Have you heard of oil pulling? It’s the ancient Ayurvedic practice of using coconut oil to clean the mouth. Coconut oil has natural antimicrobial properties which help “pull” bacteria and toxins out from between the teeth, while at the same time, not ridding the mouth completely of all the necessary, healthy bacteria, which can happen with alcohol-based mouthwash.
To start oil pulling, choose an organic brand of coconut oil, preferably raw and unrefined. Swish a little coconut oil in your mouth as you would with mouthwash, but do not gargle with it. Because the oil will quickly absorb toxins, it’s important not to swallow any. You’ll want to oil pull for about 20 minutes, eventually, but start small (about 5 minutes) and work your way up.
When you’re done swishing, spit out the oil in a garbage can rather than a sink or toilet, as the oil could clog the plumbing. Be careful not to eat or drink anything right away. Instead, rinse and brush your teeth immediately after spitting out the oil, then wait at least 15 minutes before eating or drinking.
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A new study from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia