How to Detox your Mouth
You've done juice cleanses and applied pore-clearing face masks, but have you ever thought about how your mouth could benefit from a good detox?
A build-up of plaque and other microbes could lead to many problems for your mouth and your overall health, including cavities, gum disease, heart disease, and cancer. Using oil pulling to detox your mouth can assist your routine brushing and flossing to help freshen your mouth and clear out bacteria.
Oil pulling health benefits
Oil pulling originated in India and has been used for thousands of years as a traditional medicine to improve dental health and ward off various diseases. This is because oil is believed to collect and remove bacteria that are often the root cause of bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease. It is also believed to help naturally strengthen and whiten your teeth.
Oil pulling for gums
Bolstering the health of your gums is another great benefit of oil pulling, as the components of the natural oils can help to reduce inflammation of the gums that might lead to gingivitis or other gum issues.
The most common oils used for a mouth detox are sunflower, sesame, and coconut oil. The benefit of oil pulling with coconut oil is that it contains lauric acid, a fatty acid famous for killing off microorganisms, making it more effective at ridding your mouth of unwanted bacteria.
Science behind oil-pulling
Recent scientific studies are backing up the effectiveness of this age-old tradition and shedding some empirical light on its health benefits. A 2009 study found that oil pulling is just as effective as traditional mouthwashes in reducing plaque and microorganisms while also reducing inflammation in the gums.
Most microbes in your mouth are covered with a fatty membrane, which is naturally attracted to oil. This causes the bacteria to adhere to the coconut oil and then be ejected from your mouth when you spit the oil out.
How to oil pull with coconut oil
Convinced that adding a coconut oil mouth detox to your regular dental routine might be worth it? Here’s what you need to know to get started:
- You only need about a tablespoon of coconut oil (or sesame or sunflower oil) to have an effective oil pulling session. Simply place the oil in your mouth and swish it around, trying to get it in every nook and cranny.
- Coconut oil takes a bit of heat to liquefy. You may consider slightly heating the oil in the microwave before swishing it around your mouth.
- Ideally, you should swish the oil in your mouth for about 10-20 minutes. However, this can prove to be a bit difficult, especially when first starting. Instead, begin with 5-minute sessions and slowly work your way up.
- Oil pulling should not replace your regular brushing and flossing routine, which offers you different benefits.
- Always spit the oil out—it just collected a bunch of harmful bacteria, so you wouldn’t want to ingest that. Additionally, avoid clogging up your drains by spitting the oil out in the garbage and not in your sink.
- Oil pulling is particularly beneficial in the morning before breakfast (after bacteria may have built up overnight). However, you can oil pull before each meal if you want to.
- After oil pulling, you should rinse your mouth with water and perform your normal brushing routine to help remove any excess oil or missed microbes.
Pairing coconut oil with active carbon
If you really want to see a difference in your oral health, try combining the benefits of coconut oil, activated carbon, and Vitamin E. Terra and Co’s Brilliant Black Oil Pulling can help to reduce inflammation of the gums, remove harmful bacteria, lift stains, and give you a brighter and whiter smile.