Now that all the names on your gift list have been crossed off for the year, it’s time to make your next list: all the fabulous things you want more (and less) of in the New Year. While I tend to make this list on my birthday instead, New Year’s Day is another time I like to check in with myself. It’s good to see how things are going and renew my commitments to things I’ve been slacking on.
As I reread my last birthday list, I knew I needed to shine a light on #23: Take better care of my teeth. My gums are happy to report that I’ve been flossing more than I used to, and my water flosser is now on the vanity top rather than in the hall closet. I’ve since done some more digging into oral health, and I came across a simple, beneficial technique that I’m going to try to make more of a regular habit—oil pulling.
Never heard of oil pulling? You aren’t alone. While it’s been around for thousands of years in other parts of the world, it’s pretty new to us westerners. The technique is simple: you choose the right kind of oil, swish it around in your mouth, spit it out, and brush your teeth. Yet these few easy steps lead to huge benefits:
- Prevents gum disease like gingivitis
- Helps clean your teeth
- Freshens your breath
- Whitens your teeth
- Clears up your skin
Even though this is still an occasional habit, I’ve already noticed the perks. My gums feel healthier, and my mouth feels cleaner. Seriously, I can’t believe how awesome my teeth feel after that final step. I can’t help but slide my tongue around because it feels so great.
Making this a seven-day-a-week ritual isn’t very realistic right out of the gate, so I make sure to do it four days instead. That I can do, for sure. I’m looking forward to whiter teeth and clearer skin after I’ve been doing it for a while. Who knows, this might nudge me into making oil pulling a part of my daily routine.
Of course, there’s a whole lot more to healthy teeth than oil pulling. But with so much information about dental health in the SRP Historical Archives at my disposal, including Dr. Royal Lee’s The Systemic Causes of Dental Caries, I’m not going to have any trouble accomplishing #23. I’m giving my teeth what they need—and deserve—from here on out.
If you’ve tried oil pulling, what benefits did you experience?