I’ve never been “normal” (hi, have you met me?), but I think I’m kind of beginning to border on the “crazy” mom side (ok, most of my friends probably think I’m already there…) But the other day as I looked around at my life I kind of just had to laugh and say, “How the heck did I end up here!” So at the risk of outing myself as the super crazy mom, I’m sharing an example today that may scare you off…
I don’t brush my teeth.
Ok, before you stop reading 100% altogether (let’s be serious no one’s going to stop reading because everyone loves when another mom admits things that make her look terrible. Duh.) let me explain!
I didn’t ditch brushing my teeth altogether in lieu of just not brushing my teeth! In fact, the feeling of dirty teeth… ACK! I was never the person to carry around a toothbrush with me to brush after every meal, but I’ll admit I did carry around those little finger cloths that basically do the same thing.
I ditched brushing my teeth for oil pulling.
Actually, when I first heard about it I was intrigued, but thought “ugh”. Then I tried it and, y’all, it was like this miraculous piece that I just never knew was missing from my life until it was filled in.
I ended up asking a dentist friend of mine why I was so in love with oil pulling. Because, surely, it was all in my head and this could not be doing everything wonderful that I thought it was… Right? Let’s just say, he wasn’t sold at first. But then, as the conversation progressed, and he thought out what I was doing and how it was working we both came to the same conclusion: It completely makes sense medically as to why oil pulling will make your mouth feel better, will make your teeth healthier, and will give you better results than the simple brushing most of the busy American mom population does.
So, if you are interested in a “just left the dentist” cleaning every day, quit brushing your teeth and follow these simple steps! (Because I’m on a mission to not be the only crazy mom at the playground!)
Disclaimer: if you are brushing for the recommended amount of time, the recommended number of times per day with a high quality toothbrush in addition to flossing as recommended and also using a recommended mouthwash- being sure to also swish for the recommended amount of time- then you may be achieving the same cleaning you will get with oil pulling and you may not need to try something new. For those of us who lie every time our dentist asks, “Have you been flossing?” Here you go.
There are different oils to use. Organic, unrefined, expeller pressed coconut oil is one of the best options and one of the easiest to find. Place a tablespoon of oil (when starting out use a smaller amount to get used to it and build up to the amount you feel comfortable with) in your mouth, allow it to melt, then simply swish it around for 20 minutes (yes, 20, I’ll talk about this is a minute.) Voila! That’s oil pulling!
But… These are all things I wish people had warned me about when I began:
- When you begin you will probably gag. The texture of the oil is not the only cause for this. You are pulling toxins which can make you sick, also (as is in my case) it helps clear out your sinuses causing them to drain. Sometimes, especially when I’m dealing with sinus issues, I will have to spit it all out and start over. This does go away (for the most part… see my comment about sinus issues) when you have been oil pulling for a little bit! It is definitely worth it to push through this phase!
- You will also probably be a little freaked out when the amount of oil seems to multiply when added to the constant drool accumulation! Spit out tiny amounts (into a jar or the trash never the sink) if you begin to feel uncomfortable with the amount of liquid in your mouth. You don’t have to stop!
- It’s also a scary feeling to have this oil in your mouth and you can’t swallow it (never swallow the oil you pull with or it can make you sick because of all the bacteria and toxins it has pulled from your mouth!) At first I tried oil pulling in the shower. This is not a beginner oil puller move, y’all. I ended up feeling like I was being drowned by my shower, nasty oil pulling oil ended up all over me and my shower wall, and I may or may not have (I did) ended up curled into the fetal position of my shower floor crying. Leave your noseway clear for breathing!
- Start small. Use less oil and pull for a lesser amount of time. Start with 5 minutes 3x a day if you need to and build up. I promise the results will be worth it. When I’m sick I will pull 20min 2-3x a day, but in general once in the morning is usually all it takes. 20 minutes sounds insane. I know. But I will pull while getting the kids breakfast made or when I first get up and as I get dressed. It’s really not as long as it sounds and it’s honestly so much easier than the brushing, flossing, mouthwash routine! It’s hands-free! (I can even do it in the carpool line or driving the kids to school)
- When you are done, if simply swishing with warm water doesn’t feel like enough, do a quick sweep with a wet toothbrush. Starting out, it’s hard to just not brush, and you have to transition to a place in oil pulling where it is fully effective. You may have to use a toothbrush for a little while in addition to oil pulling and that’s ok. Or maybe you will never ditch the toothbrush altogether and that’s ok too.
- If you stop, be prepared. For some reason I decided I wanted to brush my teeth again. It was in the middle of a move and the kids trying out “traditional” school, and reworking oil pulling into my routine felt overwhelming. Big mistake. My mouth began to fill with sores, my gums actually began to get infected, and my breath… y’all. I hadn’t realized how big of a difference oil pulling really made until I stopped.
Oh, but the best part is absolutely how white and clean my teeth look. I get constant compliments on my teeth when I am oil pulling. On my teeth, y’all. I was not at all prepared for that!
So, there you go. My first confession is that I do not brush my teeth. And I am not at all sorry about it! Have you ever tried oil pulling?