Does Oil Pulling Work? Here Are the Fundamentals So You Can Try It

There are many reasons to use oil pulling, one of them is to detox your system, and another is for better oral health. The name sounds odd, and no matter how much you’ve heard it, you still may not know exactly what it is or how to do it.

I can help you not only understand what it is but also tell you how to do it.

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What Is Oil Pulling and How Is It Done?

Oil pulling came from ancient times. It’s an Ayurveda cure for many things, but dental care in particular. The process isn’t difficult. In fact, it’s very simple.

You just swish cold-pressed virgin oil (coconut oil or sesame oil) around your mouth for a specified period. While it may sound a bit strange or even gross, it does work but takes a few weeks to show results.

How did the oil pulling get its name?

That’s simple. You use the oil to pull out the toxins in your system, via the gums and teeth. You can use almost any type of virgin, cold pressed oil, but most people use olive, coconut or sesame oil for pulling.

If you’ve ever swished olive or sesame oil around your mouth, it may leave a less than desirable taste in your mouth. It did mine.

I choose the lighter flavor of coconut oil, based on the aftertaste and antibacterial, antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties, since I had all three available.

Actually doing the oil pulling is simple.

You place a teaspoon to a tablespoon of oil in your mouth and swish it around, including between the teeth, for approximately 7 to 20 minutes.

The longer you swish it, the more it pulls and destroys the bacteria and toxins in our mouth. If you have TMJ problems, start out with fewer minutes because it can trigger a problem.

Swishing is easy but can get very tiresome very quickly and 20 minutes will seem far longer. Don’t ever swallow the oil. It contains all the toxic materials it’s pulling from your teeth and gums and sending that to your stomach via swallowing isn’t a good idea.

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10 Ways to Make Oil Pulling More Effective

  • Do the oil pulling the same time each day, which is best the first thing in the morning before you eat breakfast. You can pull while you’re taking a shower.
  • When using coconut oil, be aware that it’s a solid at room temperature and needs to be warmed to become oil. The warmth of your mouth will do it. Chew it, and the small pieces will melt into an oil easily within a few seconds.
  • Adjust the amount of oil you use to your comfort level. If you feel like it’s dripping out of your mouth with each swish, you have too much.
  • You’ll salivate, which adds to the volume of liquid in your mouth, so keep the oil toward the front of the mouth, rather than gargle with it.
  • Those with TMJ problems or other jaw problems that find their jaws get tired easily, can take a break if that occurs and simply sit with the oil in the mouth for a few minutes, continuing after a short period.
  • Use the time to do other things while you’re oil pulling, such as showering or making coffee. It will make the time go faster.
  • While you don’t have to do it the full 20 minutes to reap benefits, the longer, the better. You need at least enough time for your salivary enzymes to react with the oil.
  • Don’t spit out the oil in the sink. You’ll clog your drains. Instead, spit it into the garbage can or into a container you intend to throw away.
  • Saltwater is also antibacterial and will cut the oily feeling left in your mouth. Swish with a saltwater mixture after you do oil pulling.
  • Brush your teeth as you would normally and floss as well following oil pulling.


Super Benefits from Oil Pulling

  • If you’ve had sore gums or bleeding gums, they’ll feel better and look healthier.
  • Your breath will feel fresher and be better.
  • Your teeth will look whiter and feel stronger in a very short time.
  • You’ll have less plaque and tartar buildup.
  • Your tongue will look and feel cleaner.
  • Oil pulling will help keep your lips soft and free from cracks.
  • When approaching oil pulling slowly, you can build the muscles in your jaw to reduce or eliminate TMJ problems. If you start out gang busters, it works the opposite way and can trigger problems.


Extra Benefits Many People Experience

  • Oil pulling can act as a general detox for overall health benefits.
  • Oil pulling can help reduce congestion, promote sound sleep, aid with PMS and lower the incidence of sinus congestion and headaches.
  • It improves overall oral health.
  • Oil pulling acts as an anti-inflammatory helping with symptoms from arthritis.
  • Oil pulling can also help improve skin conditions and reduce the number of incidences they occur.


You Make the Decision

I personally have seen huge improvements, but I know it’s not for everyone.

Some people hate the feeling of oil in their mouth, and that turns them off immediately. Others have tried it and found it triggered TMJ problems, probably from overdoing it initially.

Everyone has different opinions and experiences. I’d be interested in hearing yours.

About the Author Calleigh

Calleigh is passionate about inspiring others to a healthy living and encourages to re-discover their lifestyle. Her keen interest in health shines through in her written work on DIY skin care, beauty tips, healthy and active lifestyles.

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