If you've decided to start oil pulling, then I bet you're wondering what the best oil is for swishing.
After all, you want the absolute best for your oral care. Out of the 3 most common oils used for pulling, one stands out above the rest.
To understand why one oil is better than another, it helps to understand their properties and mechanisms of action, along with the basics of oil pulling.
So let's get started.
What Is Oil Pulling?
Oil pulling is a technique that involves swishing oils in your mouth for the purpose of reducing bacteria and improving the hygiene in your oral cavity.
This practice has been in use for centuries now. However, it recently became popular when modern research started digging deep into the benefits of natural oils.
The bacteria in the mouth are normal flora, which means they are good bacteria. This means they have a purpose, such as preventing infections by other organisms like candida, which causes oral thrush.
As such, it’s important not to clear all the bacteria in your mouth but to just reduce their number as an excessive amount can overwhelm your immune system and become infectious.
Oil pulling is ideal for oral hygiene because it restores the balance of oral flora without completely eliminating useful bacteria in the mouth.
The Benefits of Oil Pulling
Fights bad breath
Bad breath is generally caused by bacteria. As living organisms, they utilize energy and certain mechanisms that ensure they are metabolically active.
Just like in humans, the metabolic processes of bacteria yield chemicals and waste products. The higher the number of bacteria in your mouth, the more waste products there will be.
Oil pulling helps clear the waste that causes bad breath.
Whitens your teeth
Besides the foods that we eat (think tea, coffee, that sort of thing), the toxins produced by bacteria in the mouth are also a leading cause of discolored teeth.
When done correctly and consistently, oil swishing can whiten your teeth within 2 weeks.
Augments the overall detoxification process
The body’s major detoxification center is the liver, and the majority of what’s being detoxified are toxins that enter through the mouth.
Besides, your mouth is where most bacteria, parasites, and fungi reside if hygiene isn’t perfectly maintained. These organisms contribute significantly to the amount of toxins in the body.
In a way, oil pulling targets the root cause of toxin entry into the body, which ultimately helps lighten the liver’s load.
Helps prevent gum disease
Most of the oils used in oil pulling contain antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties - both of which are essential in preventing gum disease.
By removing toxins from the mouth, they also prevent the corrosion of your teeth, thus protecting against things like cavities.
3 Best Oils for Oil Pulling
1. Coconut oil
Coconut oil has been a long-time favorite for oil pulling and for good reason. Studies like this one have explored the anti-inflammatory effects of coconut oil and the results are remarkable.
Coconut oil’s antibacterial effects have also been explored. Especially beneficial for oil pulling, coconut oil contains a compound called sucrose monolaurate, which reduces the process of glucose formation (glycolysis) and oxidation of sucrose in bacteria.
This eventually prevents the formation of dental plaques. Coconut oil also contains lauric acid - a compound that’s effective in preventing and/or treating mouth sores.
2. Olive oil
Olive oil has several health benefits. It has anti-inflammatory properties that help maintain the health of your gums and teeth.
Other studies reveal that monounsaturated fats such as oleic acid in olive oil have anti-inflammatory benefits as well.
Olive oil also contains antioxidants, which protect your teeth and gums from oxidative stress.
3. Sesame oil
Sesame oil is an essential part of ayurvedic medicine. According to experts, at least 90% of all herbal oils used in Ayurveda are prepared with sesame as their base oil.
Sesame oil is rich in nutrients and very nutritious. Take its vitamin E content for example, which is a powerful antioxidant. It also contains constituents that give it natural antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties.
Besides the vitamin E, sesame oil also contains modest amounts of iron, omega-6 fatty acids, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and copper as well as dietary fibers.
When used for oil pulling, powerful antioxidants called flavonoids or phenolic compounds (including vitamin E) help in maintaining and/or restoring oral health.
So there are the top 3 oils for swishing. But if you want to narrow it down to the “best of the best” then stick with coconut oil.
Unrefined vs Refined Coconut Oil for Swishing: Which Is Best?
Of all the natural oils, coconut oil is widely considered the best for swishing, which leads us to the bigger question:
What type of coconut oil is best for oil pulling?
Which one should you choose between refined and unrefined coconut oil? How do you tell the difference?
Well, most of the coconut oils you find in stores are refined, which makes them odorless and tasteless.
However, refined coconut oil doesn’t possess all the health benefits found in unrefined coconut oil.
Refined formulas are usually preferred for cooking because they are rich in fatty acids and can withstand the high temperatures of cooking.
On the other hand, unrefined oil is perfect for managing health complications. The easiest way to recognize unrefined coconut oil in the store is just by checking the label.
Unrefined coconut oil usually has the name “virgin” on it, meaning it hasn’t been changed or refined.
Unrefined coconut oil is the best for oil pulling because it has no additional chemicals, neither has it been altered in any way using chemical means (only hand pressing).
That means all the natural ingredients are still intact and in the right proportions.
That's why we chose it for our FRESH Herbal Infused Oil Pull. It provides all the oral health benefits of coconut oil plus additional teeth and gum-supporting herbs for optimal results. Try it today!