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By now you may have heard of oil pulling, an old Ayurvedic method used to detoxify and clean the teeth and gums with the added benefit of whitening teeth and strengthening the immune system too.  But does oil pulling work?  I know it seems unusual that swishing oil around your mouth can lead to a stronger immune system but it turns out that many infections and bacteria start in the mouth, so by improving oral health the immune system also benefits.

I will admit that oil pulling has been a slow process for me.  Mostly because all I can think about when I get up in the morning is my cup of coffee (I know, I know…) and oil pulling is said to work best on an empty stomach when you first rise in the morning.  It’s not essential to do it first thing in the morning, but it is highly recommended to oil pull on an empty stomach and I wanted to give it a fair shake.  So for me it took some time to begin, but now that I have (I’ve been doing it every day for 2 weeks) I can tell the difference in my teeth and I look forward to it each morning.

My teeth were actually the ones who decided it was time to start oil pulling.  I noticed my teeth were particularly sensitive a few weeks ago and decided to put oil pulling to the test.  One oil pulling session later and my teeth felt…different.  I couldn’t put my finger on it, but not only were they less sensitive, but I also felt different, in a good way.  I was so intrigued that I decided to do it the next morning and the morning after and for the next 2 weeks straight (and counting!).

I add a super detox ingredient to my oil pulling regimen 1-2 times a week:  essential oils (this is the only brand I use).  I use any number of essential oils depending on what I feel I need.  If I’m feeling like I’m fighting off a cold I may use thieves oil.  If I want an extra clean feeling I might use lemon oil.  If I want fresh breath I might use peppermint.  Or clove is great to use to support oral health too!

What I have noticed after 2 weeks of oil pulling:

Less sensitive gums (this was drastic and immediate)

Cleaner teeth throughout the day

Overall “good” feeling

I will continue my adventures in oil pulling and will report back after my first trip to the dentist in over a year when we return to the USA in June (we are finishing up an expat stay in Argentina now and I prefer to see my holistic dentist back in the states).  Until then, here’s how you can do your own oil pulling at home:

How to do Oil Pulling 101:

1:  Put 1-2 teaspoons of coconut oil, olive oil or sesame oil on a spoon (I prefer coconut oil because there really isn’t anything coconut oil CAN’T do–check out how you can use coconut oil for acne)

2:  Add 2 drops of pure, therapeutic grade Essential Oil (For adults only, this is not suitable for children) (WHERE TO BUY)

3:  Put oil in mouth and let it melt

4:  Swish oil around for 10-20 minutes.  Try to really move it around your mouth and get it all over your teeth, “pulling” the oil through your teeth.  DO NOT SWALLOW THE OIL!

5:  Spit the oil in the TRASH BIN (not the drain or it will clog it up)

6:  Rinse your mouth out with warm water or warm salt water.  Salt water will decrease irritation if you have any (I never have any irritation but I like using salt water for extra gum cleaning).

7:  Brush your teeth well and rinse your toothbrush, some people use a separate tooth brush for oil pulling but that’s up to you.

8: Other antiseptic essential oils to try: clove, thieves, peppermint.  Learn about where to buy essential oils here.  To be clear: you do not swallow anything while oil pulling!

Note to those with fillings:  There are some reports that oil pulling can loosen fillings that are loose in the mouth so proceed with caution if you have a loose filling.  This post has some great tips at the bottom about how to oil pull with fillings.

The Best from the Web on How to Do Oil Pulling:

Oil Pulling 101 from Mix Wellness

Oil pulling from Oh Lardy!

Oil pulling from The Crunchy Moose

How to Decrease Plaque with Oil Pulling from The Nourished Life

Oil Pulling: How and Why from Loula Natural

How to Heal Cavities Naturally from The Paleo Mama

How to Improve Oral Health Naturally from Yogi Mami

How to do oil pulling with an extra detox boost by www.kulamama.com

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