Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic dental technique where you swish a tablespoon of oil (I prefer using coconut oil, but sesame or safflower works too) in your mouth first thing in the morning on an empty stomach for around 20 minutes. Also known as “kavala” or “gundusha,” oil pulling should be done before drinking water or brushing your teeth. The concept is that it draws toxins in your body, to improve oral health but also your overall health.
Oil Pulling Pointers
My Oil Pulling Routine
First thing in the morning I put about one tablespoon full of coconut oil in my mouth and gently swish it around in and out of my teeth. Coconut solidifies at 75 degrees so it might take a second or two in my mouth to return to a liquid state. While oil pulling I am up and moving around, taking my dog out and feeding him, making my green juice, checking emails, etc.
After about 20 minutes I spit the oil into a jar (continuously spitting oil down your drain will clog your pipes over time). I then gargle briefly with salt water and finally I brush my teeth with toothpaste like normal.
Oil Pulling Pointers
- Oil pulling should NOT replace brushing or flossing. Rather, it can be added to your daily dental care practice.
- Start small. If 20 minutes seems too difficult or daunting at first, start with just five minutes and work your way up. Same goes with frequency. If doing this everyday seems to overwhelming, start with just 1 or 2 times per week.
- Coconut oil is recommended by medical experts, due to having lauric acid, known for anti-microbial benefits.
- Don’t swallow, or spit it down a sink. Discard used oil into a waste basket or jar.
Final Notes on Oil Pulling for Your Oral Health
I prefer to do this every morning as it gets me in a routine, but four or five times per week might be a more realistic goal at first. Do what suits you. You don’t have to work hard at it, just gently swish and suck the oil through the teeth and around your mouth.
Studies have shown that oil pulling can decrease harmful bacteria in the mouth, reduce plaque and gingivitis, whiten teeth and prevent bad breath.
More questions? Let me know!
Happy oil pulling! 🙂