I’m a big fan of natural ways to replace the chemical laden products that tend to fill our bathroom and a while ago I read about the new (old) craze for oil pulling.
|Prior to my second attempt at oil pulling|
Oil pulling is an ancient Indian method of cleaning your mouth and teeth by swishing a tablespoon of various oils around your mouth for anywhere between 5-15 minutes – and then spitting it out.
The theory is that the oil will take with it any nasty bacteria lurking which will not only improve your oral hygiene but will also help prevent a range of illness that may go on to affect your body too.
Having had dodgy gums for quite a while, I thought I’d give it a go and started off by using sesame oil.
The sensation of having a mouthful of oil does feel a bit odd but after a few days I noticed that my teeth were cleaner and my gums a little more pink.
Then I tried pure coconut oil which was a little more difficult because it is solid at room temperature and, surprisingly, doesn’t taste all that coconut-y.
But I had read that coconut oil has a range of additional benefits to some of the other oils, so I persisted with my new routine.
It is quite difficult spending 15 minutes with a mouthful of oil whilst trying to get the kids ready for school and having to gesticulate wildly that “mummy can’t speak for the next 15 minutes”!
The downside was that I found my facial muscles ached. And the ache would last for several hours.
I have problems with my jaw joint – a condition known as Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (or TMJS) which means that over exertion of the joint can lead to facial pain. My TMJS is mild compared to some of my fellow sufferers whose lives are made extremely difficult by this very painful condition.
So, I gave the oil pulling a miss.
Recently I started to read about Mintycoco – who make a product which combines virgin coconut oil and peppermint essence specifically for oil pulling.
The product comes in individual sachets pre-measured which is a great help because the books I have on oil pulling specify anywhere between a teaspoon or two up to 1-2 tablespoons of oil. It was difficult to get the right quantity.
I thought I’d give oil pulling another go.
You simply pull the top of the individual sachet and push the oil into your mouth. Because it’s been quite cold, the coconut oil was solid and I found you have to mash it a bit between your teeth until the oil liquifies and you can start slooshing it around your mouth.
Rather than the typically bland taste of the pure coconut oil, Mintycoco has a pleasant, although slight, minty taste.
It is recommended that you swish for between 5-15 minutes, although I’m not convinced 5 minutes will do much.
After you have finished you have to spit the oil into the bin, not down the sink where it will block the drains. I have to say this is the least appealing aspect of the process for me.
Mintycoco also suggest that you use the product before cleaning your teeth in the morning or evening, although the books I have read on the subject suggest that oil pulling replaces the traditional brush / paste.
Unfortunately, after my second attempt, my jaw started to play up and it was back to the toothbrush for me.
I am really disappointed about this because Mintycoco is a good quality, pleasant tasting and very convenient product. You could easily take a few sachets on holiday with you for example – whereas lugging a huge jar of coconut oil would be a bit of a pain!
As Mintycoco say, the natural lauric acid found in coconut oil has been proven to be antibacterial and can kill bacteria, viruses and fungi in your mouth. It can also help reduce plaque and freshen breath. Devotees also report brighter, whiter teeth after longer term use.
If you have read about oil pulling and fancy giving it a try, that I’d recommend you give Mintycoco a go. It’s a very easy way to start and to see if you can work oil-pulling into your daily routine.
Mintycoco are currently offering a 3 day trial at a reduced price of £7, otherwise a 14 day supply will cost £23.99.
I would say, though, that if you are prone to having jaw problems, oil pulling might not be for you.