My new habit for June was a dental treatment known as Oil Pulling. It’s a traditional Ayurvedic medicinal treatment to combat ailments such as tooth decay, gum disease and even asthma. The scientific jury is still out regarding the systemic benefits of this traditionally Indian habit, but there is evidence that it helps manage halitosis and gingivitis.
In May I developed the habit of flossing and wrote about the benefits I could feel, particularly in the cleanliness of the molar region of my mouth. From a personal standpoint I felt my breath was much fresher, but on occasions my girlfriend told me that there was still an odour to it.
It was my girlfriend – who does wonderful wellness and healing work over at Revive Touch – who suggested I should start making oil pulling a daily habit. She knows people who have used this technique to great effect and so I thought I would give it a try.
The first step was to create some reminders, as relying on memory is not a great strategy when you first start to create a new habit. I bought myself a tub of coconut oil, placed it next to my toothbrush and set daily reminders on my iPhone.
The first thing I do when I wake up is to take a tablespoon of coconut oil and start to swish it around my mouth. You have to remember not to gargle (a habit of mine when I am swishing liquid in my mouth), but instead to move the oil between the gaps in your teeth and over your gums.
You can use a variety of different oils, but coconut oil smells and tastes rather pleasant (not that you should swallow it). I continue to swill as I make my daily juice and then once my juicing has been completed I spit the oil into the bin. Avoid using the sink because coconut oil can solidify and block your pipes. We don’t want to be creating another ‘fatberg’ like the one that was recently found in a London sewer.
The whole process takes between 15-20mins and I then take my juice, eat my breakfast, brush my teeth, floss and clean my mouth with mouthwash. I also floss after my dinner and then before I go to bed at night, where I will once again brush my teeth and gargle with mouthwash.
After doing this repetitively for a month it’s now become a habit much the same as brushing my teeth, although I am keeping the reminder systems in place for a little while longer just to be sure.
The only difficulty I have with both oil pulling and flossing is how to measure their effectiveness. I guess the only way to do this is to continue breathing in my poor girlfriends face…sorry love.
Do you have a monthly habit you think I could try?
Photo courtesy of Next TwentyEightDays cc @flickr.com