I’m sure we all have our own versions of stories that our parents would share with us as children. You know, the stories that started out like….”when I was your age”. I genuinely loved hearing these stories growing up. Of course, my dad’s version of his childhood always portrayed him as the hero in some way. We giggle about them now, but the lost art of story telling is missing in our families today. We need to put the iPads and cell phones down long enough to hear from our elders about the past. There is wisdom in those stories. After all, I believe the greatest teacher of all is history.
My mom grew up on a dairy farm. She was out of 11 children and worked hard every day of her childhood. There are no ‘fish stories’ when it comes to her relieving her childhood. Her mom died when she was 11, and with her being the oldest girl in the house, she resumed the role as ‘mother’. With having four girls of my own, I have stopped and pondered this very hardship every time one of them has had an 11th birthday. It’s hard to picture any of them running a household at that age.
Both my mom and dad lived in very rural areas. Calling it ‘simple times’ is putting it lightly. They didn’t have the luxury of Amazon or Pinterest to solve their problems. What they did have was handed-down home remedies that I would frown upon. Now, I feel foolish for not listening to some of their home remedies. Oh, simple times…..where apple cider vinegar and baking soda could fix anything!
One particular convenience my parents didn’t have was toothpaste. They simply used baking soda and at times, hydrogen peroxide. I laugh at the thought of giving that combination to my children. We use a natural toothpaste already that has a lovely mint flavor and they still squirm at it…..total first world problems!
Another home remedy that has fallen through the cracks is oil pulling. I am so happy that this therapy is beginning to pick up speed. Which is hard to do in our society of, ‘I want it now or not at all’. Oil pulling takes time, effort, and a lot of patience, but if you are willing to put in the effort, you will see the benefits. Like so many other natural remedies, people give up too soon. I challenge you to stick with this.
What is oil pulling?
Oil pulling simply refers to the way you work the oil in your mouth. Think of it as ‘pulling’ all the harmful bacteria out of your mouth. Once you place oil in your mouth and work it through all the gaps and hard-to-reach places of your teeth, it will strip the bacteria where bacteria likes to hide. The fatty molecules in the oil attract and bond with the fatty membrane that surrounds each microorganism cell. It will strip your teeth from the harmful bacteria and you get to spit all the bacteria away! This case study showed great results in the reduction of plaque and gingival indices in just 30 days!
So what oil do we use?
Many oils have been used with this technique but the more we learn about all the health benefits of coconut oil, it is clearly the right choice. Organic coconut oil facilitates the absorption of calcium, allowing our teeth to become stronger. It also helps to stop tooth decay. Because the oil has antiviral and antibacterial properties, it can remove stain-causing bacteria that will then produce whiter teeth. Some studies have even shown that body inflammation is reduced simply because of the reduction of bacteria in the mouth allowing a detoxification of the body.
How do we oil pull?
Now this is where stamina and patience comes into play. The thought behind successful oil pulling is that it needs to be done on an empty stomach, so first thing in the morning is the obvious choice. Take about 1-2 tsps of organic coconut oil (some people like to add essential oils to their oil) and start swooshing away. If the oil is not softened then just start chewing; the heat of your mouth will have it melted in no time. You will need to do this at least 20 minutes, 3x a week. Don’t worry, you will need to work your way up to this time. The best way to start is to oil pull while you are in the shower. This saves time and keeps your mind off the fact that you are swooshing oil in your mouth for what seems to be hours. When your mouth has had it, spit it out and DO NOT SWALLOW. Remember, the oil is now packed with bacteria from your mouth. You want it all out of your body. Just spit it out in the trash, rinse throughly and then brush your teeth like normal. I finish it off with a homemade mouthwash that is amazing. You can read my blog entry on how to make your own mouthwash here.
Once you have gained this habit, you should start to see a noticeable improvement in your overall dental hygiene in 3-6 months. This is such a cost-effective way to clean up your mouth. It’s a shame more people do not have the discipline to develop this habit.
Again, people like to add in a drop of essential oils too. We just can’t seem to get away from our mint addiction when it comes to dental hygiene. Thieves is a great choice for its antibacterial properties or Peppermint is great EO choice for its popular ‘minty’ and tingleing sensation.
Further reading on the benefits of oral health and essential oils read this link on sore throats and essential oils.