Coconut oil pulling is an oral hygiene routine that is said to improve the health of your teeth and gums. It is very popular among those who opt for organic, all-natural products, as coconut oil is edible, safe and derived from the ‘meat’ of mature coconuts. Due to this, however, there has also been some criticism from skeptics. Despite the fact that the oil is consumable, some people have voiced concerns about how safe this method is. But with so many people cheering for the results they’ve seen, is oil pulling worth doing – and how would you go about it?
‘Oil pulling’ almost makes it sound like the oils are trying to uproot your teeth, but this actually refers to the process by which the oils bind to plaque and bacteria and ‘pull’ it out, reducing the amounts of bacteria in the mouth. It is an old, proven remedy that utilizes completely natural substances to detoxify your mouth. According to coconut oil pulling advocates, you can have all the benefits of whitened teeth, healthy gums, and improved internal well-being, just by utilizing one of nature’s miracles.
For those who prefer to see claims supported by evidence, there has been research on the benefits of oil pulling for oral health. One study found that oil pulling (especially when coconut oil is used) reduces the amounts of Streptococcus Mutans bacteria in the mouth. These bacteria have been investigated for their role in tooth decay and gum disease, which according to the findings of this research, coconut oil pulling can help to combat. Lots of people have reported better breath, as well, and even improvements in other areas; there are reports of people experiencing clearer skin, improvements to their sore throats, and more. However, these effects have not been documented, but it would be interesting to see the science behind this.
Dental professionals urge that coconut oil pulling is used as a complimentary routine as part of a complete, approved oral care regimen. Adding this technique to your existing daily cleansing habits is a good idea, but you cannot solely rely on it and it is not a replacement for brushing teeth.
In order to implement coconut oil pulling effectively, you place between 1 and 2 teaspoons of coconut oil in your mouth and swish it just like mouthwash. You should aim to swish the oil in your mouth for twenty minutes, in order to allow the oil long enough to break through and bind with the plaque and bacteria. When you spit the oil (which should be spat in the bin, and not in the sink) it should have turned creamy and thick from being mixed with saliva. To finish, it is recommended that you swish your mouth with warm water to rinse, then brush as usual.
Although coconut oil is the best option, some people have adverse reactions to coconut products, and for these people, there are some alternative oils that can be used for pulling. Sesame oil or MCT oil can be used instead, and for even better results, these can be combined with mouth-friendly essential oils.