For most people alive today, toothbrushes and commercial toothpastes are commonplace, but the benefits of coconut oil pulling are less well-known.
You were probably taught to brush your teeth two to three times per day, starting with your baby teeth. Once your permanent teeth started to come in, you were likely placed in the dentist’s chair at least once a year for a thorough cleaning and a lecture on your never-quite-perfect brushing, flossing, and mouthwash-swishing skills.
What you may not know is that many people in this world weren’t introduced to these modern-day dental practices as children. Still others prefer to limit their use of commercial products with unnatural ingredients, so they choose not to use store-bought toothpastes. There are even some people in the world who would laugh at the idea of using a plastic toothbrush. Many of these people do something that was commonplace before the invention of the toothbrush. They wake up each morning and simply swish with coconut or olive oil for at least 10 minutes.
This is the practice of oil pulling. While coconut oil is often used today for its long list of known health benefits, you can use olive oil or another vegetable-based oil. You take one tablespoon of pure oil and swish much as you would with mouthwash. The difference is that you want to swish for at least 10 minutes and up to 20 minutes each day.
Some people believe that coconut oil pulling pulls toxins from throughout the body, which is why the oil seems to multiple and fill your mouth within the first 10 minutes of pulling. The oil does seem more voluminous at the end because you’re collecting saliva as you swish. Whether the process really alleviates toxins or is just a better way to keep your teeth and gums healthy is something we may never know to a scientific fact, but there are some worthwhile benefits of oil pulling with coconut oil:
If nothing else, you should notice significantly whiter teeth after coconut oil pulling for at least two consecutive weeks. If you make this a part of your daily routine, you may notice that your gums and teeth are healthier and that you suffer from less severe morning breath. If you regularly suffer from sinusitis or allergy-related sinus problems, you may notice a reduction in that misery as well.
Some people suggest that you oil pull on an empty stomach, but you can get the teeth whitening and many of the other benefits regardless of your stomach’s status. After 10-20 minutes of pulling, spit the oil into the trash can before brushing, flossing, and swishing mouthwash as normal. While you may not notice instant results, you should see some difference in the health and appearance of your gums and teeth within a week.
Some people have no problem spending 20 minutes oil pulling every morning, but others have to adjust to the taste of the oil. Some people also start out with a teaspoon of oil and work their way up to a tablespoon because they find it uncomfortable to hold the larger amount of oil in their mouths as it collects spit.
While there are health benefits of coconut oil pulling, it’s possible that you may experience a headache as you swish with coconut oil. Many people believe that this is due to the toxins leaving the body, but there is no scientific proof of this idea. The headache shouldn’t be severe, and it should go away once you spit out the oil and (potentially) the toxins.