Oil pulling is an Ancient Ayurvedic technique where coconut oil is used as a mouthwash. Oil pulling involves swishing a small amount of oil around the mouth for 5 to 20 minutes. There are plenty of benefits of oil pulling for your oral health, such as whitening teeth, freshening breath, strengthening gums, and some benefits that go beyond great dental hygiene, including relieving pain and helping with skin problems.
In recent years, a lot of buzz has surrounded oil pulling which has made many people curious to try it out and see these benefits for themselves. However, there are a few common mistakes that people often make whilst oil pulling… Here they are and here’s how to remedy them:
1. OTT on Oil
Oil pulling doesn’t require huge amounts of oil in your mouth. In fact, you should only use around 1-2 teaspoons of oil in total. Many people use more like 1-2 tablespoons and they’re left feeling uncomfortable with such a large quantity of oil swishing around their mouth for 20 minutes. We recommend using 1 teaspoon to begin with and build up to 2 teaspoons once you have adjusted to oil pulling.
2. Swish Over-Kill
It is recommended to swish oil for 5 to 20 minutes – that’s a very long time! Another mistake people tend to make is to constantly swish during this time. The benefits of oil pulling are largely due to the lipophilic effects of the oil on heavy metals, bacteria and environmental toxins. What does this mean? Well, bacteria and toxins that are lipophilic combine with or dissolve in lipids (i.e. oils). Although the swishing action helps the oil get to all those hard to reach places in the mouth, holding the oil can also be beneficial. Give your jaw a rest and alternate between swishing and holding the oil in your mouth so that you can increase the time you can oil pull.
3. Timing is Everything
Too little, too much? People who are new to oil pulling might use the oil in much the same way as a mouthwash and swish for less than a minute before spitting it out. On the other hand, seasoned oil pullers may want to prove their oil pulling prowess and swish for a good half an hour before spitting out. We recommend beginners swish for 3 minutes to start seeing the health benefits of oil pulling and gradually build up to a maximum of 20 minutes. After 20 minutes there is little to no increase in health benefits so you’re better off spitting it out and coming back to it later in the day.
4. Don’t Make it Part of Your Diet
Yes, coconut oil is a great choice of cooking oil but ingesting the coconut oil after oil pulling is not a good idea. As we mentioned before, the lipophilic effects of oil pulling result in toxins being pulled from your mouth and left in the oil. Get rid of those nasties from your body by spitting out the oil mixture instead.
5. Avoid Calling the Plumber
Many of us, unfortunately, do not live in tropical climates and the cold winter mornings will soon be upon us once more. If you use virgin coconut oil, for oil pulling or anything else, you will be familiar with its tendency to solidify at room temperature. For this reason we do not suggest spitting virgin coconut oil into your sink because you may risk clogging your drains when the coconut oil solidifies again. Luckily at Georganics we use fractionated coconut oil in all of our Oil Pulling Mouthwash flavours. Fractionated coconut oil maintains a liquid state at much cooler temperatures so you can spit the mixture in your sink once you have finished oil pulling.
6. Rinse and Repeat
Once you’ve spit the oil out you may find you still have an oily feeling in your mouth. That’s why rinsing your mouth out with water afterwards is key. You may wish to do this a couple of times to really get rid of the oily feeling, or use salt water to help pick up the oil. Now, you’re fully equipped to maximise the benefits of oil pulling in your dental routine. Which Oil Pulling faux-pas have you made? Let us know in the comments below.