KITCHEN BEAUTICIAN

POST + PHOTOGRAPHY BY AMY NADINE, GRAPHIC DESIGN BY EUNICE CHUN

This method has been around for centuries! It’s a powerful Ayuveda technique that removes bacteria from your mouth, gums and teeth and whitens your teeth without using bleach. This is what happened to me this month: my sister told me I had to do it every morning because she read it helps with fertility (my hubby and I have been trying for three years, so I pretty much try anything now!). I did it every morning and after just a couple days noticed my teeth looked whiter but didn’t think much of it. Then two weeks later I went to the dentist for my biannual checkup and was ready to get a big lecture. My dentist was half way through the cleaning when he asked “you floss twice a day, right?” I said “I wish, I’ve been really bad about it lately and am lucky if I do it once a week.” He said my gums were so healthy, didn’t bleed at all and there was barely any tartar. He continued with his cleaning then said “you bleach your teeth, right?” To which I also told him no. He said my teeth were so white that when I walked in the room he thought I had gotten veneers! I finally told him I’ve been oil pulling. He had never heard of it but said my mouth, gums and teeth were extremely healthy and he was going to look into it. I was so excited that I actually got a good report card that I’ve been telling all of my friends and now my readers! I’ve since learned it can also clear up acne and your sinuses, prevent gingivitis and promotes heart health! Here’s your Oil Pulling 101:

TOOLS:

  • Your Favorite Oil: Coconut Oil is the best to use but Sesame Oil, Sunflower and Walnut Oil are great too. The only one I wouldn’t necessarily use is Canola Oil.
  • A Teaspoon.

STEPS:

  1. Pour the oil into the teaspoon. If you’re using Coconut Oil, scoop out a teaspoon and wait a minute for it to melt a little. If you don’t mind the consistency while it’s in solid form, you can put it in your mouth while it’s raw and let it melt in your mouth.
  2. Swish the oil all around your mouth, back and forth, from side to side, for 20 minutes. Swish vigorously so it really covers all of your teeth and gets in between them and your gums.
  3. Spit it out.
  4. Immediately swish water in your mouth to rinse it.
  5. Spit out again.
  6. Now brush your teeth.
  7. Repeat daily.

VERY IMPORTANT THINGS TO REMEMBER:

  • Be careful not to swallow any of the oil. As the oil collects all of the bacteria from your mouth, it becomes extremely toxic and could get you sick if you swallow it.
  • If you’re using coconut oil, do not spit it out into your sink. As you know, coconut oil hardens when it cools down and could clog your drain pipes. Spit it out into a trash can instead.
  • It’s most effective if you do it first thing in the morning. I keep the bottle and spoon next to my bed and do it while I’m still in bed browsing Instagram and Facebook on my phone!
  • If you’re an over-achiever, do it twice a day, first thing in the morning and the last thing before you go to bed.

If you want to read more about all the many health benefits, the best resource I’ve found is Oil Pulling Therapy by Bruce Fife.

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