There’s so many chemicals in conventional dental care products. Flouride, dyes, sugar, soapy stuff to make bubbles, and a horde of other things that have been linked to unhealthy bodies. I’m not gonna lie, when I walk into the supermarket I don’t reach for any personal care products, not even the cute cheap eye make up stuff… not. any. more. And when it comes to toothpaste I only use toothpaste made with pure essential oils free of synthetic dyes, artificial flavors and preservatives. I’ve seen some pretty provocative blog posts that claim that oil pulling will work wonders for your teeth, some claim to have even reversed tooth decay — AMAZING! The question is however, is oil pulling good for your teeth?
What is Oil Pulling, really…
The short & sweet version of what oil pulling is is basically using a plant oils like coconut like you would mouthwash, but then for 10-20 minutes. The practice comes from India and some believe it can even help fight cancer.
It is an ancient folk remedy, also called Kavala Graha or Gandusha. The idea behind it is that the oils will draw out impurities from the mouth. These impurities include toxins and bacteria that have build up in the mouth. Just swish or hold the oil in your mouth. Once the swishing is complete, the oil is spit out into a sink or trash basket.
Oil pulling is also used for:
- Strengthening gums
- Whitening teeth
- Eliminating plaque
- Eliminating cavities
- As a treatment for TMJ, an ailment of the jaw
- Clearing up the skin
- Detoxing the body
- Increasing energy
- Aid hormonal balance
You can read more about the uses listed above and do your own research using the listed resources at the end of this article.
How to Do Oil Pulling
Oil pulling is very simple. Though to many the amount of time to do it can be a huge turn off, as well as the effort needed to swish the oil around. You can use Sesame Oil or Coconut Oil, I prefer the latter because it is what I always have in the house. Many oil pullers pick coconut oil for it’s many health benefits & properties. Pick your favorite brand, but make sure you pick cold-pressed & organic to avoid any chemicals or impurities.
- It is recommended to do oil pulling early in the morning, on an empty stomach before you brush.
- Take 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil in liquid form and put them in a cup or glass.
- If you like add a drop of essential oil, I love clove or peppermint and use a drop on and off.
- Fill your mouth with the mix and swish calmly & gently.
- Do this for 10-20 minutes. Use a stopwatch on your phone or iPad to keep track of the time.
I recommend doing the oil-sesh during a time you won’t be talking, like when you’re reading or watching a tv show. This has also been how I make sure my 6 year old does a whole session in one go. He does 15 minutes 5 times a week. This brings me to why I’m doing oil pulling.
Why I’m Oil Pulling
I stumbled upon the practice of oil pulling a couple of years ago, I read it, was amazed but didn’t take it up. I remember being confused between which oil to pick and I was about to give birth so I just pushed it back to the back of my list of things I wanna try someday.
But it wasn’t until after a traumatic visit to the dentist this January that I really read and processed the information. My son was experiencing horrible pain and for a while we thought it was an ear infection. But that day I decided to look at his mouth and I met with a big hole in his last molar. The dentist saw him that same day and gave me the option to pull it out or filling it. As I sat there mainly feeling awful that we missed that, I had a ton of questions about the filling and what it was. But the dentist would not answer me directly what was in the stuff they use to fill the teeth. All she could say was that it was a chemical, but I didn’t need to worry as it would be fine.
I left feeling really upset and uneasy about the “it’s a chemical but not bad…” answer. I got home and dug up the first article I ever read about oil pulling, because it had to do with tooth decay and reversing it. I also read one on this website and then I messaged my son’s dad to discuss with him our plan of attack. I let him know we dropped the ball and that our son would need some dental work. But that I also felt we needed to try a different route. My son has been sensitive to all kids of things throughout his first 6 years, with skin rashes and allergies. So I felt deeply that we needed to limit his exposure to chemicals and antibiotics.
The dentist said the pain he had was caused by an inflammation of his nerve, so she prescribed an antibiotic and some pain meds. I didn’t feel okay with exposing him to that, so even though at first I picked them up, I decided to hold off on using them.
Instead, we started immediately oil pulling with coconut oil + a drop of clove essential oil, he’s been taking cod liver oil every single day and we’ve limited sugar. I am also trying to cook with more healthy fats and real butter and keeping him off grains.
This is not a post about a success story, not yet. But I’m able to see an improvement in just 4 weeks. I was checking his teeth today and there’s definitely a change. I am not going to tell you it works, we’re still researching and implementing here. What I can say is that the pain has not returned at all and that is a great sign. I will tell you that others have had success and I think if you are concerned about your dental health, you should at the very least take a closer look at the use of oil pulling.
I’m going to work closely with my son for another 30-90 days, and then visit the dentist again for a full check up. I look forward to updating you on the progress with positive results later on. For now I recommend you do your own research. I think if anything oil pulling is a great natural way to supplement dental care.
Resources – Check them out & do your own research
- Where to get essential oils for internal/dietary use