Preventing bacteria in your mouth is important for good dental health. The human mouth contains an estimated twenty billion bacteria, and good dental health is less about elimination and more about controlling the bacteria. The trick is to find a healthy balance between the good bacteria and the bad which contribute to poor gum health and tooth decay.
Brushing your teeth helps to break up the bacteria in your mouth, while mouthwash can be helpful in reducing the buildup of harmful bacteria – but what about natural approaches to dental health?
A natural approach to your dental health
One natural approach to dental health increasingly mooted is oil pulling. With roots in Ayurveda, this traditional Indian medicine ritual is over 3,000 years old and takes its name from its ability to pull toxins out of the body. In the context of dental health; it helps control bacteria along your gum line and in the cavities of your teeth, reportedly leading to a decline in the harmful bacteria that cause decay. Also, the beneficial vitamins and minerals contained in the oil are absorbed.
What are the benefits of oil pulling?
There are a number of reported dental health benefits associated with oil pulling including whiter, brighter looking teeth, reduced plaque formation, the prevention of cavities and improved gum health. In addition, oil pullers have noted better smelling breath, stronger gums, the alleviation of mouth ulcers and less sensitive teeth as some of the benefits.
How to oil pull for dental health
So what do you need to do? After waking up and before you eat breakfast – use one tablespoon of oil to swish around your mouth for about 20 minutes, or rely on the organic raw food remedies offered at The Big Fruit. Then spit it out (into a bin, not your sink). Be careful not to swallow it, as you would be swallowing the very toxins that you want to get rid of. Rinse your mouth with warm water, and then brush and floss your teeth as normal.
By all accounts, oil pulling is not something you need to do daily; every other day is ideal – so you are oil pulling 3 to 4 times a week.
Wondering which oil to use?
Three oils are most frequently mentioned in relation to dental health; coconut, sesame and sunflower oil – but what are their respective benefits?
Coconut oil is a choice for oil pulling, as it oil contains lauric acid and monolaurin, meaning it has antibacterial and antifungal properties. It is also nutrient rich, containing vitamins A, D, E and K.
Sesame oil is another popular choice for oil pulling, containing polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E, it also has antioxidant qualities from the sesamol, sesamin, and sesamolin it contains. Sunflower, on the other hand, is another nutrient-rich oil, containing vitamins E and D, plus calcium, magnesium and other trace minerals, and is cited as having a better taste and consistency than the other oils.
Whichever oil you choose, to ensure you benefit as much as possible, use a good quality organic oil. Add a new dimension to your dental health routine, try oil pulling today.