Oil pulling is one of those natural remedies that gets mixed reviews by some health professionals. The fear is that people will try to replace regular tooth brushing with oil pulling. Or that they will do oil pulling wrong and not remove the bacteria from the mouth.
When done properly and part of a healthy oral hygiene routine, oil pulling can be highly advantageous. This is especially the case when it comes to coconut oil pulling. Yes, pulling with coconut oil is much better than pulling with any other type of oil.
Just how do you gain from this and what exactly does it involve? When I first heard about it I was a little unsure, but I’ve found it beneficially and easy to do. It takes time but it’s worth it for a healthier mouth that’s cavity free.
Here’s all you need to know about coconut oil pulling to see if it’s beneficial for you and something to add to your oral hygiene routine.
What Exactly Is Oil Pulling for a Start?
I know the biggest question you likely have is what oil pulling is. It’s not the most self-explanatory names in the world.
It involves pulling the coconut oil around your mouth. You swish it around your mouth like mouthwash, but much slower. The aim is to get the oil right into the crevices of your mouth and between your teeth, in ways that mouthwash usually doesn’t work.
This works with your regular tooth brushing habits. You do it after the actual cleansing to help remove the remaining bacteria and plaque from your mouth.
But isn’t this disgusting? I know the idea of swishing oil around your mouth will sound quiet disgusting at first. I was a little unsure about it. Coconut oil is beneficial because of the slightly coconut taste. There’s something about it that can help you forget about the idea of putting oil in your mouth. You’ll also gain other health benefits using coconut oil specifically.
How Does Coconut Oil Pulling Help Your Oral Health?
Let’s start with the benefit of oil pulling on the oral health. The oil attracts bacteria to it, so when you spit the oil out (yes, you get rid of it), you will get rid of the bacteria in the mouth at the same time.
Oil pulling slowly means that you also force plaque, food particles, and acid out of the mouth. They all end up in the sink, so your teeth and gums aren’t affected by them.
Bacteria and acid can hide in crevices in the mouth. Some of the most common places include the tongue and cheeks, but the oil will pull it all out. The liquid can get right into the crevices in the way that a toothbrush can’t.
Coconut oil has the added advantage of being antibacterial. Not only is the bacteria pulled out of the mouth, but it is killed at the same time. Even if you don’t manage to get every single bit of bacteria out, it will be killed off so it can’t grow at a later stage. Chances are you won’t have bacteria left over though anyway, especially if you oil pull properly.
There are also antifungal properties to coconut oil. Mouth thrush is more common than we like to admit. It’s especially a problem in those who take antibiotics and other medication on a regular basis. The coconut oil will help to fight against the fungal growth, getting rid of any type of infection in the mouth.
Of course, you can get the coconut oil to the back of the throat. This is another place for a lot of bacteria to grow and be left untouched. After all, we don’t always want to use mouthwash, and some dentists have started recommending against mouthwash for the health of the overall mouth. Bacteria left to grow doesn’t just cause infections and tooth problems. It leads to bad breath, especially in a dry mouth. The oil pulling helps to prevent the bacteria growing, so bad breath is no longer an issue.
And then there are the financial benefits. Coconut oil is an affordable option. In most cases, it will cost the same price as a bottle of regular oil for an amount that will last a month at the very least. This is so much cheaper than mouthwash, whether regular or with added antibacterial properties. You’ll save money in the long term.
Let’s also remember that bacteria have grown resistant to many antibiotics. Bacteria haven’t grown resistant to the natural antibacterial properties of coconut oil. So, while your mouthwash is likely doing nothing, your coconut oil will continue to work.
Making It Easier to Absorb Nutrients
Coconut oil is full of many other nutrients. You’ll get vitamins and minerals that you’ll find hard to get in your food, especially if you don’t have the healthiest of diets yet.
But what about absorbing those nutrients? Well, coconut oil makes that easier too. The first is that you’re absorbing them in liquid form in your mouth. Your tongue and cheeks make it extremely easy to get things into the bloodstream. This can work to your advantage when it comes to nutrient absorption since the nutrients will get straight through your cheeks and tongue into your body.
At the same time, you’re removing plenty of toxins from the body. No, bacteria aren’t the only problem within the mouth. Toxins appear from various foods and drinks, including junk food and alcohol. Toxins prevent the body from being able to absorb a number of nutrients it really needs from the food and drink that you have. When you remove the toxins, your body has a better benefit. You’re instantly creating a more welcoming space through the coconut oil pulling.
It’s also worth pointing out that coconut oil has anti-inflammatory benefits. Why is this so important? Well, inflammation makes it easier for bacteria to grow and hide and stops the body from absorbing nutrients. Inflammation can also cause extreme pain for seemingly no reason since the nerves have extra pressure on them than you can’t see.
