It's been a month since I started oil pulling.
A few of my initial hurdles:
- Flexibility: although my initial plan was to always oil pull while in the shower, I learned that it got complicated to work it before breakfast if I showered late (I like to see the steam coming off my scrambled eggs, not cold and rubbery, thank you very much!). So I tried to oil pull first thing in the morning, always before breakfast.
- Texture: oil pulling was easy in early October when we still had 80 degree weather and the coconut oil was liquid. Once the cooler weather hit and it solidified, I had to get over the "glob" in my mouth. The suggestion to just chew it helped (thanks Marla!).
- "Don't talk with your mouth full." A lesson in action when my children wanted to ask me questions while oil pulling ;)
My mental picture:
After reading the Oil Pulling book by Dr. Fife, I formulated this image in my mind when I oil pulled: I had a whole army of bad bacteria sitting in my mouth that had formed through the night. They were like a massive crowd of soldiers waiting to get past my throat to do whatever damage they could muster up. They hid between my teeth, behind my cheeks, under my tongue, hoping to ride the scrambled egg transport into my body like a Trojan horse. Enter the coconut oil (or, in my case, the coconut oil with a tad of sesame oil and a drop of peppermint oil). By swishing the oil through my teeth, across my tongue and around my cheeks (it must be oil, not another liquid, so that it can bind), those bad guys are whisked away from their hiding places and bound together by their fats. Twenty minutes of swishing wordlessly, my mouth is ready to be done with it: the swishing oil and the bad bacteria. Down the sink it goes.
Did it help?
I need more than a month to really know if my teeth have improved. What would really tell me is a trip to the dentist. If I have a better than normal check up, I'm sold. I do notice that my teeth don't seem quite as sensitive (especially with the candy temptations I've succumbed to over the past couple of weeks).
What others have noticed with their oil pulling:
I have found the conversations on Kitchen Stewardship's blog to be fascinating. Can you oil pull while pregnant or breastfeeding? (my opinion: I'm oil pulling even though I breastfeed my 1 yr old, but definitely do more research if you're concerned). What if you have amalgams (fillings) - can you oil pull? (Fife recommends you get them removed regardless of whether you oil pull or not). Do you take breaks, a week on, a week off? (Fife has a "maintenance schedule" outlined of how often you should oil pull, depending on your situation). Is that black stuff in my toilet growing out of the crud I spit in there? (it's worth reading the comments just to get to that conversation!).
So will I keep doing it?
Absolutely! The anecdotal evidence from the various comments are convincing enough to keep it up. There's really nothing to lose, and it does make me more aware of the health of my teeth. So I'm sticking with it. How about you?