Thursday, May 28, 2015

A Note on Oil Pulling

My Oil Pulling Experience

Perhaps it is because I am British that I am self concious about my smile, or maybe it is simply because I know deep down it could more than do with some improvement. Either way I am a curious and somewhat vain (aren't we all creature) person and with everyone and their dog hoping aboard the oil pulling train, I thought it was time I gave it a whirl too - that big ol' jar of coconut oil I own has to be used some way or other.

I'm sure you have read the apparent benefits of oil pulling: from whitening the teeth, curing bad breath to detoxing the body. I say apparent as I don't really believe that swishing oil around your mouth can offer much in terms of detox; the body naturally self cleanses (that's why we have kidneys and a liver - I hate sounding like a nag but it is true) but the deep cleansing aspect for the teeth as well as the chance of whiter teeth reeled me in.

The two most popular oils to use when oil pulling are: coconut and sesame oils (of course others can be used too) - I know which I'd prefer the taste of daily. It seems technique differs broadly from person to person, most will pop the oil into the mouth when it is a solid (in the case of coconut oil), gargle for up to 20 minutes and spit out. Others will warm the coconut oil so it is already in liquid form and then proceed.

Is it a pleasant experience? Honestly not really - like most things I approached with a certain level of vigour, only to result in a tired aching jaw five minutes into the process. Slow and steady wins the race but after a while you do get bored of the taste and a mouth of oil. The other bone of contention seems to be that some use oil pulling in place of brushing the teeth and other general oral hygiene methods. Myself and others see it as an additional step, I do it in the afternoon so that I am not immediately rinsing or brushing the oil off of my teeth. I'm not sure if this is correct or at all beneficial but I'll tell you something for nothing - I am not ditching my toothbrush nor bottle of Listerine any time soon.

Either way it does take a few tries to fully become acquainted with the process. If I could offer a few pointers it would be: when it comes to the oil less is more, after 20 minutes of gargling it will likely double in size and become not only messy but uncomfortable. Also be sure to spit (so lady like) the remains of your oil pull into a bag to dispose of or at least the rubbish bin to prevent clogging your drains.

So two weeks into my coconut based experiment and what have I learnt? Well it is not for me - the mess, the level of dedication and the general sensation is enough to put me off of coconuts, never mind oil for life. I've already stated my personal stance on the detoxing in this sense (I may be wrong, it wouldn't be the first time ha!) so I can't possibly comment if it does or does not work. What I can say is that the silky and almost sticky oil does a great job of removing food stuck from between my teeth, all the while leaving the mouth feeling deeply cleansed. I'll spare you (and myself the blushes) of a before and after photo but there certainly is an element of whitening - no where near that achieved from dental bleaching but as it is natural and pain free, I can't complain as I didn't fully commit.

I won't denounce the age old practise of oil pulling, several generations can't be wrong but for now I'll be saving my coconut oil for my hair and dismal baking attempts. I would love to hear about your experiences - good, bad, indifferent (that is where I stand) or perhaps you have yet to try it out?

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  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. This is actually the first time I have heard of this and with some sesame oil sitting in the cupboard I was ready to have a go when I got home tonight, but.....20 minutes! I couldn't commit to that. I had hoped it was a typo on your part (you wouldn't I know, so rude of me), but I won't be giving this a try!

  3. Coconut oil is good for almost anything I love using it! Lovely post


  4. Well, I've started to do oil pulling some 10 years ago, so I think I have a thing or two to share. I do this with sunflower oil; every morning before anything, I take one sp. of oil and start to "chew" it. After 10-15 minutes I spit it (it has to be milky and white, if not restart the whole thing) and brush my teeth very thoroughly. I have to say my teeth are not necessarily brighter, but I have a general well-being state, comparing with the period of vacations (2-3 weeks) and a short period after, when I don't do this, because I don't necessarily travel with a bottle of sunflower oil in my cosmetic bag.

  5. I am with you on oil pulling - I'm a sceptic. It sounds pretty intense too. I remember the first time I gargled salt water (yuck - horrible), let alone filling my mouth with a load of oil.

  6. I tried it for a couple of weeks and hated it - I persevered as I thought it might be worth it but when I asked my boyfriend if he thought my teeth looked whiter he said they looked yellower than normal! Haven't done it since!

    Amy x

  7. I don't think I like the thought of having coconut oil in my mouth but I have used it as a pre-shower hair mask before and it made my wavy, thick hair a lot softer and more tame! xxx

  8. I wonder if using a flavouring would make it an easier process. I really want to try this and I see businesses offering the same product but at a stupid price just because it tastes a bit better!
    -- // x

  9. I just watched a Youtube video tonight on oil pulling (Kassie from CloudyApples). She was talking about it in her how to use coconut oil video. I hadn't heard about it till today and now it's popping up in a number of places! I am definitely apprehensive of trying it but will probably give it a go. Maybe on the weekend since I would never get up early enough to do this before work in the morning x

    It's That Time For ... May Favourites!

  10. I have heard of oil pulling but never had the patience to try it. 20 minutes is a really long time to have oil swishing around in your mouth! I applaud you for your dedication :)
    x Min,

  11. I have done oil pulling for almost a year now. I went to see my dentist 2 weeks after starting with it and she was very impressed, 6 months went by and i went again. This time she couldn't believe her eyes - there was no cavity and my teeth were shining (that's what she said). I mostly use sunflowerseed oil and do it right after waking up and before brushing my teeth. Within the 20min I usually make coffee etc etc so the time goes really quickly. Honestly, the days I can not do it for some reason, I definitely feel that something is not right and my mouth feels very strange. But of course, each to their own but I can't see myself stopping any time soon

  12. I don't think I'd be able to keep this up regularly and I wouldn't want to be put off coconut as I love it!! xx

    Ramblings of a Beauty Bird | Beauty Blog

  13. the thought of even doing this makes me gag... ill stick with just brushing them, yuck


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