I survived! Out of 14 days, I oil pulled for 11 days. I missed 3 days because of life. 20 minutes is hard to find when you have two children under 4 years old. I learned quickly, that I needed to do it after my youngest son was sleeping. It is hard to say, "Don't hit your brother!" with a mouth full of oil.
Also, things like this happen when you are in one room and your two-year old is in another:
For a recap of the experiment: people are claiming that if you swish with an organic oil like coconut oil or sesame oil for twenty minutes, it will make your teeth white, teeth and gums healthier, keep cavities at bay and various non-dental related benefits.
I decided to challenge myself to swish for 2 weeks to see if there were any improvements in my overall oral health. I used an organic coconut oil:
My husband and I cook with coconut oil and really like it. It is great for Asian and Indian dishes and awesome in baking. The one gripe I have about it is its low melting point. During the colder months, it solidifies. It smells and tastes great so I was psyched to do it:
Then I got the chunky, shortening-like substance in my mouth:
Yick! Once it melts it is fine, but for the first 15 seconds it was not pleasant...at least for me it wasn't. So, you go about your daily life swishing from anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes. I worked up to the 20 minutes. The first day I only got to five minutes...again, mainly because of my children. But, as the days progressed, I was able to swish much longer. I did have to give myself a pep-talk to actually put the coconut oil in my mouth, though because the chunky texture grossed me out.
The longer you swish...the more saliva you accumulate. Makes sense, right? It was a lot, but not as much or as horrible as I anticipated.
After I got rid of the oil/saliva, I brushed (2 minutes) with my electric toothbrush and flossed. Remember...don't spit into your sink, or you may be calling a plumber with a clogged pipe.
RESULTS: Our expert dental hygienist, Courtney, took my probing depths and there was improvement in some areas. If you remember from my first oil pulling post, I had three "bad" areas. While two areas remained the same, my 5 mm pocket became 4 mm. Again, ideally you want to have 3 mm or less. Anything more is considered periodontal disease. There were several other areas where I went from a 3 mm to a 2 mm!
Now, this all sounds great and is very good for the Pro Oil Pulling people, but here are some of my thoughts.
During this whole process, I increased my flossing from doing it a handful times a week, to doing it daily. In my opinion, I truly believe that it was my increased flossing that helped and not the oil pulling.
And what about that Julie Robert's smile? Nope. I had no change. Granted I did not have that much to improve upon (oh, that kind of sounds conceited!). However, after a long talk with Dr. Jones' Assistant, Jennifer, she is of the opinion that there was no change in my tooth color.
And the other claims? Honestly, I didn't see or feel any great difference. Now, I am just one person that did this for two weeks. Maybe if I did it longer, I would see the results. However, I think that I am just to go back to cooking with coconut oil rather than swish with it.
If this is something that you are interested, please talk with your dentist or doctor before starting.
Ali Jones, D.D.S. - Dentist