Now that I’ve been oil pulling for around two months, I feel I can touch on the subject with a little more confidence. The change in my teeth, gums, and overall oral health is AMAZING. My teeth are whiter and stronger, the gums are pink and not nearly so sensitive, and they haven’t bled at all since the first week of oil pulling.
The Dearliest decided to try it too (he’s been at it about a month), and while he really likes what it’s done for his mouth, he has more difficulty with the texture of the oil. He has to be distracted doing something else or the gag reflex is pretty bad.
A couple things I re-learned or discovered through this experience:
– Cavities are not caused by sugar directly. Sugars and starches feed bacteria in the mouth, which in turn produce acids that eat away at the teeth. Diets high in processed and refined foods will have more mouth problems than a diet focused on natural, whole foods.
– Most commercial toothpastes contain fluoride and/ or glycerin. Fluoride is popular as a disease preventive, but it’s toxic which is why you don’t swallow toothpaste. Glycerin coats the teeth with a protective layer, but this layer prevents the natural re-mineralization of teeth that the body tries to do. If the enamel can’t be restored, the health of the teeth isn’t going to improve. I’ve always had trouble using toothpaste (gag reflex, could never seem to get things to stay clean). The gag reflex especially was exponentially worse during pregnancies.
– Baking soda is a popular alternative to commercial toothpastes, but I can’t do this. It’s too salty and feels too weird. My mother-in-law suggested Earthpaste, which is essentially flavored clay (the kids call it mud). It’s completely natural with no fluoride or glycerin, and I’m able to use it without too much trouble.
Some notes on oil pulling itself:
– The first 4 times I did the oil pulling, my teeth were terribly sensitive (I actually pulled every other day in the beginning because it was pretty intense). I haven’t had a chance to fully research it, but I assume this is due to a massive detox as it stripped the glycerin layers, killed bacteria, and brought my mouth back to a clean starting point, as it were.
– After 2 pulling sessions my teeth were notably whiter.
– After 1 week all bleeding stopped.
– After 1 month I noticed my fingernails were growing in thicker, stronger, and harder. This was unexpected, but there haven’t been any other changes to my hygiene or diet, so I assume it’s related to the oil pulling. I’ve always struggled with weak nails. They ripped and tore with very little aggravation, and I was never able to grow longer, nicely shaped nails. A couple weeks ago it crossed my mind that I hadn’t had to cut my nails in weeks, and when I looked down I had nails twice as long as I’m normally able to grow. They were smooth, strong, and gorgeous! The same thing is happening to the Dearliest’s nails.
Here’s my new routine for oral hygiene:
– Upon waking up, oil pull with coconut oil for 20 minutes. This involves gentle swishing, rolling it around, or simply holding it in my mouth. While I’m pulling I get dressed, boil tea water, get breakfast going, and maybe compute a little.
– After pulling, I brush with plain water and rinse my mouth until I feel all the oil has been washed out. Floss.
– In the evening I brush my teeth with the Sonicare and Earthpaste. Floss. Rinse with a hydrogen peroxide solution 3-4 times a week.
My teeth feel consistently clean and happy, and it’s a beautiful thing. Is oil pulling for everyone? Probably not, but if you’re looking for a more natural way to care for your teeth and mouth, then I can fully recommend it as part of a routine.