It is said that our oral health is strongly related to our general health and well-being. There are studies that show a connection between our oral health and conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. An article that I read at health.harvard.edu does a pretty good job at explaining why this is the case. In a nutshell, our mouths house a lot of bacteria. The bacteria can infect the gums and can pass through our blood vessels causing inflammation in other parts of our bodies. According to the article it is our body’s immune response to the inflammation that is the problem. Therefore, it is vitally important that we maintain good oral health through prevention.
One of our traditional methods to prevention is mouthwash. As you can imagine, mouthwash has its issues. There is research that shows regular use of commercial and prescription mouthwashes could have ill effects on our health.
Oil pulling is a natural alternative to achieve better oral health without the side effects of mouthwashes. Oil pulling is an ancient practice that involves swishing oil in your mouth to remove bacteria and to promote good oral health. This process involves swishing a tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth for at least for 20 minutes. During this process you “pull” and swish the oil through your teeth and around your mouth. The oil also pulls the harmful bacteria.
Following are some guidelines and tips on how to include oil pulling into your daily teeth cleaning:
Oil pulling is to be done in conjunction with routine brushing, flossing and dental visits
It needs to be done for 20 minutes to be effective (Tip: 20 minutes is a long time, I oil pull while I shower)
Do not swallow the oil while swishing
Upon finishing you should spit the oil in the trash. If you spit in your sink, overtime the oil could build up and clog your pipes
Rinse thoroughly afterwards
In conclusion, oil pulling is a cheap, effective and practically risk free method to improve your oral health. Coconut oil is a staple in many of our homes. It doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals. It can be used on your hair, your body, for cooking and has many health benefits. I keep my jars separate, maintaining one for oil pulling specifically. Remember when practiced regularly, oil pulling can improve gum health by reducing inflammation. Now, that’s something to smile about!