We’ve noticed that oil pulling is one of the latest trends to take the wellness community by storm - but it’s not new. Oil pulling is an ancient, Indian folk remedy claimed to whiten your teeth, freshen your breath and greatly improve your oral health. But does it really work? Read on to find out!
Your mouth contains hundreds of bacteria. Some of these bacteria are harmful, and lead to spreading illness, tooth decay, bad breath, and gum disease. Research shows that oil pulling is a proven way to remove harmful bacteria that brushing and flossing leave behind.
According to a 2016 study on 60 participants, oil pulling can reduce the number of bacteria found in saliva, supporting good oral hygiene and decreasing the likelihood of spreading germs. Coconut oil was also found to be a safe alternative to chlorhexidine, a topical antiseptic commonly found in mouthwashes. In a 2011 study, it was determined that oil pulling may be an effective, natural alternative for getting rid of bad breath, and works as well as traditional mouthwash. Although swishing your mouth with water can remove as much as 50% of all bacteria in the mouth, oil pulling also helps break down plaque, which leads to tooth decay and cavities. Lastly, oil pulling removes toxins and heavy metals from the whole body, leading to better overall body and skin health.
Things you should know:
- A variety of oils can be used to oil pull. Some of those include coconut, sesame, sunflower, palm, or olive oils. Of these oils, coconut oil is recommended because it is naturally antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory.
- Oil pulling does not replace brushing one's teeth, flossing, and other oral care techniques.
- There are no known risks for oil pulling with coconut oil, other than allergies. (Those with allergies to coconuts or coconut oil should oil pull with another oil.)
Now that you have the facts, are you ready to try it? We recommend oil pulling once a week to begin, and increase in frequency to daily, or up to 3 times daily when comfortable. Here's The Skinny on Oil Pulling:
- Oil pulling should take place in the morning, on an empty stomach.
- Place a tablespoon of Skinny Peppermint Oil Pulling in your mouth
- In an upright position, swish the coconut oil around the mouth for 5–20 minutes. (If this isn’t possible, start with 2 or 3 minutes and slowly increase in duration.)
- Once finished, spit the oil into the garbage. (Spitting into the sink or toilet can lead to clogging.) Do not swallow or gargle the coconut oil, as the toxins pulled from your teeth should be disposed of.
- Follow with your typical oral routine to maintain good oral health.