How Does Oil Pulling Help with Bad Breath?
I really thought we’d have flying cars by now. And, robot maids. Based on the TV programming of my childhood, it’s where I believed we were headed. Not only don’t we have those conveniences, but we’ve also still yet to find a better solution for defrosting car windows or curing the common cold. It’s a constant shock to me that despite all the advances we’ve made in science and medicine, we still haven’t discovered strategies to address some really basic problems in life.
Bad breath, for one. Why haven’t we solved bad breath yet? Everyone struggles with it on occasion, and the best we can do is cover it up with mouthwash or gum. This is not the future I envisioned. But it may actually be that an answer to bad breath could be found in the ancient past. Recently growing in popularity is the practice of oil pulling – an ancient tradition dating back to Ayurvedic medicine in India over 3,000 years ago. Oil pulling is the practice of swishing oil (we suggest fractionated coconut) around your mouth, gums and teeth for better oral health. Its benefits may include eliminating bacteria, easing bad breath, preventing tartar buildup, inhibiting tooth decay and easing the problem of bleeding gums.
To try it just use one or two tablespoons of coconut oil and a drop of an essential oil … certified organic peppermint or certified organic clove. (Remember, you won’t be swallowing these oils, just swishing them in your mouth before discarding them.) Start with five minutes a day of swishing … with a goal of eventually working up to 15 or 20. The longer you "pull," the more bacteria you’ll remove, but 5 or 10 minutes still offer benefits. A gentle swishing, pushing, and sucking the oil through your teeth is the best technique … don’t work too hard. And don’t swallow. If you find yourself wanting to swallow, you may have too much oil in your mouth. Try again with a smaller amount.
Remember not to spit it down the sink when you are done, as the oil could clog your plumbing. Just discard the used oil into a trash can. Finally, when you start oil pulling, don’t skip brushing and flossing. It should never replace regular visits to your dentist or a traditional brushing routine – but it is a great supplemental therapy.
Oil Pulling Mouthwash Recipe
1 drop certified organic peppermint or clove
2 tablespoons of best-quality fractionated coconut oil
Combine the coconut oil and essential oil and blend well. Place in your mouth. (Remember, you won’t be swallowing these oils, just swishing them in your mouth before discarding them.) Start swishing with a goal of five minutes a day in the beginning. Work up to 15 or 20 minutes if possible. The longer you pull, the more bacteria you’ll remove. A gentle swishing, pushing, and sucking the oil through your teeth is the best technique. If you find yourself wanting to swallow, try again with a smaller amount of oil. Discard the oil in a trash can, not the sink. Brush your teeth as normal.