The world’s been abuzz about oil pulling lately, and I’ll bet you’ve either heard about this holistic, Ayurvedic self care practice of swirling coconut oil around in your mouth or you’ve even tried it yourself.
Some of the benefits of oil pulling, include:
- whiter teeth
- reduced bacteria in the mouth
- reduced inflammation in the gums
- fresher breath
Most of the oil pulling how-to’s online recommend swishing a Tablespoon of coconut oil around in your mouth each morning on an empty stomach for 20 minutes or longer.
I first tried it about a year ago and stuck with it for all of ohhhh … a week.
Like most people, I don’t have that kind of time in the morning. I gave it my best effort and decided I’d put this aside for another time. After all, being holistically hot is about taking care of yourself in the best way possible but only to the extent it’s doable.
On a routine dental visit last month, I got to talking with my holistic dental hygienist, Karl Dixon, and remembered to ask him about oil pulling. I was curious about what he thought of it and figured if he gave it a thumbs up, I would get back to squeezing it into my day. While he believes in the benefits, he agreed that most people don’t have that kind of time.
He’s devised an alternative to oil pulling as a way to reap all the benefits in a fraction of the time:
First, he explained that using coconut oil should be thought of like moisturizing after a shower.
1. Thoroughly cleanse the mouth (teeth, gums and tongue), by brushing well and using a tongue cleaner.
2. Put a small amount of coconut oil on your toothbrush and spread it strategically around the periphery of the mouth, focusing on the front and back of the gums and teeth and all the hard-to-reach nooks and crannies.
3. Rinse your toothbrush and spit any excess coconut oil in a tissue and discard it in the trash (spitting in the sink could clog the drain).
4. Do this twice a day after brushing. Karl says he’s noticed a drastic improvement in the health of patients’ teeth and gums when they make this a regular part of their oral care routine.
Have you ever tried oil pulling? For those who have and had a hard time sticking with it, would you try this alternative instead?