With coconut oil, you will reduce your chances of mouth and tooth pain since you reduce the inflammation. You’re also helping other processes take place and improving blood flow in your mouth to create a healthier space.
Getting Started with Coconut Oil Pulling
Now that you know all the health benefits and what oil is pulling means, it’s time to find out how to do it. This will be one of the easiest things you add to your life. The downside is that it will take time.
Most professionals and herbal remedy fans recommend oil pulling for 20 minutes. This can seem like a long time, and it’s not the easiest for a beginner to start doing. When you are starting out, it’s best to do it for around 5 minutes until you get used to the taste and the sensation. You’ve got a spare 5 minutes in your day, right?
You can do this right after tooth brushing. Try not to do it in place of tooth brushing. The oil won’t replace all the benefits of your toothpaste and toothbrush. It’s a complimentary addition to your oral hygiene routine and is more for replacing your mouthwash with.
If you can’t do it right after your tooth brushing routine, then find another 5 minutes in your day to do it. You could opt for taking a small amount to work to do on a break or opt for it on a night before you go to bed. You only need to do it once a day at first and can build up to two or three times a day if you really want.
When you get used to the taste and texture of coconut oil in the mouth, you can then build your time up in 5-minute intervals. You don’t need to do it for longer than 20 minutes. Try cooking breakfast or making your filtered coffee while you’re swishing the coconut oil around your mouth. You can also get dressed to help avoid running out of time in your day.
The morning is the best time to do your oil pulling. Dentists say that this is when the most harmful bacteria are in your mouth. During the night, the body doesn’t produce as much saliva, which naturally gets rid of bacteria and acid from the mouth. You are more likely to have bad breath, and the process of decay can start to happen. By oil pulling in the morning, you stop the bacteria growth before it has a chance to get too bad.
How Much Coconut Oil Should You Use?
You don’t need a large amount of coconut oil to gain all the benefits. Start with just a tablespoon of the oil at first and then work your way up to two tablespoons. Yes, two tablespoons are the maximum you will need daily! Does that really sound that hard?
If you find you can only manage one tablespoon at a time, that’s not a problem. The benefit is getting some coconut oil in your mouth daily. You can always do it twice a day, so you end up with two tablespoons throughout the day.
You’ll want to keep the swishing slow. This helps to keep all the coconut in the mouth and makes sure that the bacteria are pulled out from every little crevice in the mouth. It will be very easy to miss out on sections.
Does Oil Pulling Help with Weight Loss?
There are many debates over this benefit of coconut oil pulling. Coconut oil is one of those healthy fats that you will want to get into your diet daily. But you’re not quite swallowing the oil to be able to gain all the weight loss benefits.
One of the biggest benefits is that you are less likely to eat junk food during the day. You know that coconut oil is helping to protect your teeth and mouth. You’re removing toxins from your mouth and improving the ability to absorb nutrients in the body. These can help with weight loss, but it’s more the fact that you won’t really want to work against the benefits. You’re less likely to choose to add bad food to your diet.
All your organs will work better throughout the day. This can help with weight loss.
It is worth noting that there are no proven studies to show that coconut oil pulling is beneficial for weight loss, which is why it wasn’t included in all the other benefits.
Can You Get the Benefits from Other Oils?
For those who can’t have coconut oil for any reason—including allergies and hatred for the taste—there are other oils available. Olive oil, almond oil, seed oil, and sunflower oil have also been promoted as beneficial for oil pulling.
Yes, they can be used, but they are not as good as coconut oil. They don’t all have the same nutritious and anti-infection benefits. That doesn’t mean you lose out on everything. The oils will still work to remove the bacteria and help improve some nutrient absorption. If you can use coconut oil, it’s worth getting used to the taste of it just for the extra health benefits.
Will You Start Coconut Oil Pulling Today?
Coconut oil pulling is one of the most beneficial things you can do daily. I know how iffy it can initially seem, but there are so many ways that your health will improve. Tooth decay and gum disease have been linked to so many other health problems, so it’s so important that you stop them as much as you can.
When you start coconut, oil pulling, make sure you make it easy for yourself. Start off small and even just do it once every other day. You’ll find that you will get used to the taste and feel in your mouth. The benefits will start from the very beginning.
It only needs to be done daily to get the full benefits. 20 minutes is best, but building your way up from 5 minutes in small increments is better than nothing. You will soon wonder what you worried about in the first place when it becomes just part of your normal routine.
Yes, morning is better, but that doesn’t mean you must do it them. Try it on a night before you go to bed to help take care of the bacteria before it has a chance to grow overnight. You won’t regret it.