Oil Pulling for Oral Health
A great smile is so important. When you smile from the inside out, other people can feel it, you can feel it, and smiling just lifts you up and reminds you to be happy. While I do love my smile, I would love it even more if my teeth were just a little bit whiter and brighter. However, I am not prepared to use oral bleaching products, as I am not comfortable with adding that amount of toxicity directly into my body. This is where oil pulling comes in: some celebrities talk about using oil pulling as a means of decreasing the amount of bad bacteria in their mouth, while also having the benefit of safely and naturally whitened teeth. Although recently mentioned in beauty circles, the method of oil pulling has been around for centuries, used in Ayurvedic medicine as a cure-all for gum disease, asthma, sinus problems, and teeth whitening. It has also been shown to reduce plaque.
The method is simple: Every day, take 1 tablespoon of oil into your mouth and swish it around vigorously, moving it between your teeth, for at least ten minutes, before spitting it out. You can use olive oil or safflower oil, but the current favourite is coconut oil, for its palatable taste and antibacterial benefits. Half of the fat in coconut oil is comprised of the bacteria fighting ingredient lauric acid, well known for its antimicrobial actions. Lauric acid inhibits strep mutans, the primary bacteria that cause tooth decay, so it is no surprise that recent studies have shown the benefit of coconut oil in the prevention of tooth decay. Oil pulling does not replace your daily brushing and flossing routine, but is a complement to your current dental hygiene routine.
If you are using solid coconut oil, you can either melt it gently first, or just let it melt in your mouth and swish. Afterward, spit the oil into the trash, rinse with warm water, and brush as usual. It sounds like an odd beauty ritual, and it is time-consuming, but worth trying to see if your beautiful teeth see any benefit. The idea is to do this every day, but realistically I may only have the time to oil pull a couple of times a week.
Good luck with this one, and maybe in time you will be smiling whiter and brighter.