Most of you who read the title will probably be thinking, “What the heck is oil pulling?” You might even think it sounds intimidating or gross at first, I know I did! But after doing a lot of research on it and trying it out for myself, here are my personal thoughts on oil pulling.
Oil pulling is a technique used to cleanse your teeth of toxins. It is a holistic method used primarily in Ayurvedic medicine. To oil pull, you take about a tablespoon of oil in your mouth and swish it for 10-20 minutes and then spit it out in the trash and continue with your normal dental care routine. The most common oil used to oil pull is coconut oil, but any oil will do. You can add essential oils (such as peppermint oil) if you want it to help freshen your breath more. If you are using coconut oil, make sure it is unrefined. It is best to do it in the morning on an empty stomach, but you can do it at any point in the day. In my personal experience, it was easier to oil pull in the morning.
In this trial, I used Minty Coco, which I purchased on Amazon. The box came with 14 sachets filled with coconut oil. The coconut oil was mixed with a peppermint essence, so I hoped it would be flavored. The box said to oil pull for 5-15 minutes.
Benefits of Oil Pulling:
The first video I saw about oil pulling is by holistichabits on YouTube. I clicked on it out of curiosity but, I ended up really interested in it after watching. She explains the process and benefits of oil pulling really well but, you can always read about from other sources as well.
I have read some insane claims for what oil pulling can do! Here are some of them:
• improves dental/oral health
• whitens teeth
• clears up skin problems
• helps with digestive issues
• detoxifies your entire body
• helps with joint pain or arthritis
• helps with sinus infections
• cures halitosis
• cures gingivitis
• reduces harmful bacteria that cause plaque and lead to cavities
After reading these insane claims, I was skeptical but determined to try it out. I have always had really sensitive teeth and I’m really prone to cavities so I was interested in finding a cheap, healthy way to make my teeth stronger.
Do not swallow the oil during or after oil pulling. If you swallow the oil, you will get sick as your body tries to expel all the bacteria and toxins. Spit the oil out in the trash. If you feel like you have too much oil in your mouth or you are worried you might swallow some, spit it out and start fresh.
Do not inhale the oil during oil pulling. This can lead to a lipoid pneumonia. You don’t want oil filled with bacteria and toxins in your lungs, right?
Use only unrefined/virgin oils. If you use an oil that is refined, it might contain harmful substances that you do not want to be putting in your body.
Oil pulling is not a substitute for brushing your teeth. Continue with your normal dental care routine after oil pulling. Brush your teeth and floss.
Spit in the trash not the drain. Make sure you always spit out the oil in the trash, not a drain. It will clog up your drains.
I was extremely nervous the first day I oil pulled. I was worried it would be a weird sensation and I wouldn’t be able to do it for long. I read a lot of reviews however that said it got easier with time. Each day I oil pulled in the shower. I found this easier because I could warm up the sachet under the hot water. During the first few days, I only used half the sachet and oil pulled for only about 5 minutes.
My initial reaction was that it had no flavor but smelled like peppermint. The oil wasn’t as heavy as I thought it would be and as I started swishing in my mouth, it felt more and more comfortable and liquid-y. As I continued oil pulling, however, I got a bad taste in my mouth. I suppose this was the bacteria and toxins I read so much about. The first few days I had to spit it out if it became too much.
On the fifth day, I tried oil pulling at night. It was the most awful day of oil pulling I had experienced thus far. I couldn’t do it for more than 2 minutes because the taste and overall experience was so bad. At that moment, I committed to only oil pulling in the morning. The next day, I was able to oil pull for a full 10 minutes and I used the whole sachet. Maybe it was the utter contrast to the night before, but it was definitely a lot easier this day. I was getting used to the flavor that accompanies oil pulling for a few minutes. My teeth felt significantly stronger after brushing my teeth and they looked a bit whiter as well!
The last day of this week, I oil pulled for a full 15 minutes. Later that night I had some fried Oreo’s and while normally the excess sugar would cause me tooth pain after eating too many, I didn’t feel anything! I was absolutely amazed that it really helped my sensitive teeth.
After week 1, week 2 was a breeze. I knew what it would feel like to oil pull and I knew exactly what I needed to be able to do it for as long as possible. The best thing for me was to oil pull in the morning, in the shower, and using a little less than a full sachet. Each day I was able to oil pull for about 10 minutes and it didn’t bother me anymore. My teeth felt stronger and significantly less sensitive.
Final thoughts and tips:
Throughout the two weeks, while I did notice changes in the strength of my teeth, I didn’t notice any crazy changes with my body or skin. If anything, my teeth whitened slightly. If I had taken before and after pictures, I’m sure I would have noticed a more significant change. If you’re trying this out specifically for whitening your teeth, I would definitely recommend taking before and after pictures because it is difficult to notice the change just by looking in the mirror.
After finishing the two weeks, I stopped oil pulling for a few days. Within just two days after stopping, I noticed my teeth were back to their usual, painful sensitivity. A few days after that, I started breaking out. Of course, acne can be attributed to other factors such as diet or hormonal changes, but to me it seemed a little close to when I stopped oil pulling. Correlation does not mean causation but maybe in this case it does!
I am definitely going to continue oil pulling, maybe not every day, but as I need to. I can’t say that all the benefits held true, but different people may experience different benefits. I hope my personal experience helped you learn about oil pulling and encouraged you to try it out for yourself! Good luck!