Oil Pulling for the First Time & Live Blogging the Experience

On Monday, Kelsey sent me this article on oil pulling and said she was curious. I suppose I was in a Monday evening adventurous mood, but I decided to try it with coconut oil.

What is Oil Pulling?

From Wikipedia: Oil pulling or oil swishing is a traditional Indian folk remedy that involves swishing oil in the mouth.

Benefits of Oil Pulling

From the FoodMatters website

  • Helps to reduce the amount of S. mutans (germ) count in both teeth plaque and mouth saliva
  • Stops bacteria from sticking to the walls of the oral cavity
  • Reduces fungal overgrowth
  • Overall strengthening of the teeth, gums and jaws
  • Prevention of diseases of the gums and mouth, such as cavities and gingivitis
  • Prevention for bad breath
  • Potential holistic remedy for bleeding gums
  • Prevention of dryness of the lips, mouth and throat
  • Possible holistic treatment for TMJ and general soreness in the jaw area

I'll start by saying that I've never really liked coconut-flavored anything. And I don't really care for the general smell of coconut oil. But the most contact I have with it these days is when we put in on our popcorn. And when it's melted and salted, it really doesn't taste much different than butter.

Anyway, as I stared at the spoonful of coconut oil wondering how it was going to feel to put semi-solid oil into my mouth, waiting for it to melt, then swishing it for 20 minutes, I was still feeling adventurous enough to give it a go.

Oil Pulling Rookie

After about seven minutes I needed a distraction, so I recalled all the thoughts I had up until that point and then kept live blogging my experience as it happened until the alarm on my phone sounded.

  • A whole tablespoon, really?
  • Oh my goodness, when will it melt?
  • I guess I'll chew it. Yuck.
  • OK, it's not that bad.
  • Do you realize the amount of mouth muscle it takes to "swish" coconut oil in your mouth for 20 minutes?
  • 20 minutes... Really? That's a long time.
  • I'll do the dishes.
  • OK, the dishes are done, how much time's left? 13 minutes? Holy crap.
  • OK, I'm live blogging this...nothing better to do.
  • Kelsey keeps asking me questions... like I can answer! Oil Pulling Text
  • I'll text her: "Don't talk to me. I'm oil pulling."
  • OK, 10 minutes left. Halfway there.
  • People do this every day?
  • Why am I doing this?
  • Google: Benefits of oil pulling
  • There's a website "coconutoil.com"? Why didn't I think of that?
  • Oh gosh, I forgot I was swishing and swallowed a little bit. gross.
  • Foodmatters.tv says to use sesame oil. I like sesame chicken.... that might be better than coconut oil.
  • And they say to do it for 10-15 minutes. What the crap? Ugh. 4:24 seconds left.
  • The roof of my mouth is feeling extra (what's the word?) ridgy. It has lots of ridges...
  • This is really hard for a chronic mouth breather.
  • I hope my teeth are whiter.
  • This is so crunchy... granola crunchy...
  • 1:32... seriously... I'm just going to stare at the clock...
  • I can't wait to spit this crap out.
  • But it really doesn't taste too bad once it's melted.
  • Just don't swallow it.
  • Just keep swishing...just keep swishing...
  • 29 seconds... home stretch.
  • Oh man...I just dribbled a little bit out of my mouth, onto my shirt.

It really wasn't that bad, and I will say that my mouth as a whole feels cleaner than it does coming out of the dentist office. The difference is that I can feel the ridges in the roof of my mouth and my taste buds as well. I still have that silky smooth feeling on my teeth that you get after being at the dentist, without the corner of my mouth bleeding and ultra dry lip business.

Oh, yeah, and because coconut oil makes a great lip balm, my lips were extra moist and soft as well.

So, the bulleted list above was written during my first experience and the intro and outro were written the morning after. And...while writing in the morning, I decided to do it again. Here's what helped the second time:

Getting Started

  1. Put spoonful of coconut oil in your mouth.
  2. Press it into the roof of your mouth with your tongue.
  3. Start chewing it to break it down into smaller pieces.
  4. After 20 seconds or so, it's ready to swish to your heart's content.

Other tips

  • Find something to do to keep busy.
  • Do it when you are alone, so others don't try to talk to you (The second time I did it in the morning before Kelsey or Rooney were up).
  • Keep swishing. (Sometimes I forget.)

I'm not sure I'll do this everyday, and I'm not sure at this point if I'll give up brushing my teeth (some people do!). But, I think this is something I could do once a week for sure. We'll see how it goes. Kelsey and I have both noticed that my teeth are whiter after oil pulling just three times this past week. (Kelsey introduced me to it, but she has yet to try it. I'm hoping she'll give it a try soon.)

How about you? Have you tried oil pulling? What benefits have you seen? 

If you haven't tried oil pulling, would you?

P.S. We've used both Trader Joe's Coconut Oil and Better Body Foods Organic, Extra Virgin Coconut Oil. They are very similar.