Oil Pulling - Tried And Tested

Monday, 29 June 2015
The oil pulling craze has taken the world by storm over the last few months and I was really intrigued by it. I bought myself a £9 tub of coconut oil from Holland & Barrett and decided to properly try it out and see if it worked. You know, for SCIENCE. And the blog post. Obviously.

What is oil pulling?
Oil pulling involves putting a tablespoon of oil in your mouth and swishing it about your mouth for 20 minutes. You have to pull it through your teeth which is where the name comes from. It is an old idea, first done in India 3'000 years ago. It is meant to draw out toxins from your mouth which helps reduce headaches, acne and asthma. It also kills off bacteria in your mouth, reduces bad breath and whitens your teeth. Being very sceptic about natural remedies for health problems, I was interested in oil pulling simply because I want to whiten my teeth. I brush twice a day and regularly visit the dentist. There is nothing wrong with my teeth, they are just more yellow than I would like. You can use many different types of oil but I used coconut. You spit the oil out into the bin after twenty minutes and it should have changed colour from clear to white and doubled in volume. Don't spit it into the sink as it will solidify and clog the drains.

How does it work?
Time to put that chemistry degree I'm working on to good use. Molecules can be split into two types, polar and non polar molecules. Ie charged molecules and uncharged molecules. Polar molecules will only dissolve in other polar molecules and vice versa. Like dissolves like. You probably already know this. Nail varnish(non polar) will not dissolve in water(polar) but will dissolve in acetone(polar). So in theory a lot of toxins/bad bacteria will stick to your teeth and not dissolve in the water that you drink etc. Oil pulling will help draw out these toxins and bacteria because oil is non polar. It is also thought that oil pulling lengthens the time it takes for your teeth to feel 'fuzzy' again after brushing.

My Experience
I decided to try out oil pulling for a week to see if I would notice a difference. In the first few days I only done it once a day but towards the end of the week I did it twice a day.

Day One: I decided to coax myself into this and only use one teaspoon of oil as opposed to a whole tablespoon as that seemed rather scary. It was really weird to get used to the feeling of the solid oil in my mouth but after it melted I couldn't tell the difference between the oil and mouthwash. As the oil was melting it has a really similar texture to the Lindt chocolate truffles which is probably going to put me right off them. I made the mistake of using it like mouthwash. I think you have to use it a lot more gently as other wise it will seriously hurt your jaw. The oil also doesn't really have a taste which I was quite surprised my. I did it whilst responding to blog emails/comments and the time flew by. So far, so good.

Day Two: This time I used a little bit more oil. I added it in small amounts, adding the next bit after the first bit had melted. I adjusted to the texture of the melting oil a lot faster than I did the first time and I am feeling really positive about this now. To be honest I'm very weak stomached and I expected this to make me feel ill and make me gag. I'm handling it very well!

Day Three: This was the first day that I did it twice in the one day. So far, I'm really enjoying oil pulling and getting along with it a lot better than I thought I would be. I've learnt that its important to keep yourself busy whilst doing it otherwise it feels like it takes ages. Although today I got a little bit enthusiastic and accidentally swished so hard I accidentally spat some all down my chin. So gross. Would definitely recommend keeping a tissue on hand whilst doing this.

Day Four: I didn't do this in the morning as I was working but I did do it at night. I think I accidentally used too much as I had to finish around the 10 minute mark and I felt like I was about to swallow it. That being said, I did notice a slight difference to the shade of my teeth. They seem a little bit lighter but in a very natural way which is quite nice.

Day Five: All is good in the hood. Just trying to stick with it and keep going. I definitely can't see myself doing this twice a day, every day. I think I'll carry on with it for another week or something and then do if every few days after that. It is beginning to feel a bit tedious.

Day six: I think the biggest difference I'm actually noticing with this is that my teeth feel much smoother and cleaner. There is a slight difference in the colour but the main benefit that I'm feeling is that my teeth seem to last a lot longer after brushing before getting that horrible fuzzy feeling.

Day seven: Wow this has been a fast week. I actually got on a lot better than expected and I'm surprised with how quick twenty minutes now seems. I haven't noticed a massive difference in the colour of my teeth but I can't deny a slight change. I can see myself carrying on with this, just not twice a day every day.

I actually got on a lot better with oil pulling than I expected to. Coconut oil doesn't really have a texture or a taste when fully melted so its not as gross or as weird as you might think. In terms of tooth whitening, this definitely isn't a quick or easy fix. That being said I have noticed a slight difference in the colour of my teeth. They do look a bit whiter but in a more natural way than typical teeth whitening. I think if I carried this on for longer and used a higher quality(and probably more expensive) oil then I would notice a bigger difference.

That being said oil pulling has made my mouth feel on the whole a lot cleaner. My teeth feel a lot smoother and seem to stay clean for longer. Obviously oil pulling should not replace cleaning your teeth but I've found that oil pulling in the morning before brushing my teeth has really improved my oral hygiene and is a great supplement to brushing and flossing.

I'm going to carry on with oil pulling. Not every day but at least a few days a week. I think everyone should at least give it a go! What do you think? Is this something you'd be interested in?

Twitter @honestlyrussell // Instagram  @honestlyrussell // Pinterest @honestlyrussell

No comments

Thank you for leaving a comment, I try my best to reply to all comments but if you need a fast response please email or tweet me instead.