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Friday, March 14, 2014

What Is Oil Pulling, and Will It Make Your Teeth Whiter?

I am a big fan of teeth whitening, so when I first heard of oil pulling I wanted to know: What kind of oil? How does it work? Why is it called oil pulling?

Lucky for us, my friend Jennie took the plunge and I'm here to tell you everything you want to know!

What Is It?
According to Jennie, "You swish with raw, organic, cold pressed oil (coconut, sunflower, grapeseed) in your mouth for 20 minutes. It is supposed to have numerous positive effects for your dental health and some say overall health."

Read more with Wellness Mama.

How Does It Work?
Jennie: "...Magic? I've read a bunch of articles and such saying that it can make your teeth whiter. It helps remove plaque and bacteria by mixing with your saliva. It's been 4 days and I have noticeably whiter teeth. I have something called fluorisis, which means I was exposed to too much fluoride and it stained my teeth. Traditional whitening methods never worked for me. The strips, and even professional dental procedures never really got my teeth super white."

More insight into how it works.

What Is It Like?
Jennie: "It is a little weird at first. I use coconut oil and I hate the 15-20 seconds or so before it melts. Once it does I'm good. I do it on my way to work! I don't think time of day really matters, but 20 minutes is a fairly good chunk of time for our culture, so just like exercise you fit it in whenever you can."

Why Should You Try It?
Jennie: "Really, don't be afraid to try it. Since it's all natural stuff, unless you're allergic to the oil, there are no adverse side effects. If you see no results you are really just out the cost of the oil...and maybe your time."

Here are 3 more reasons why you should try it.

What Are the Results?
Jennie: "Thus far, I like it! I've read some people give up teeth brushing altogether ( and just use the oil to clean their mouth. Since it removes bacteria it helps with freshening breath as well. It won't be minty but I think after awhile it keeps it neutral. Like I said, if you don't like it you're really only out the cost of the oil and even then you can still use it to cook with or for other beauty things."

Anything We Should Know?
Jennie: "DO NOT spit it in the sink! The oil can clog the drains just as dumping bacon grease down the drain does. I've read you can spit it in the toilet but a lot of people do it in the trash can."

Why Is It Called Oil Pulling?
Honestly, it could use a better name. My initial mental picture was something extreme, like putting motor oil in your mouth. If you want to learn the origins, here you go.

This is something I plan to try, and a great alternative when something as simple as white strips don't do the trick. What do you think of the oil pulling phenomenon? If you have comments, questions or suggestions, please share!

PS - Check out how I've been whitening my teeth for years.

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