As a licensed dental hygienist I have heard and read many things about this ancient Ayurvedic concept. Although no scientific proof has been found, there has been many positive side effects to this incredible oil.
Countless patients have told me:
1. Their teeth have gotten whiter
2. The sensitivity they have always had is gone
3. They feel more energized
4. They notice less bleeding while flossing
Coconut oil has proven itself to do all these things… But I’m sure you know this concept has its bad raps.
Try it yourself, I use to oil pull all the time and now I’m back on the horse. It’s a great way to add to your morning routine and make your mouth feel clean the rest of the day.
As background, oil pulling is an ancient, traditional folk remedy that has been practiced for centuries in India and southern Asia as a holistic Ayurvedic technique. The basic purpose is to “pull” bad bacteria from the mouth and spit it out in the oil when you’re finished. It’s the physical property of the oil that attracts all the “gunk” in your mouth, similar to the way the physical property of cohesion allows water to be so effective in the handwashing process. It also is thought to tighten the gums.
1. Put a Tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth, swish around for 20 minutes. Make sure you don’t do it vigorously, your mouth shouldn’t be tired afterwards. [Apparently the timing is key, according to Dr. Bruce Fife, author of Oil Pulling Therapy, as this is long enough to break through plaque and bacteria but not long enough that the body starts re-absorbing the toxins and bacteria. The oil will get thicker and milky as it mixed with saliva during this time and it should be creamy-white when spit out.]
2. Spit out in the garbage when your done, as all the oil is now full of bacteria
3. Rinse your mouth with water and spit, you can brush your teeth right after too if you don’t feel fully clean from the oil
The most comprehensive resource I’ve seen on the topic is the book “Oil Pulling Therapy” by Dr. Bruce Fife.
Other beneficial resources include:
Oil pulling should never replace your recommended health care routine, it should only be used as an adjunct
Some people notice a detox reaction for the first few days of using oil pulling that usually includes mild congestion, headache or other effects. I didn’t notice any of these effects, but have read cases of others who did.