In the Name of Science

A couple of afternoons a week, I walk to our Lounge in downtown San Francisco to co-work with other Bay Area Automatticians or visitors who happen to be passing through town. I love catching up with co-workers and we usually have some fairly engaging conversations.

A few weeks ago someone brought up the topic of oil pulling, a practice which has been in the news lately because various celebrities are trying it. There was a surprisingly heated debate among us. I had heard of oil pulling (basically, swishing coconut oil around in your mouth for 20 minutes first thing in the morning, which is supposed to whiten your teeth and eliminate toxins from your body), but didn’t have a strong opinion about it. I listened to Meredith claim that it was ridiculous, and there was only one scientific study to support the practice, claiming oil pulling was about as effective as mouthwash for oral hygiene.

Since I wasn’t pro- or anti- oil pulling, I volunteered to do a test and try it out. My regular routine includes brushing my teeth and flossing in the morning and evening. I don’t, however, use mouthwash.

For the first week (March 30 – April 5) I would brush and floss as usual, and also use mouthwash. The second week (April 6 – 12) would be the control week, to allow my mouth to return to normal. The third week (April 13 – 19) I would do oil pulling each morning on an empty stomach as recommended, rinse with salt water, then brush and floss as usual. After the three weeks were up, I would write up my observations.

I bought the coconut oil last week during an excursion to Trader Joe’s. It’s been sitting on my counter ever since. Tomorrow is day one of oil pulling week. On the eve of the start of the experiment, I have to admit, it’s not super appetizing to think that I’ll be swishing oil for 20 minutes as the first thing I do when I wake up tomorrow. But I’m keeping an open mind, in the name of science!

Getting ready for oil pulling

Getting ready for oil pulling

17 thoughts on “In the Name of Science

    • I highly recommend Crest White Strips. I’m near the end of the box, and my teeth are practically blue. But only use them on your top teeth — it’s crazy painful on the bottom ones and no one sees those anyway.

  1. I’m very interested to hear the results. Although, even if it’s a miracle cure for all that ails your mouth, I have to be honest, I will not be swishing oil around in my mouth for 20 min every day. πŸ˜‰

  2. Twenty minutes! Yowza. I’ll be interested to hear if it works. I can’t use the whitening strips or stuff at the dentist as my teeth are really sensitive. Would love to be able to whiten them.

  3. Looking forward to hearing your results! Some friends and I had a very similar conversation a couple weeks ago, but no one volunteered to give up 20 minutes each morning to be the guinea pig. Is a week long enough to notice a difference? Will you even have your swishing muscles built up by then?

    • Most articles on oil pulling recommend two weeks before you start seeing dramatic results. I’ll give it a week, then decide whether or not to continue on. Oil pulling requires a “gentle swish” which I think I’ve mastered. πŸ™‚ It hasn’t been that tough so far (I’m only 3 days in); I usually read emails or check Facebook while swishing.

  4. Pingback: The Gig Is Up | LoriLoo

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