Friday, 9 October 2015

My First Week Oil Pulling with Coconut Oil

Firstly I need to apologise for my absence, I’ve just started my last year at university so it’s been a hectic few weeks. I do have the best intentions to post as often as I can but unfortunately life can get in the way from time to time. Now I’m starting to settle into my new job and uni timetable I see no reason why my posting shouldn’t be pretty regular again! So please forgive me! I look forward to sharing more of my ramblings with you.

Last month I posted about the new trend that is Oil Pulling; the general ins and outs, pros and cons (not that there were any cons that I could see). It may be a good idea to read that post first if you haven’t already by clicking here. For those who did read my last oil pulling post I appreciate that I cut it off rather abruptly. But as promised I’m back to carry on with it! (Even if it’s much later than I first anticipated). In this post I’ll be giving you a bit more information about how to go about oil pulling if you want to try it yourself and letting you know how I’ve gotten along with it so far. I apologise in advance if I do repeat anything from the previous post.

So first off why did I decide to give it a go? To be honest it was just one of those ‘why not?’ moments. After reading as much on oil-pulling as I did, I just couldn’t resist giving it a go what with all the potential benefits. I’ve never tried any form of detox before so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, if anything. But the supposed detoxing properties aside, the idea of finding such a simple and natural way to whiten my teeth is what really had me hooked on the idea. Not only am I a smoker, that’s one vice I’ve yet to conquer, but I also have a love of strong black coffee which means my teeth may not be as white as they could be. I’m also a virgin to any form of whitening, which I guess means that I won’t be able to give you the greatest idea of comparison to other forms of chemical whitening or detox. But I can tell you whether it appears to be working!

Oil-pulling is pretty simple - the only thing you need is the oil. You can choose to use any vegetable oil you like (sunflower, sesame, olive, coconut) as long as it’s extra virgin! Coconut oil appears to be the most popular choice by far as it has been proven to naturally benefit in the prevention of tooth decay. Simply just take a tablespoon of your preferred oil and swish it around your mouth for approximately 20 minutes. Voila! You’re done. Okay maybe I simplified it a little bit but that’s the basics of it. But I guess a little bit more detail would be useful, so here’s a quick guide to the ‘rules’ (if you will) of oil-pulling.
 1.       Do it on an empty stomach. First thing in the morning or last thing at night doesn’t really matter, but you shouldn’t have eaten anything for at least 4 hours.
       2.      Be gentle! 20 minutes is quite a long time so you shouldn’t be going about this the same way as you would mouthwash. If your jaw begins to ache or be painful at any time you’re being too aggressive so slow down! Swishing quickly or vigorously won’t actually make any difference but you could hurt yourself.
      3.      Spit don’t swallow (dirty!). Giggles aside, just don’t do it. The idea of oil-pulling is to draw out all sorts of nasties from your mouth/body into the oil so if you swallow you’re taking it all back in, ew.
      4.      Watch where you spit it. This is more relevant for coconut oil pullers but still stands whatever vegetable oil you chose. Oil is a fatty substance which means it can block up drains and pipes so make sure to spit out the residue into the toilet or a tissue and put it in the bin. Coconut oil turns to solid at room temperature so it’s more likely to cause blockage faster, so a tissue’s the only option.
5.      Rinse and brush. Last but least you need to rinse your mouth with water before eating or drinking anything, and clean your teeth with a fluoride-free toothpaste. Or if you don’t have a non-fluoride toothpaste then just rinse your mouth with salt water before brushing.
There you go, not exactly complicated so why not have a go! Oil-pulling is incredibly cheap, I bought my 488g tub of extra virgin coconut oil for £15.99 from Holland and Barrett. I know that might sound a little dear but when compared to what Coco White charges, £24.99 for 140g, it’s actually quite the bargain and will last you agggeesss.

I’ve now been oil-pulling with coconut oil for a week and so far so good. I decided to use coconut oil purely because I already use it to condition my hair, so why would I go out and buy something else? The extra benefits coconut oil have in regard to dental care are an obvious bonus, but in all honesty I simply preferred the idea of coconut oil. There’s something about the thought of gargling olive oil that makes me feel a little bit queasy.  

I struggled with the quantity at first, a full tablespoon felt like a lot once it melted. I was terrified of drooling as my saliva mixed with the oil (apologies for the possibly unwanted information!) and my mouth felt too full to keep the liquid moving. My solution for this little problem was to cut down the time, and/or break it up. For the first 3 days I swished the oil for approximately 10 minutes before spitting out and then taking a new tablespoon and repeating the process to make up a full 20 minutes. The 4th and 5th days I managed to hold the liquid for 15 minutes before needing to stop but now can comfortably oil pull for a full 20 minutes non-stop. I wouldn’t have necessarily have thought any skill to be involved in oil pulling but guess I was wrong…

Everything else about the process was easy as pie. I’d heard mixed reviews about the taste and texture of coconut oil but personally I didn’t mind the taste, in fact I kinda liked it. However I will admit that the texture was slightly odd to start off with, but I wouldn’t say it was unpleasant; just another thing to get used to. If you really don’t like the initial texture of the solid then you can easily melt the oil beforehand by placing the container into warm water.

Although I much preferred the idea of using coconut oil opposed to any other vegetable variety, I was still pretty apprehensive about it. The initial idea of the oil-pulling process is kinda gross, right? It can’t just be me who thinks putting oil, whatever sort, in your mouth should be a no-no, aren’t we constantly told to cut down on how much we use anyway? But at the end of the day I put all my doubts out of my head and gave it a go, and I’m pretty sure it’s paying off.

The only really difficult thing I found about the whole process was when to go about it. I’m one of those people who wakes up ravenous and has to eat IMMEDIATELY, which means the suggested time of first thing in the morning when you have an empty stomach didn’t exactly suit me. So instead I choose to oil-pull last thing at night. Four hours after finishing eating I would do my oil-pulling and brush my teeth before bed; it was a pretty simple addition to my bed-time routine which was so much easier than trying to add it to my already hectic mornings.

Now for the bit you’re all really desperate to know: Did it actually work? Obviously after just one week I can’t really be certain about how well the whole process is working in regards to detox but my teeth definitely look whiter, so I’m going to keep it up! I hope you’re not too disappointed that I can’t offer you more regarding how effective the process is yet, but I aim to update you all again on my little experiment in a few weeks’ time! If you are giving oil-pulling a go please feel free to share your experiences with me, or any questions!

If you enjoyed this post then you might like to have a read of The Newest Trend of Detox and Teeth Whitening: Oil Pulling or Cruelty-Free vs. Vegan.

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  1. Ooh this is really interesting! I haven't actually seen anyone "real" doing this (as opposed to celebrities) so it's great to hear your experience! Maybe I'll try it sometime :)

  2. Thank you! Once you get over making it part of your daily routine the benefits speak for themselves. Let me know what you think if you do try it out. :)