Have you ever heard of oil pulling to improve your oral health and maintain good oral conditions?
Oil pulling is an ancient oral care remedy from India. Indians believe that oil pulling can make your teeth whiter, enhance oral health and freshen you breathe. Oil pulling can be done with various types of oil, but coconut oil is a common choice as it has many healthy effects.
In this article, you are going to find out the usefulness of oil pulling.
1- What is oil pulling and how it works?
In oil pulling, the oil is used as a mouthwash. It is taken into the mouth and swished around for a while, then spit out. The oil lowers bacteria activity in the mouth, resulting in a better oral state.
Indeed, in your mouth, there are thousands of bacteria.
Some of them help you in digesting food, while others feed on the sugar and cause tooth decay. The harmful bacteria form a sticky film on your teeth. This is called plaque.
A thin layer of plaque is normal and cannot harm you. But if there is too much plaque on your teeth it can cause all sorts of oral problems such as bad breath, cavities, gingivitis, gum inflammation, and more.
2- How does oil pulling help?
During oil pulling, the teeth are bathed with the oil. Swishing oil removes the bacteria from the teeth and it gets dissolved in it.
Any type of oil is good for dissolving bacteria in the mouth. However, most people choose to do oil pulling with extra virgin coconut oil because of its taste.
Additionally, coconut oil consists of lauric acid, which has antimicrobial properties. So, it can fight off oral bacteria pretty well.
3- How effective is coconut oil pulling?
One of the major bacteria in your mouth is Streptococcus Mutans. A study from 60 adults who practiced oil pulling for 10 minutes every day for 2 weeks, showed that this particular bacteria was reduced in number significantly.
Another study was carried out with children. Here the effectiveness of oil pulling was compared with mouthwash chlorhexidine. Both were equally effective in fighting off the bacteria in the mouth. But unlike chlorhexidine, coconut oil pulling is a natural way to kill bacteria.
These two results were convincing enough to see how useful coconut oil is.
4- How oil pulling is effective against gingivitis?
When plaque builds up in your mouth, your immune system attacks the bacteria, and causes gum inflammation.
20 adolescents who are suffering from gum inflammation and gingivitis were recruited to test oil pulling. Some were asked to use chlorhexidine mouthwash while others used sesame oil pulling.
In the end, both groups were equally benefited by the treatment. Sesame oil pulling was as effective as the chlorhexidine mouthwash.
5- How oil pulling is effective against bad breath?
Bad breath can also be called Halitosis. It is caused by the gases and chemicals produced in the mouth due to bacteria activity.
Usually, bad breath indicates poor oral health, gingivitis, infection in the mouth, etc. So, you will need to lower bacteria activity to get rid of bad breath.
From the same experiment with the 20 adolescents suffering from gingivitis, the results demonstrated that sesame oil can also lower bad breath due to its antibacterial activity, as much as the chlorhexidine mouthwash.
6- Oil pulling for teeth whitening
Oil pulling could also whiten your teeth, or avoid them to be stained.
Since studies show that oil pulling fights bacteria, it will prevent plaque buildup which stains and gives a yellow color to the teeth.
Some people did report that their teeth look whiter after oil pulling.
7- How to carry out the oil pulling procedure?
Oil pulling is a simple procedure. You only need to know how long you should keep the oil in the mouth and your mouth will be fresher than before.
- First, take a tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth.
- Coconut oil can be solid at room temperature. In that case, you might heat it up a bit until it is liquid. Don’t heat it up so much that it will burn your mouth. Just enough to be liquid.
- Then swish the oil around the mouth for 10 minutes. When you are done, spit the oil out and brush your teeth.
When you spit out the oil, make sure you throw it at a safe place since it can clog the pipe. Cold temperature can solidify the oil. Hence, it is wise to use a piece of paper to collect the oil. Later you can throw it in the trash.
You don’t have to use a lot of force during oil pulling. If you think you are tiring your face muscles, you can relax. The oil itself will do all the work, so relax and oil pull. Using excess force does not help the oil to kill bacteria.
For oil pulling, you can select a suitable time for yourself. Many suggest that you should do it right before your brushing time at night before going to bed.
Oil pulling is a good natural remedy to fight oral bad bacteria and plaque buildup, and to keep your gums healthy and your teeth white.
There are many types of oil you can use for it. But Organic Coconut Oil is preferred by many due to its pleasant flavor.
And since it can help maintain good oral conditions, it’s good practice to start and to add to your daily routine.