Today, I’m talking health…and teeth!
I am slightly obsessed with my teeth. I blame my Mom. She always stressed how important it was to take care of them + has essentially brain washed our family when it comes to all things dental. I’m totally okay with it though, there’s nothing like a healthy pair of pearly whites. Not to mention it took nearly one third of my life to get my teeth into the shape they are today [8+ years of orthodontia anyone?!]
Like most people, I try to keep my teeth as healthy + as white as possible. In college, I was a devout Crest Whitestrips user until my dentist told me to knock it off since my enamel was on it’s way out. SCARY. I stopped immediately and have never gone back. Since then, I’ve used whitening toothpastes, as well as some other natural options. Baking soda has been a recent favorite, but there’s one interesting technique that not only whitens your smile, but can improve your overall health!
What the heck is that you ask? Well, in a nutshell…on an empty stomach, you place a spoonful of coconut oil in your mouth, swish it around, push/pull it through your teeth + then spit it out. It claims to help strengthen + whiten teeth, prevent cavities + gingivitis, help with bad breath, strengthen gums, reduce jaw pain, help with sleep or sinus issues, and reduce headaches + skin problems. Um, sold.
I have tried pulling a few times in the past, but recently had a conversation with my brothers wonderfully brilliant girlfriend Kathryn, who’s studying to become a dentist [she just interviewed at NYU for their DDS program!] + asked her to spill all the deets with me! 🙂
Here’s what you need to know:
What is Oil Pulling? What does it do? So it’s called oil pulling because it’s supposed to pull the toxins from your blood stream. The MCT which is the medium chain triglycerides (chemistry nerd term) is the antibacterial/anti fungal part of the coconut oil which helps kill the bacteria in your mouth. Coconut oil is also good for absorption which makes it a good oil to pull with.
How long do I need to “pull” for? You do it for 15-20 minutes. As the blood circulates the body, you get a lot of the toxins through the mouth.
How often do you pull + do you have any tips for lasting 20 minutes? I try to do it 5 times a week while I’m showering in the morning!
How long before you noticed a difference? I definitely noticed whiter teeth without any sensitivity you get with whiteners. Also, I haven’t been breaking out on my chin nearly as much.
THANK YOU for sharing, Kathryn! I enjoyed picking your brain on this one! 🙂
Oil pulling is definitely a little bit tricky for me, but I have a couple of personal tips that help!
- I melt the oil first! The texture of the solid oil bugs me out! It’s similar to that of vaseline. You can’t really begin pulling until it melts anyways, so I just bypass that whole melt-in-your-mouth part by popping into the microwave for a few seconds.
- Be prepared to fill your time! I love Kathryn’s suggestion of pulling in the shower…I’m going to have to try that! But usually, I’ll dedicate the block of time to answering e-mails, catching up on some blogs, or editing pictures/posts!
- Don’t use too much! Only take what you can handle. Your mouth will gradually fill with additional saliva + you don’t want to find yourself trying to work with too much liquid.
One last note…be sure to spit the oil into the trash or outside afterwards. This is important, because it will clog your sink.
And there you have it, oil pulling 101. Are you down to try it!?
What are your thoughts on oil pulling? Have you ever done it before?