Oil Pulling | Yay or Nay?

So, during my Yoga teacher training, we touched upon the topic of Ayurveda, which is an ancient Indian medical practice. Learning about the ideologies of Ayurveda and some of the methodologies for health care resonated with me, and it made me want to explore how I can apply some of their techniques to my own life. After I learned about the foundations of this practice during the training, I began to do a little bit of my own research, and I that’s how I discovered oil pulling.

I’ve seen a few other bloggers and publications discuss the technique of oil pulling, and after reading about it, and honestly getting a bit grossed out while simultaneously wanting to experience its health benefits first hand, I just decided try it for myself. If you’ve never heard of it before, oil pulling refers to the swishing around of oil in your mouth for 15 to 20 minutes as a part of your dental hygiene routine.

What Are The Health Benefits

As opposed to how oil reacts when you combine it with water (it separates), when you bring two oils together, they combine. When you oil pull, the bacteria in your mouth acts as an oil, and the oil that you use to oil pull combines with that bacteria and removes it by physically pulling it away. Hence the term, oil pulling.

When I learned about the amount of bacteria that we carry around in our mouths, I was really grossed out, and it made me want to try this technique even more. To put it lightly (if you don’t know already), dog’s mouths are cleaner than ours, and they lick themselves all day long and eat off the floor.

Therefore, the removing of this legion of bacteria that we all carry around on a daily basis through oil pulling leads to a cleaner mouth (duh), whiter teeth, better gum health, and clearer skin among other things (if you’ve been following my blog at all, I think you’re seeing the main reason why I wanted to try this. *hint hint* I want clearer skin).

How To Oil Pull

Warning: Describing this process sounds really gross, and I don’t want you to get discouraged from trying it just because it doesn’t sound too appealing. Honestly, it is really not as bad as it sounds. Its actually not that bad at all.

First, you need to get organic, pure, cold-pressed oil. I have been using coconut oil, which is a bit strange at first because when kept at a cool and dry temperature, it remains in solid form. The solid oil melts in your mouth after a few seconds of swishing it around, so then its kind of like using a coconut flavored mouth wash in my opinion. Other people use sesame oil as well, and there are a lot of other kinds of oils you could potentially use that all have different beneficial properties. Personally, I have yet to try any other oil except for coconut, but so far so good.

So, once you have your oil of choice, take 1 tablespoon of the oil or a little less, place it in your mouth, and swish it around your teeth and gums as if its mouthwash for about 20 minutes. Your mouth will generate saliva throughout the 20 minutes, so I recommend having a towel handy just in case you spill a little bit. Its gross, but it happens, and you want to be prepared for that.

After the 20 minutes of swishing are complete, spit the oil out into the sink (do not swallow it! You don’t want to put all that bacteria back into your body) and rinse out your mouth with warm salt water. Then brush and floss as you normally would. You don’t absolutely have to rinse your mouth afterwards, especially if you’re brushing directly after, but I like to because I feel like it helps to keep my toothbrush oil-free.

Final Thoughts: So, I’ve been oil pulling every morning for the past 4 days, and I am thrilled to say that I am absolutely noticing a major difference in my skin. Before I started oil pulling, I got two huge pimples on my cheek, and they haven’t gone away completely, but they have definitely shrunk a noticeable amount. I haven’t really noticed a difference in the whitening of my teeth, and its pretty difficult to notice the health of my gums without consulting a dentist, but I’m hopeful that if its working for my skin, it’ll eventually work for everything else too.

Have you tried oil pulling? Do you have any questions or concerns about it? Let me know in the comments below! Thanks so much for checking out TheDanceGrad.com! If you haven’t already, like me on Facebook, add me on Google+, and follow on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Bloglovin.


Best Wishes,

The Dance Grad