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Improved Dental Checkups

Improved Dental Checkups

I recently checked my calendar for the upcoming month and noticed my regular dental appointment was coming up.  Some of you may not give your dental appointments a second thought and some of you may be the way I have been at times… filled with fear and loathing. Ok, so why am I sharing my date book with you, anyway?  Good question!  Seeing the appointment prompted me to stop and realize how much my teeth and overall oral health have improved since I started a practice known as “oil pulling”.  This is an Ayurveda practice that has been around for centuries but I learned of it only a few years ago.

So the good news about my own dental history is I HAVE my teeth and they are for the most part nicely arranged in my mouth.  It’s nice that my teeth are straight and closely aligned but that has made it extra difficult to get dental floss in between them.  These are not major issues but it was a discomfort when at the dentist and more than once I’ve had to have dental floss cut out because it gets hung up in those tight spaces. (This still occurs from time to time.)  On the flip side, my teeth and gums have generally been quite sensitive and even going in for my regular cleaning every six months would have me quite anxious.  The last point about my own sensitivity is fluoride makes me ill.

There is much debate about the safety of fluoride, but that is a subject for another time.  I stopped using commercial toothpaste long ago simply because I finally figured out it made me sick.  This means no fancy promises to reduce tartar, whiten my smile or prevent gingivitis for me in a convenient tube.  So, I decided to give oil pulling with coconut oil a try and I am pleased.  The ways that I can say it has benefited me is my smile is whiter, my gums are less sensitive, little or no bleeding after flossing and my teeth even seem less sensitive.  I can also feel there is less plaque and tartar build up.  Yes, in times past I could feel it on my teeth as it got closer to time for my cleaning with the hygienist.

There has been much written on the practice of oil pulling (whole books!).  Here are my tips:

  •  Use good oil! Common ones suggested are Coconut, Sesame and Olive. Cold pressed, extra virgin and organic
  • Put about one tablespoon liquid oil in your mouth and swish (don’t swallow) between 5 and 20 minutes  first thing in the morning.  It’s best to have flossed before bed.  This is also good exercise for your mouth and jaw muscles which is why it’s best to build up to 20 minutes.
  • When you are ready to expel the oil from your mouth do not spit into your sink or toilet but rather into a trash can. (I generally spit my oil into a 3oz paper cup and then put into the trash but that isn’t necessary.  I like to have the cup near me in case I need to expel the oil and I’m in the middle of reading/writing etc.)
  • Rinse your mouth.  I prefer using a 1/2 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in about 3 ounces of water   to completely rinse my mouth out after pulling and before brushing my teeth.
  • Do this daily for best results but I find, if I even do it a few times a week. I receive benefit.

Have you tried oil pulling?  Would you be willing to give it a try?  Why or why not?  I’d love to hear from you!  Share your comments below!


Let’s talk! Hi, I’m Karen Lopez, a certified health coach at Kingdom Health and I invite you to a complimentary consultation with me. You can access an appointment request here and I will contact you to schedule an appointment. It’s easy…so why not get started today?!




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