To use coconut oil for oil pulling, simply swish 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil around in your mouth for approximately 15-20 minutes. You can do this slowly, and it isn’t a constant swishing like you would do during a 30-second mouthwash. You should do your oil pulling first thing in the morning, before you eat any food or even brush your teeth. You should not swallow any of the oil, although if you do, it won’t do any major harm.
When you are finished, spit the used coconut oil into the trash can – not down your sink! The thick oil will eventually clog your pipes, particularly if you do oil pulls 3-4 times per week, which is what most people recommend. After you spit, you can rinse your mouth out with warm water – or even salt water for a final level of clean. Then, brush your teeth as normal and go about your day!
When first starting the practice of coconut oil pulling, begin by swishing the oil around for only a few minutes, so you can get used to the taste and sensation. If you enjoy the process and notice positive results, gradually begin extending your oil-pulling sessions until reaching the suggested 15-20 minutes.
Does Coconut Oil Pulling Work?
Coconut oil pulling works wonders on the teeth, particularly in terms of removing bacteria, preventing cavities, improving gum health, eliminating bad breath, boosting the immune system, whitening the teeth, and curing tooth decay. Oil pulling has been used for thousands of years in various traditional medicine practices, including Ayurvedic treatment in India. Unlike many other traditional remedies, which are surrounded by controversy and rarely backed up with research, there are many different studies that have pointed to the notable benefits of oil pulling for oral health.
While oil pulling has been done with many different substances over the centuries, recent studies have found that coconut oil and sesame oil are the best options to deliver effective results. Coconut oil contains a wealth of antibacterial and anti-fungal properties that help keep the body protected in many other ways, and oral health is no exception. Lauric acid, one of the medium-chain fatty acids found in this oil, is able to eliminate many different types of bacteria from the oral cavity including those that cause bad breath and acidic conditions within the mouth. Coconut oil is also easily absorbed by tissue membranes, meaning that the antioxidant and immune-boosting effects of the oil can be enjoyed even by swishing it around in your mouth. Virgin organic coconut oil is the best choice for oil pulling, as it is completely unprocessed and will have all of the important components, especially those that bind to the biofilm of the teeth to eliminate bacteria.
Benefits of Coconut Oil Pulling
Coconut oil pulling has many benefits for your oral health, including its ability to kill bacteria, strengthen enamel, reduce gum inflammation, cure tooth decay, freshen the breath, boost immune health, and promote healing.
Relieves Inflamed Gums
Oil pulling can have anti-inflammatory effects on the gums and tissues in the mouth, which may have become irritated due to acidic conditions. Many people recommend massaging the gums directly with coconut oil for 5-10 minutes, in addition to oil pulling. It can help to stimulate blood flow to the gums and speed up the healing process, and also stop gum recession – a very common oral health issue.
Prevents Tooth Decay
The main culprit behind tooth decay is a bacteria called Streptococcus mutans, which feeds on the sugar in our diet and then pumps out acidity into the oral environment. This breaks down enamel and the porcelain of teeth, leading to cavities and weakened teeth. Coconut oil’s lauric acid is known to specifically eliminate S. mutans and leave your oral cavity an antiseptic and extremely clean space.
Protects Against Infections
There are many other infections that can attack the gums, teeth, tongue and tissue of the mouth, but the comprehensive effects of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid are able to eliminate almost any type of pathogen or illness that could take up residence in your mouth. Oil pulling at least once a week can significantly reduce your chances of bacteria being harbored in your teeth.
Eliminates Bad Breath
Bad breath has more to do with bacteria living in your mouth than it does with the garlic you have in your pasta. If you can eliminate those anaerobic bacteria – along with up to 500 other bacterial species in the mouth – then you can safely speak to anyone before checking your breath first!
Speeds Up Healing
The damage that is done to your gums, teeth and tissues is difficult to repair, but the antioxidant components of coconut oil are a good option to try. The vitamin E and various minerals are important for stimulating the growth of new cells, while also protecting against further breakdown of enamel and oral tissue.
Precautions for Coconut Oil Pulling
While the benefits of this natural health remedy are clear, there are some people who are allergic to coconut. Swishing a concentrated dose of coconut oil in your mouth for 20 minutes can have some very negative side effects, so ensure that you aren’t allergic before using this method. If you cannot use coconut oil, sesame oil has very similar properties and effects, but won’t trigger your allergies.
Also, some people assume that oil pulling is an acceptable replacement for regular brushing of the teeth, but that is far from true. You should still brush at least twice per day, and see a dentist at least once every six months. Oil pulling can be done 3-4 times per week for best results.