Swishing with coconut oil, also known as oil pulling, might sound like some new health craze. It actually began in India thousands of years ago and is still a daily routine for many.
Coconut oil is about 50% lauric acid, the richest known source by far. Shown to kill bacteria, fungi and viruses, lauric acid is especially effective against Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacillus, the two leading causes of tooth decay. It also fights gum disease and bad breath.
In a study published by the National Institutes of Health, swishing with coconut oil for 30 days reduced plaque by 68% and gum disease by more than half. Coconut oil is considered as effective as mouthwash—and it won’t dry out your mouth.
Swishing once a day is enough, ideally first thing in the morning before you eat or drink anything.
• Put about a tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth.
• Swish 15–20 minutes, pushing and pulling it between your teeth.
• Spit the oil into the trash (it can clog plumbing).
Try it for a week and see if you notice a difference in how your mouth feels and tastes. Who knows? Even your dentist might be impressed.
Even with all that swishing, you need dental coverage. Learn about dental policies from your association and AMBA.