When it comes to health and wellness, there are simple steps you can take to sustain your health and prevent the negative effects of aging. And whether that health be physical or mental health, there are always easy and affordable steps you can take to stay fit and happy. This week’s BeachCandy wellness Wednesday tip is the benefits of coconut oil pulling, an affordable method that provides countless health benefits for oral health.
What is Oil Pulling?
Oil pulling first dates back about 3,000 to 5,000 years ago in ancient Ayurvedic (alternative medicine systems rooted in the Indian subcontinent) medicinal texts, however became best known in the 90s when it was first introduced by Bangalore India native Tummala Kotesware Rao. Rao discovered the technique of oil pulling after reading a Ukrainian academic paper which claimed that shamans through Siberia had been using oil pulling for more than a century.
Oil pulling is the practice of swishing a tablespoon of organic coconut oil in your mouth and around your teeth to promote oral health. While most oral health procedures are expensive and/or tedious, pulling with coconut oil is an effortless, easy and cost-effective method to sustain your oral health.
Health Benefits of Coconut Oil Pulling
Can Kill Harmful Bacteria
According to the “Composition and development of oral bacterial communities” by Robert J Palmer Jr., there are an estimated 700 types of bacteria that can live in your mouth, with up to 350 of the 700 most likely to be found in your mouth at any time.
Much of the natural bacteria found in your mouth (Streptococcus, Granulicatella, Gemella, and Veillonella) are prone to cause tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath. However, pulling with coconut oil can help to kill off the harmful bacteria that lives in your mouth and improve your oral hygiene.
Can Help Reduce Bad Breath
Bad breath, officially known as Halitosis, is caused by trapped bacteria which produces odors and can even lead to severe forms of anxiety. Sources of bad breath can be rooted from gum disease, infection, poor hygiene and tongue coat. And while many commonly use mouthwash in conjunction with toothbrushing, oil pulling with coconut oil provides an alternative and more natural method that reduces bad breath and improves your oral hygiene.
May Help Prevent Cavities
For those of you who don’t know, cavities are permanently damaged areas on the surface of your teeth that grow into tiny openings and/or holes. Cavities are caused by a combination of factors ranging from the bacteria in your mouth, continuous snacking, consuming sugar based drinks and having poor cleaning habits. In addition, plaque is also a common cause of cavities as it forms a stain-like coat consisting of bacteria, saliva and leftover food.
The bacteria then breaks down the leftover food, resulting in an acid that not only destroys the teeth but the enamel itself, therefore resulting in tooth decay. And though cavities are permanent and require dental procedures, you can still prevent potential cavities–and here’s how. Research has shown that pulling with edible oil can kill the harmful bacteria in your mouth as well as swirling with mouthwash. Pulling with coconut oil can help you prevent tooth decay and reduce the risk of cavity formation.
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May Reduce Inflammation and Improve Gum Health
One of the most common gum diseases is Gingivitis–a disease caused by many factors like: the buildup of plaque, the use of tobacco, poor oral hygiene, stress, hormonal changes, poor nutrition, chronic disease or certain medications.
The harmful bacteria resulting from the factors above can lead to issues more severe than gingivitis, but serious infections like periodontitis– a major cause of tooth loss in adults.
Using certain oils, like coconut, have anti-inflammatory properties that could help aid and improve your gum health. The effects of coconut oil can help reduce the redness, irritation and inflammation caused by diseases like gingivitis as well as decrease the plaque build up on your teeth.
How To Do Coconut Oil Pulling
When oil pulling, it’s important to use high-quality, organic coconut oil. Once having your oil of choice, pour a tablespoon of the oil and begin to swish it around. When swishing the oil around, be sure to push it side-to-side and through your teeth–starting at five minutes–and then extending that time gradually (10 to 20 minutes) to get the maximum benefits.
Moving the oil throughout your mouth will pick up the other liquids and air, thus causing the oil to increase. Once done swirling, spit the oil into your sink or trash then finish by brushing and flossing your teeth to clean off any remaining germs or oil.
To maximize your results, oil pull at least a few times per week, up to three times per day!
Coconut Oil Pulling Dangers & Precautions
While oil pulling is a safe and simple alternative to better hygiene with no side effects, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Make sure to spit it out, never swallow the coconut oil because it can upset your stomach.
Oil pulling is not a replacement for brushing and flossing your teeth! Make sure to do your daily dental care routine and add coconut oil pulling on your list.
If you’re allergic to coconuts or any other coconut products, do not use coconut oil. Try pulling with alternative edible oils like sesame oil or sunflower oil.
Best Coconut Oil Brands To Use
Because pulling involves swishing oil, it’s important to use high-quality, edible coconut oil when oil pulling in order to reach the maximum benefits. Organic unrefined coconut oil is the most ideal and popular oil used during this process. The top ranked and most popular brands include: Dr. Bronner’s Coconut Oil, Public Goods Coconut Oil, Nutiva Coconut Oil and Desert Essence Coconut Oil.
Also read about How to Make Bone Broth and the Benefits.
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Written by Rena Saccacio
The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.