Do you use mouthwash? If so, it might be time to make the switch to coconut oil pulling. It stems from Ayurveda, a health system that originated in India thousands of years ago. But boy, is it a great dental practice to brighten teeth and improve digestion. If you’re new to this simple practice, here’s everything you need to know about coconut oil pulling.

Oil pulling is when you swish and “pull” oil in your mouth for anywhere from five to 20 minutes.  Coconut oil is best because it’s anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and antimicrobial. And when you swish and pull the oil through your teeth and throughout your mouth, it gathers up toxins and nasty bacteria.

You could argue that mouthwashes do the same, but there’s a big difference between coconut oil pulling and mainstream mouthwashes. Alcohol-based mouthwashes strip the mouth of good bacteria and leave it dry – the perfect breeding ground for bad bacteria.

Coconut oil, on the other hand, removes bad bacteria, while allowing good bacteria to thrive, but that’s not all.

When it comes to digestion, coconut oil pulling helps to remove the toxic film from the top of the tongue. By cleaning your tongue, it can taste the various foods you’re eating. And when your body knows what you’re eating, it can start to release specific enzymes to break those foods down.

In short, coconut oil pulling contributes to better digestion.

To oil pull, here’s what you do:

Put one tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth, and swish it for as long as you can/want. The more frequently you oil pull, the longer you’ll be able to do it.

When you’re finished, do not swallow the oil. That’s because it’s full of bacteria, toxins and plaque. Instead, spit it down the drain and rinse your mouth with warm water, followed by your normal brushing and flossing routine.

Tip: Start oil pulling before you go into the shower, and once your shower is finished, you can simply spit and rinse without having to switch up your morning routine at all.

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