Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Thoughts on Oil Pulling (after a week)

So I have heard a lot about oil pulling recently but had no idea what it was. I looked it up online and I ended up even more confused.

So I decided to get a book on the topic.

This booked helped me understand the concept, but I felt I needed more information. It is a really good starting point though.

So what is Oil Pulling?

Basically it is swishing oil around in your mouth. Lots of people say this detoxes your mouth, but honestly I am not sure about that. Some of the reading I did made a certain amount of since, but I am not going to say this is a cure all.

You swish oil in your mouth for 20 minutes first thing in the morning. Before you eat, and even before your coffee. I start the pulling right before I even start the coffee maker brewing. Then you occupy yourself for 20 minutes while you swish this oil in your mouth. It is important, for me at least, to distract myself for this 20 minutes.

The texture (especially with coconut oil) is hard to get over. As your mouth salivates the oil will double in size. Do not swallow this oil!!! If you believe is is detoxing your mouth, you do not want those toxins going into your stomach. A lot of oil in your stomach will act as a laxative. It is really gross when that comes out. (I learned that on day 3.)

 The oil growing in size and the idea of what I am doing is something I really can't think too deep into. When the timer is up, spit the oil in the trash. NEVER down the drain. For that matter you should put as little oil in the drain as possible. It is bad for septic systems and city pipes. Where I live we have bad problems with people pouring cooking oil in the drains. The city always seems to have to be fixing this somewhere. 

You will see that the oil is white when you spit it out. Some people say this is the toxins from your mouth, but anyone who has made homemade Mayo knows what happens when you mix up oil. Mayo, salad dressings, anything oil based turns a little whitish after it has been heavily mixed. The swishing of the oil in your mouth may be enough to turn the oil white.

Photobomb level: Cat

I wanted to know more:

So I turned to Facebook and asked my friends their feelings. I got some great advice!
  • Oil pull in the shower. When you are done use the oil as a moisturizer before washing off. Coconut oil is great for skin and hair.
  • When using coconut oil, keep some in a small bottle that you can heat with the shower water so it is not solid when you put it in your mouth.
  • Use less oil, swish for ten mins, spit it out and repeat. (my cousin suggested this because 20 mins with the same oil would make her throw up.) I found I preferred this method, and would sometimes even use two types of oil.
  • Do not think about what you are doing while you are doing it. This drags it out and you may make yourself gag. So do it in the shower, while meditating, while you do the rest of your morning activities. I make coffee, make my son's lunch, get the daughter out of bed, sometimes even clean around the house.
  • Rinse your mouth out after with something other than water. Some people suggest warm salt water. When I had a sore throat this was extra soothing. You can use mouthwash too. You want something that will cut through the oil so you do not swallow it.
  • Floss right after oil pulling, I found this really made flossing more effective, I do this before I wash my mouth out, making sure to just spit in the trash. (You REALLY do not want to swallow this stuff).

Use coconut oil because of the extra health benefits. That comes with extra issues. Coconut oil is semi solid at room temp. (Even in Texas) So when you use it, you have to let it melt a little before you start swishing it. I found you can kinda push it through your teeth and that seems to thin it out fast. Since that is the point of oil pulling, it seems an added bonus. Coconut oil has tons of health benefits too,and it is something I try to always have in my house. I am not an authority of health matters, but according to Authority Nutrition coconut oil is a super food. (The Link is 10 Evidence Based Health Benefits of Coconut Oil)

Now I am not convinced by everything I read about toxins and oil pulling, but the use of coconut oil seems to make since. Even if there is no toxins being pulled from my mouth by doing this, the coconut is good for my mouth.

In reading I found that the most common oils used is coconut, sunflower, sesame, and olive. I already had coconut oil and sunflower in my house. So I used those two. I have olive oil too, but in my reading many people said to only do that once a week or less because it can stain your teeth. Lets face it the biggest thing I noticed oil pulling was the change in the color of my teeth.

I am a big time coffee drinker. My boyfriend and I go through several pots a day. It is my biggest vice.

I have the yellow teeth of a smoker, even though I have never smoked a day in my life. By day 4 I was looking at my teeth in the mirror and was surprised that I did see a difference. Nothing major, but there was a change. By day 5 someone else commented. They asked what toothpaste I was using because it was working. I had not told my co workers about the oil pulling because I am still so on the fence about it. 

Me this morning oil pulling while trying to write this blog.

The best advantage of oil pulling:

 I have little to no plaque on my teeth! This is a big deal for me! I suffer from heart disease, and it is a fear of mine that I could have a heart attack. That is what really triggered my healthy eating habits. I have had to go to the doctor because of heart palpitations before I was 30 years old. This is due to genetic issues mostly, and I have hopes of healing my heart with diet and exercise. So far, this is working. 

One thing my doctor said really stuck with me, "If there is plaque on your teeth, there is plaque in your heart." This is has made me become more proactive with my dental health. Being in a lower income family I can't afford to go to the dentist, so I am diligent with brushing, flossing, mouthwash, and changing out tooth brushes.

The day after I first tried oil pulling I was pleasantly surprised to find my teeth smooth and plaque free. After a few days I found I was often rubbing my tongue on my teeth because they were so smooth.

Day 5 I gagged 3 minutes into oil pulling and ended up spitting out the oil right then. I could not bring myself to start over. I brushed my teeth and went about my day. The next morning the plaque was back. That made me even more diligent to make this part of my daily tooth care.

Will I keep this up?

I say, "Why not?" There is no real downside other than the grossness. My teeth are whiter, and smooth. That alone is worth it. I have done some more reading into things too. I have read about healing teeth. A concept I was taught could not happen. People do it all the time. That got me thinking, if we can heal bones, why can't we heal teeth? There is more than oil pulling to that, but I think it deserves more reading!

Will you try it? Have you tried it?

1 comment:

  1. I read a study on it. Only thing proven thus far is that it can reduce plaque and gum disease. You still have to be skeptical as to claims of amazing health benefits. It probably won't cure cancer or depression or diabetes, like I've seen some claims, but it might help your oral health, and can't hurt at least.