Oil Pulling

The health of your mouth is directly tied to the health of your whole body.  When plaque forms on your teeth, it creates pockets under your gums that are too deep for your toothbrush to reach.  Bacteria forms in these pockets and gets trapped there.  The bacteria produces toxins which get released into your mouth and then in turn throughout your entire body whenever you swallow.  Oil pulling is a natural and effective way to remove the bacteria that forms under your gums.  It has been shown to noticeably whiten teeth and freshen breath.  In addition to improving oral health, oil pulling has been found to improve overall physical health.

Oil pulling is a more than 3000 year old Ayurvedic technique for improving oral health by reducing the amount of damaging bacteria in the mouth.  The idea behind oil pulling is that the bacteria gets drawn out by the process of swishing oil around the mouth, and then binds to the oil.  Oil pulling is most beneficial when it is done first thing in the morning before eating or drinking anything, and before brushing the teeth.

Oil pulling is done by taking about a tablespoon of cold pressed oil in the mouth, and swishing it around the mouth or “pulling” the oil through the teeth for 20 minutes.  The goal is to really get the oil into every crevasse, between the teeth, over the tongue and over the gums.  The oil is then spit out, the mouth rinsed well, and the teeth brushed normally.  Coconut oil works well since it has a pleasant taste and has antibacterial qualities, but sesame or sunflower oil can also be used.  For even more health benefits and greater results, add in a few drops of protective essential oils.  Since coconut oil is solid at room temperature, warming it slightly is helpful.  This can be done by warming it on the stove top or just by chewing in in the mouth until it liquefies.

It is important to practice this habit daily for optimum oral health.  Some people do this while in the shower, while getting breakfast ready, while doing light exercise or meditation, or just while doing their normal morning routine.  It is important to pull the oil for the full 20 minutes to give the oil the time it needs to break through the plaque.  The oil shouldn’t be gargled or swallowed since it is full of bacteria.  The oil should always be spit into the trash rather than the sink.  The oil can clog drains since it solidifies at cooler temperatures.

It won’t take long to start noticing an improvement.  It may feel a little awkward at first, so it might be necessary to work up to the full 20 minutes and the full tablespoon of oil.  The important part is to commit to doing it every day.  Remember, it takes repeating the same action for 21 consecutive days to form a habit.  Be patient and diligent and oil pulling can become a part of your daily routine for improved health.

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