Day 15 :: Oil-Pulling

11:34 PM


"Seriously. Oil-pulling?"

There are a lot of naysayers for this technique (myself included). There's not a lot of scientific evidence to prove that it works or even does anything. As a scientist and an engineer, this deeply offends my more ridiculous and up-tight notion that without adequate research, I can't be bother with some "silly ritual." But after hearing my mom rave about it, I decided to give it a shot.

First, let's answer some general questions!
Traditionally, sesame oil was used, but the new trend is to use coconut oil (big surprise). Seeing as I'm mildly allergic to coconut, I've opted for olive oil instead which is much more unpleasant from my understanding. Please keep in mind that this does not replace brushing. You actually have to brush afterwards.
Again, there isn't a lot of research that has been done on this. Supposedly, the oil "pulls out" toxins. I have a different option on what it is doing, but I'll go over that on a different day.
To be honest, I've already broken this. I'm sorry, but if you wake up and your boyfriend has been sweet enough to make you breakfast, you're not telling him, "Thanks! Now wait 20 minutes for me to swish a tablespoon of olive oil around my mouth which might not even been an effective way to improve my oral hygiene."

Obviously, based on how I've summarized this, I think it's pretty clear I have my doubts. I think I'm hyper critical of it because it seems like a waste of a perfectly good tablespoon of olive oil.

Removing my personal doubts, I've tried to look at this process with an open. I will say everyone was right: olive oil is very unpleasant at first. The unpleasantness does go away after a minute or so and it's just like you have a mouth full of spit (cute).

I will say two positive things:

  1. The habit has been very easy to form already. It's a simple, typically non-life-invasive task that, while I don't look forward to it, does fit easily into my morning routine.
  2. My teeth have definitely felt smoother. I will allow that this could be a combination of having less coffee over the past few weeks and the fact that I've had incredible oral hygiene the past few days.

Since there's not all that much scientific research that has been done on oil-pulling, I'm interested in knowing other experiences. Have you done oil-pulling? And did it work for you?

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