Oils have been a big part of my life since my childhood. I grew up watching both my parents use various oils for beauty and wellness treatments, that ranged from hair care, skin care, body care and even oral care. It's for this reason that it makes sense, as I move through life and reconnect with my Indian roots, that I have become drawn to practicing oil pulling as a method to support my regular oral hygiene, along with tooth brushing, tongue scraping and flossing.
Oil pulling is an ancient practice that originates from Indian wellness or Ayurveda. There are two methods mentioned in texts, kavala and gundusha.
How to Oil Pull:
Take a small amount of oil and swish it around your teeth and gums. You can feel in moving through all the small spaces between your teeth as you do so. This is the kavala method. The gundusha method is when you fill your mouth with the oil and hold it there, rather than swishing it around. Both methods can benefit your oral care routine.
I usually will set a timer for 10-20 minutes and read while I do this.
Then, make sure you spit out the oil in a garbage can / compost to avoid clogging drains with eventual oil build up. It's important not to swallow any of the oil because it ultimately is carrying the bacteria that you are looking to remove. Our mouths house over 600 species of bacteria and while some are beneficial, others can cause problems for our teeth and gums if left unchecked.
After spitting out the oil, brush your teeth and scrape your tongue as you normally would. I like to practice this every morning as soon as I wake up.
There are different oils you can choose from. I use Organic Sesame Seed Oil, but I know that some prefer to use Organic Virgin Coconut Oil.
To read up on oil pulling, here are some links:
While I don't think this method should replace your regular oral care practices, it certainly can't hurt to add into your routine!