Oil pulling seems to be all the rage. It’s something we’ve been doing for a number of years, but we knew it had become fashionable when one of the cable news channels asked if Jill would like to appear on TV and talk about it.
So what is oil pulling and is it just a fad? It’s actually an ancient Ayurvedic technique, which means that if it is a fad, it’s one that has stood the test of time. Though currently fashionable in healthy circles, oil pulling is actually an ancient way to keep your throat, teeth, and gums healthy.
With the development of modern dental hygiene techniques, oil pulling has been overlooked in recent years but it is enjoying a resurgence because it’s helpful. It can eliminate bad breath, strengthen gums, reduce inflammation, and prevent plaque build-up. It can also draw out mucus from the throat and loosen up the sinuses. In fact, many of our patients with allergies find oil pulling quite miraculous.
1 tsp of virgin sesame oil or coconut oil (traditionally sesame oil has been used for oil pulling but coconut oil has strong antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties and so is an excellent choice)
Here’s what you do…
Take a tsp of oil and swish it around in your mouth, pulling it between your teeth. This is not a gargle so don’t let it touch your throat. Keep swishing the oil around for 10 – 20 minutes. If you think you don’t have 20 minutes to spare, then multitask and do this while you’re in the shower. Once you’re done, don’t swallow the oil, spit it out. Be careful not to spit it down the drain, though, or you’ll end up with clogged drains. Spitting it into the toilet is a much better choice.
Oil pulling is not a replacement for brushing your teeth or flossing, but a useful adjunct that can lead to a sparkling smile and a healthy mouth.
Give it a try and let us know what you think.