Oral Care with Oil Pulling
Did you know that February is National Dental Health Month? Well now you do and you ran your tongue over your teeth and wondered if you flossed today, didn’t you?
Besides the obvious brushing twice a day, flossing and using mouthwash, what else does your dental routine consist of? How about oil pulling?
What is Oil Pulling?
If you just Googled “oil pulling”, you’re not alone. It’s actually an ancient dental technique that uses natural oil to clean teeth and gums by removing plaque and toxins in your mouth. The process of using the oil also whitens your teeth as it cleans.
Oil pulling has been used extensively as a traditional Indian folk remedy for many years to prevent decay, oral malodor, bleeding gums, dryness of throat, cracked lips and for strengthening teeth, gums and the jaw.
But wait, there’s more – many believe that oil pulling can help with about 30 different ailments, such as headaches, migraines, asthma, hormone imbalances and acne.
Oil Pulling and Your Health
Bacteria isn’t always an exciting topic of discussion, but it’s very important to remember that when bacteria enters your mouth, it can enter your bloodstream through your gums and eventually make its way to your heart. Several studies now show that these oral pathogens—viruses as well as bacteria—may be linked to certain cancers, making it even more important to do take every step possible to ensure your teeth and gums stay healthy.
How to Oil Pull
Intrigued yet? Let’s try it. Well first you need to chose an oil. There are a few choices and they’re pretty much based on preference – or whatever you have in your pantry – sesame, coconut, or olive. Measure out a tablespoon and swish it around your mouth for 20 minutes. Yes minutes, not seconds. Some say 10-15 minutes is enough and it’s best to do it first thing in the morning, before you have eaten anything. The key is to allow the oil time to absorb the bacteria and toxins from your mouth.
Be warned that the oil will get thick and creamy as you continue to swish. After the 20 or so minutes, spit the oil out (in the trash, not the sink) and rinse with warm water. Brush as normal to finish up.
I know you may be wondering why hasn’t my dentist recommended this before? Well, that’s because like many alternative or holistic health methods, oil pulling is not part of conventional treatment. There is no harm in oil pulling, but it should not replace your typical dental routine.
Simply by doing your own research you’ll find many people who swear by this method, including many dentists and physicians. Dr. Jessica T. Emory states:
For the record, a regular oil-pulling routine should not replace routine dental visits and traditional at-home oral care. Oil pulling does not reverse the effects of tooth decay, and it’s important that patients are made fully aware of that. That being said, I do believe that it is a great supplemental therapy.
Start with a few days a week and then work your way up to oil pulling every day. I promise that it will get better with time and your mouth will feel so clean and healthy you’ll wonder why you didn’t start sooner.
Have you already tried oil pulling? What do you think?
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