As Americans, we are obsessed with getting that dazzling white smile. So much so, that we spend over $1.4 billion per year on over-the-counter whitening products (1). However, many of these products filled with harmful chemicals that could actually damage your teeth and have an adverse impact on the health of your mouth overall.
As such, more and more people are discovering the secret of oil pulling (swishing a tablespoon of oil, such as coconut oil, around the mouth for around twenty minutes daily). Not only does it improve your general oral and dental health, but it can easily be made part of your whitening routine, and can do so in a totally natural way.
A Natural Solution to Whitening?
To whiten teeth safely and naturally, you need to look to natural ingredients. This will ensure that you are looking after your body’s health, and keeping it safe from damaging, toxic chemicals. One such natural ingredient that can naturally restore that gleam to your smile is turmeric.
It might surprise you to hear this (turmeric is infamous for staining clothes and skin!) but it really does have an incredible stain-lifting power when it comes to your teeth. It’s a totally natural ingredient, so you can put it into your body safe in the knowledge that it’s free of chemical surprises, plus it’s much more affordable than expensive tooth-whitening treatments or toothpaste. Additionally, turmeric has antimicrobial properties (5) making it a great addition to your daily oil pulling routine.
But turmeric’s only function isn’t to whiten teeth and strengthen your gums. This spice also makes a healthy addition to your diet. Curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, contains anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
When you’re done with your oil pulling routine you can continue to have turmeric play its role in your body with this delicious turmeric liquid extract from PuraThrive. This extract is made with liposomes, which are designed to deliver the nutrients straight to your cells as opposed to having you run the risk of urinating them all out. You can add a few droplets to a glass of water, to your morning smoothie or you can enjoy it straight.
The Benefits of Oil Pulling
Evidence suggests that people have been oil pulling for over 3,000 years (3) and for good reason! Evidence suggests that you can nourish your teeth to good health as oil pulling helps to promote a healthy oral microbiome. When we use traditional “anti-bacterial” mouthwash, we end up killing almost all of the bacteria in the mouth, good and bad (3).
This can lead to problems further down the line when bad bacteria might take advantage of the lack of good bacteria in the mouth that would usually be there to fight them and take over! Studies have shown that oil pulling helps to decrease plaque build-up and plaque-induced gingivitis and as well as supporting overall gum health (5). It does all of this without washing out all of the good bacteria so vital to your oral health.
How to Make Oil Pull Chews
Oil pulling can be a little time consuming, so you can try making oil pulling chews to help shorten the time you spend in the mornings preparing for your oil pull routine. You can make a whole bunch of these and then simply pop one or two into your mouth when you wake up and go!
- 1/3 cup melted virgin coconut oil
- 1/4 – 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- Optional: Essential oils for flavor
Essential Oil Options
- Spearmint essential oil – 15-30 drops
- Peppermint essential oil – 15-30 drops
- Myrrh essential oil – 15-30 drops
- Clove leaf essential oil – Up to 9 drops
- Cinnamon leaf essential oil – Up to 9 drops
- Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.
- Add to an ice tray (preferably silicone), using between 1 teaspoon and 1 tablespoon per chew.
- Freeze for 15 minutes so they solidify, and then store them in the fridge so they don’t all melt.
Using Your Oil Pull Chews
Each morning, before brushing your teeth or eating, you should take one to three of your oil pull chews (totaling around a tablespoon) and swish around your mouth for 5-20 minutes. The longer the better. Be sure to spit out into the garbage once you are done to avoid clogging your drains, and definitely avoid swallowing!
Afterward, you should rinse your mouth out with warm water, and then brush and floss as you usually would.
This routine is not only perfect for improving your gum and teeth health, but the turmeric will certainly lend a helping hand to your teeth’s whiteness, and you will start to notice the difference in no time at all!
1. Blindingly white: Teeth bleaching gone too far. msnbccom. 2007. Available at: http://www.nbcnews.com/id/15309784/ns/health-oral_health/t/blindingly-white-teeth-bleaching-gone-too-far/#.V9BKlpgrK00. Accessed September 7, 2016.
2. Coconut Oil Pulling Chews With Teeth Whitening Turmeric. Mommypotamus. 2016. Available at: http://www.mommypotamus.com/coconut-oil-pulling-chews/. Accessed September 7, 2016.
4. Faizal C. Peedikayil A. Effect of coconut oil in plaque related gingivitis — A preliminary report. Nigerian Medical Journal : Journal of the Nigeria Medical Association. 2015;56(2):143. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4382606/. Accessed September 7, 2016.
5. Froek BFroek B. Antimicrobial Activity of Turmeric. LIVESTRONGCOM. 2016. Available at: http://www.livestrong.com/article/141168-antimicrobial-activity-turmeric/. Accessed September 7, 2016.
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