As I’ve mentioned before, I have the worst teeth EVER.
Every.single.time I go to the dentist, there's always a new cavity to get filled. It's really annoying (and quite costly).
Can you DIY your dental care?
You guys know I hate spending money when I can do something myself (cough cough, at home haircuts, homemade cleaning products)... so when I stumbled across a post about Oil Pulling from my blogger friend, Kate, I was intrigued. It sounds like this mythical Oil Pulling thing can lead to healthier teeth (aka fewer cavities!). Say whaaaa?! TELL ME MORE.
I read a few more reviews and learned that oil pulling = swishing coconut oil in your mouth for 20 minutes every morning. It is supposed to pull out toxins from your teeth- your teeth aren’t really solid, they’ve got teeny tiny pores (if that’s the right word? Sorry, I'm not a dentist, I just play one on the blog) that toxins can get into- and give you all sorts of amazing benefits.
A few Oil Pulling benefits:
- whiter teeth (who doesn’t want that?)
- less sensitivity (I use sensitive teeth toothpaste every day, so that sounded promising)
- fewer cavities (YES PLEASE)
- better sleep
- healthier body overall
- and a whole bunch of other stuff like clearing up allergies
All that just by swishing some coconut oil in my mouth for 20 mins a day? I mean, what did I have to lose?
(other than the fact that my brothers will probably start calling me a hippie... but its all in the name of SMIYT research, eh?)
$6 later, I'm in business
I hit up the local Trader Joe's and grabbed a jar of coconut oil. The next morning, I officially began my swishing routine.
As soon as I woke up (before eating, drinking, or brushing teeth!), I put 1 tsp of oil into my mouth (it starts solid but melts as soon as it hits your mouth) and started swishing.
The first time was tough. 20 minutes is a really, really long time. And swishing oil in your mouth is a little weird-- it's got a strange texture. I lasted about 7 minutes before giving up . The next day I made it to 10, then eventually 15, and finally 20.
I try to multitask while oil pulling- I usually write my 750 words and get ready for my morning walk while swishing. Then I spit it out (oh, fun fact, you can't spit it out into the sink because it'll harden and clog your pipes, so spit into the trash!) and brush. Then you're done for the day!
I don't do it on weekends- mostly because I'm lazy but partially because then Mike's home and it's hard to not talk to someone for 20 mins because you have coconut oil in your mouth. I'm hoping that 5 days a week is enough to provide benefits.
Oh, and I took a few pills
In my research, I read that cod liver oil pills were also supposed to help keep your teeth strong & fix cavities. So I picked some of that up, too. My doctor's office pharmacy sells bottles of 100 pills for $5 (I take 2 a day).
Another suggestion to fix your cavities is to drink raw milk. I am not nearly that dedicated, so I figured taking a few pills was easier.
So... is it working?
Yes? Maybe? No? I have absolutely no idea.
I've been doing this fairly faithfully every Monday thru Friday for about 3 months now. I don't think I'll know if it helped heal any cavities until my next dentist appointment. (At my last appointment, they said I had a little one that they wanted to fill next time, so that will be my experiment-- does it still need to be filled?)
I do know that my teeth look pretty white, they feel shiny and clean, and I stopped using my sensitivity toothpaste and my teeth don't hurt when I eat cold things (!!!!). So that's good, right?
The only downside of this whole process was that one morning that our apartment was SUPER warm and when I opened the coconut oil jar, it was melted and I didn't realize it and spilled it on my shoe. And it's impossible to remove :(
R.I.P., $15 Target slippers :(
Will I keep doing it?
I think I'm going to stick with the Oil Pulling until my next appointment then reassess. The entire process is actually pretty cheap-- my $6 jar of coconut oil and $5 bottle of Cod Liver Oil pills lasted about 2 months... so what is that, $5.50/mo? If that can save me a $150 filling, I will be a very happy girl.
*disclaimer: I am not a doctor or dentist- just a googler and obsessive DIYer. So please don’t take any real health advice from me. Research this and/or ask your dentist before you try it!
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