Morning oil pulling promises clean teeth and less bad breath. We’ll tell you how to do it right. Brushing your teeth in the morning is not a question of routine but, above all, of hygiene. But there is something that should raise your oral hygiene to a whole new level and even prevent tooth decay: Oil pulling is a centuries-old tradition in Ayurveda and is part of the morning cleansing ritual of more and more people – even biohackers swear by it. We asked Emanuel Fiore, yoga teacher and Ayurveda coach, what this is supposed to do, how it works properly, and which oils you can use for it.
What Is Oil Pulling?
Oil pulling is traditionally an Ayurvedic cleansing ritual in which oil is pulled through the teeth. The aim is to bind and remove deposits and bacteria that accumulate in the oral cavity overnight. For many people, the basic Ayurvedic idea is not necessarily in the foreground. Instead, oil pulling is an alternative and complementary method to classic oral hygiene to keep teeth and oral cavity clean – even though the scientific situation cannot (yet) provide any meaningful studies.
What Is The Effect Of Oil Pulling?
“According to Ayurvedic traditions, daily oil pulling has a very positive effect on general oral and dental health,” our expert knows. It is said to strengthen teeth, prevent inflammation, fight bad breath and even help prevent tooth decay.
The morning cleansing routine has sworn Ayurveda for thousands of years. To convince Western medicine of the effect, more and more studies want to prove the positive effects. So far, however, there are too few, and the results themselves are not conclusive enough. As long as this is the case, it is above all the many good practical experiences that lead more and more dentists to recommend oil pulling as an alternative method of teeth cleaning. However, it does not replace thorough brushing of your teeth or a mouthwash – it only has a supportive effect.
Initially, in Ayurveda, oil pulling did not focus on cleaning the teeth but rather on “detoxifying” the body. Coach Fiore explains why: “In Ayurveda, the mouth is part of the digestive tract, in which, especially overnight, if we do not swallow, drink or produce saliva regularly, an accumulation of ascending substances from the lower levels of the digestive tract takes place. These accumulate as deposits on the tongue, teeth, and mucous membranes and are responsible for bad breath and bad taste in the mouth, among other things
In the holistic Ayurvedic view, brushing your teeth is not enough to remove the plaque. Oil pulling is said to help bind and remove these substances. Since the effect should take place within a very short time, you should be able to achieve the result after 24 hours—a small ritual with a significant impact.
How Does Oil Pulling Work Properly?
Oil pulling isn’t complicated, but it can be a bit of a struggle, especially the first time. It is pretty unusual to keep the oil in your mouth for so long. But the benefits of the morning ritual speak for themselves, and there is nothing to prevent you from simply trying it out for yourself. The Ayurveda coach explains how it works:
- Step: Put a tablespoon of oil of your choice (more on this below) in your mouth.
- Step: Start rinsing your mouth and pulling the oil through your teeth – just like you would use a mouthwash, but please don’t gargle.
- Step: After 5 to 10 minutes, spit the oil into a paper towel. Do not go down the drain, as this can cause blockages.
“You do that right after you get up on an empty stomach,” emphasizes Fiore. “This is the only way to loosen the deposits that arise overnight during the digestive process in the mouth and bind them to the oil.” This means nothing to eat, drink, or brush your teeth. Just put oil in your mouth after getting up and get started. He also recommends: “To get used to it, you can start with 3 to 5 minutes and then increase the time to 5 to 10 minutes.”
Which Oil Is Suitable For Oil Pulling?
“In general, any oil is suitable for oil pulling, personal taste is decisive,” says the expert. Take a look in your kitchen and see if you have one of these oils in stock:
- Coconut oil (liquid)
- olive oil
- Sunflower oil
- Rapeseed oil
- sesame oil
- linseed oil
If you can’t get used to the taste of conventional cooking oils, there are now several special oral oils. In addition to base oil, they contain essential oils that give an authentic taste. Mint, rosemary, lemon, and orange are particularly popular. You can buy these oils in any drugstore, pharmacy, or online. We have selected these two providers for you:
- Elixir: Thanks to natural, essential oils, the morning cleansing ritual is not only suitable for everyday use in terms of taste but also provides the kick you need in the morning, thanks to the selected components. There are three types of Mundziehöl: spearmint grapefruit , orange-ginger-rosemary, and lemon-lemongrass.
- Jean & Lew: Instead of a dull oil taste, the oral drawing oil with peppermint provides extra freshness and can make oil drawing a lot more pleasant. Thanks to the practical pump cap, the oil can be well portioned and looks hip. The oil is made in Germany and does not contain any frills.
- Alverde: If the oils mentioned above are a little too expensive for you, then we have an excellent price-performance tip for you: The mouth-drawing oil from the natural cosmetics brand Alverde with a fresh mint taste is only around 5 euros at dm.
ALSO READ: IS OLIVE OIL PERFECT FOR YOU?
These Tips Will Make Oil Pulling Even More Effective
To intensify the effect of oil pulling, expert Fiore has even more tips from Ayurveda. The main thing is to remove the deposits that collect in the oral cavity altogether. Not only should this have a positive effect on your general oral hygiene, but it can even improve your digestion.
In addition to oil pulling, Fiore recommends cleaning the tongue with a tongue scraper. “You will be amazed what deposits are on your tongue,” said the expert. This not only removes bacterial deposits but also exposes the taste buds and thus prevents bad breath. Incidentally, this is also recommended by the Society for Periodontology as a holistic dental and oral hygiene method.
“The whole thing works best with special tongue scrapers made of stainless steel , which can be cleaned with hot water and reused,” he explains. You can also try a spoon to try. “If you have to choke at the beginning of it, don’t start too far back on your tongue, but get used to it first. It’s worth it!”
Brush Your Teeth
After pulling oil and scraping your tongue, you should, of course, also brush your teeth. It is not simply replaced. It is part of holistic oral hygiene. “In Ayurveda, the oral cavity is part of the digestive tract, in which digestive deposits settle overnight. It is therefore important to clean your mouth first before you eat or drink something, because according to Ayurvedic understanding you will otherwise swallow these ‘pollutants’ and them so get back into your body. ”
Drink Warm Water
After the night, your body is dehydrated and therefore needs fluids badly. A large glass of water in the morning should eliminate this deficit. But warm? “According to Ayurveda, the warmth stimulates digestion, deposits are removed more easily and the metabolism is boosted, especially on an empty stomach,” says Fiore.
Conclusion: Oil Pulling Takes Getting Used To, But It Is Effective
Even if the scientific effect of oil pulling has not yet been proven, you can use the alternative method to optimize your oral hygiene and prevent bad breath. To establish it as a fixed morning routine, Fiore has another tip: Don’t stress yourself! Allow enough time in the morning to pull the oil – even if that means setting the alarm a little earlier. And something else is essential to our experts: “In Ayurveda there is no right or wrong morning routine, only one that is good for you.” You alone decide whether you want to integrate oil pulling into your care routine or not. Just try it out tomorrow morning.