Can you get a white smile from oil pulling?
If you’re not familiar with the concept ‘oil pulling’, and were immediately turned off the treatment therapy when you found out it involved pouring oil into your mouth, join the club!
The practice of oil pulling is not new, but somehow I only became aware of this natural way of whitening teeth when I decided to do a two-week oil pulling trial. It’s an age-old remedy that involves swishing a tablespoon of vegetable based oil (coconut, sesame or olive) in your mouth for around 20 minutes to clean and detoxify your teeth and gums. The idea behind it is simple – oil is able to cut through plaque and dissolve the yellow layer off your teeth.
To make the process somewhat enjoyable, I tried Keeko’s Lucky Dip packet, which contains 14 mixed flavoured coconut oil sachets. Before I brushed my teeth every night, I drew a flavour from the packet and waited for the cool, subtle coconut taste to hit my tongue. It is recommended to oil pull when you first wake up on an empty stomach, but it was more convenient for me to add it to my evening routine.
What I wasn’t expecting was the flavours to taste good. Or not as bad as I thought it would. The morning mint flavour became a favourite, with the sweet sensation (vanilla cinnamon) and citrus burst (lemon lime and pink grapefruit) flavours following close behind. But around the 12 minute mark, it became a struggle not to gag on a mouthful of coconut oil diluted with saliva. When my inflated cheeks could no longer hold it in, I spat the oil in the bin, rinsed my mouth and brushed my teeth.
I have noticed a general improvement in my oral health from using Keeko’s special blend of organic cold pressed coconut, lemon, chamomile, and myrrh oil. My teeth feel smoother, they’re a shade whiter and I feel like I’ve avoided a large dental bill for a deep clean. I see no reason to stop oil pulling besides the fact that I’ve finished my stock of Keeko sachets. When done correctly, the treatment can have a detoxifying effect on the rest of your body too. People have claimed an array of health benefits, from help with skin conditions, asthma and hormone imbalances, to alleviating headaches and fixing sleep problems and sinus issues. And actress, Shailene Woodley, known for her love of natural therapies, can’t get enough of it.
“It’s amazing! It really makes your teeth whiter, because the plaque on your teeth is not water soluble, it’s fat-soluble. So the lipids have to dissolve in fats, which is why oil works in your mouth,” Woodley told The Gloss.
I don’t know if I’ll keep doing this every night or not, purely because of the time it takes. It’s worth it, but if I fall asleep with coconut oil in my mouth one more time I might vomit. And that’s not healthy.
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