(NOTE: I drafted this post a while ago. Update at the bottom.)
So, oil pulling. This was a new thing to me when my friend Shannon (hi!) posted this article on Facebook. It sounded ridiculous and disgusting, so obviously I had to try it.
The theory is that swishing natural oils around in your mouth for EXACTLY 20 minutes helps detox the mouth, improve oral health, and supposedly provides a host of other benefits, including improving TMJ symptoms.
Hey, I have that!
Coconut oil has antibacterial/antifungal properties (so they say), and plaque is supposed to stick to the oil. In the interest of giving things a shot if they’re not going to hurt anyone… yeah, we’ll try it.
So let’s see… one tablespoon.
Screw that. I gag on my toothbrush. There’s no WAY this is going to end well. We’ll start with a teaspoon of pure virgin CO.
Note to self: melt the oil in the microwave next time, even if commenters on the article are like, “I GUESS you can melt it first if you’re a WUSS.”
Okay, so that melted pretty quickly. Now, swish around for twenty minutes.
Oh, sweet floundering Neptune.
If this isn’t the least pleasant texture I’ve ever experienced, it’s close. SLIMY COCONUT-FLAVORED BLEEEEEH.
Oh. Saliva. How nice of you to show up.
[Five minutes later]
Well, that was interesting.
Yes, I lasted five minutes before I started gagging and had to spit it out into the trash can. How was that? Here’s a quote from another article for you:
“The oil will get thicker and milky as it mixed with saliva during this time and it should be creamy-white when spit out.”
So… yeah. I’m going to be mature about this and just walk away from that one.
As for the results: Hmm. Well, it got gunk out from between my teeth as well as flossing does. My teeth feel slippery… I guess that’s a good thing? No immediate whitening benefit, but at this point I doubt anything can help me with that.
Annnnd my tongue was so slippery that it just fell out of my mouth and crawled away. It’s hiding under the stove, quivering.
That’s kind of awkward.
Could I do this first thing in the morning? I don’t know. I guess I’ll give it a shot if it might help with the TMJ. Maybe it’s one of those things you get used to, like using a neti pot (also eew, but it does clear the sinuses).
Still, I’m looking forward to moving on to making a body scrub out of CO and sugar. That sounds like a LOT more fun!
UPDATE: After a few days of trying this, my time-to-violent-gagging went from five minutes to an impressive ONE MINUTE. This might not be for me.
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April 17th, 2014 at 9:25 am
Twenty minutes sounds extreme and rather boring. I wouldn’t want to do anything else out of fear of spitting gunky oil onto whatever I’m working on.
April 17th, 2014 at 9:27 am
Seriously! People say they do it while they’re in the shower, which I guess would be OK.
April 17th, 2014 at 9:35 am
Pretty long shower, but that’s just me.
April 17th, 2014 at 9:36 am
Well, shower, dry hair, whatever. I’m not coordinated enough for that, but I guess it becomes habit. I’ll never know…
April 17th, 2014 at 10:00 am
Maybe it works better with oily food. Only you eat it instead of swishing it.
April 17th, 2014 at 10:03 am
I love it for eating (or drinking with coffee). And I’ll put it on my skin. But swishing is just not for me!
Seriously, though, SO GOOD for frying.
April 17th, 2014 at 10:15 am
Definitely. Though I have to lay off the fried foods. Sesame oil for stir fry is a great thing.
April 17th, 2014 at 10:23 am
I’ll have to try that. I have some because it’s also recommended for oil pulling. I thought it might work better, but it just made my mouth taste the way a food-court Chinese restaurant smells.
April 17th, 2014 at 10:34 am
Now I want food-court Chinese food. Good thing I’m going to a mall today. 😀
April 17th, 2014 at 11:18 am
I’ll stick to flossing and mouthwash, thanks. Just the thought of it is gross.
But a lovely lady who works at the grocery store, swears by it for her skin.
April 17th, 2014 at 2:01 pm
This post was worth reading just for the pictures alone. Oh yeah, what you wrote was funny, too 🙂 I think I’ll stay away from the oil. You convinced me it’s a bad idea.
April 22nd, 2014 at 10:40 am
I’ve made the coconut oil/sugar body scrub. You’ll like this one. Your skin will feel FABULOUS!
June 9th, 2014 at 2:19 pm
I started my oil pulling experiment a week ago. Swishing oil (I use olive oil) for 15 minutes is okay for me, but the oily taste afterwards is really……awkward. I usually brush my teeth right away after I do oil pulling. So far I haven’t yet noticed that my teeth are whiter, yet I feel that my sinuses have been improved. Looking forwards to more benefits in the future 😀
June 9th, 2014 at 2:36 pm
Rinsing your mouth with baking soda and water cuts the grease right out. Doesn’t taste great itself, though… I still need to brush after, but at least my tongue doesn’t taste like oil! 🙂