around 20 minutes, start small and build up. Try doing housework, watching TV or reading while you're oil pulling to help the time go by.
Benefits of oil pulling
Here are a few benefits associated with oil pulling:
- Freshens breath
- Prevents tooth decay
- Helps prevent gum disease
- Soothes and heals cracked lips
- Whitens teeth
- Soothes jaw and TMJ pain
Oil pulling can help improve your oral health, but it should not replace regular dentist checkups, brushing or flossing. To learn more ways to improve the health of your teeth and gums, schedule an appointment with a dental office, such as Louisville Family Dental.