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Adventures in Oil Pulling


coconut oil, oil pulling, dental, health, beauty

When I read about oil pulling on Grace's blog, I had my doubts.  Honestly, I wasn't sure how chewing coconut oil down to a liquid would work with my perpetual TMJ issues or how I would continue to swish said liquid around in my mouth for 20 minutes.  However the health benefits that this ancient practice touts are a little too good to ignore: freshen breath, whiten teeth, cure hangovers, help you sleep better, clarifies sinuses, helps skin issues, etc.  By swishing the oil in your mouth, the oil is pulling all sorts of gross toxins out of your mouth that your usual dental routine leaves behind.

If you are interested in trying this on for size here's what you do:
  1. Place 1 teaspoon of coconut oil and chew until liquid
  2. Swish around in your mouth (a la mouth wash) for 20 minutes
  3. Discard in trash can - DO NOT swallow (or you'll be ingesting all of those toxins that you just swished out) and DO NOT spit into sink (or the oil can harden in your pipes
  4. Proceed with usual dental activities (brushing, flossing, mouthwash, etc.)
Read on to see how I faired my first week:

Day 1: I finally muster up the courage at bit the bullet (so to speak) at 6:10 am.  I'm pleasantly surprised with how quickly the solid turns to liquid and begin swishing.  I wash my face, curl my hair, and get dinner together to put into the crock pot.  The last 5 minutes tick by as if 6:30 would NEVER come, but it does and I dispose of the contents of my mouth in the garbage.  My mouth feels refreshed and I'm ready to do my make-up and finish up getting ready.

Day 2: Nailed it - fixed hair, got coffee started, caught up on the news/blogs before I hit the 20 minute mark.

Day 3: More of the same, though the last 5 minutes were again longer than they should have been.  I'm battling sinus drainage due to seasonal allergies which is a tough balance whilst swishing, but management none-the-less.

Day 4: Nailed it

Day 5: Missed it; I house sat for my parents and neglected to bring the jar of coconut oil with me.

Day 6: Back in the saddle and it feels so good. Read Vogue, made coffee, and started in on the Harry Potter marathon on ABC Family before my family was awake.

Day 7: Completely a piece of cake; 20 minutes later, I'm scrubbing my pearly whites and eager to start my day.

Verdict: Definitely something I'm going to continue to do, although maybe not everyday.  I did notice that my breath was fresher, my teeth a touch whiter and overall my skin was fine (not a marked improvement).  I also can't comment on the sinus issues item - though I have perpetual sinus issues, including seasonal allergies that kicked in in the midst of this, I can't say that it was any better or worse.
Would I recommend giving it a try? Absolutely.

So the question is: Is this something you do? Are you interested in incorporating it into your daily routine?

Check out other beauty uses for coconut oil here.

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  1. I keep reading about this and I really want to do it but I just can't bring myself to put a spoonful of oil in my mouth yet!

    Five Minute Style 

  2. OMG so glad you did a post on this!! I've been curious about it forever and now I will definitely have to try! So glad I found your blog through SBS!

    xo, Bekka
    Palm and Peachtree, A Fashion and Lifestyle Blog


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