How I Cleaned my Teeth…

…Without going to the dentist.

Don’t judge me, but a few months back Rajnigandha and a cigarette (double yuck, I know) was my favourite combination. While I managed to kick both habits without too much fuss, it was very hard to get rid of the stained, yellow tone of my teeth. I didn’t want any abrasive cleaning, so I decided to try oil pulling before visiting the dentist.

For the uninitiated, oil pulling is an ancient ayurvedic technique, where you swish vegetable oil in your mouth from 5-20 minutes before spitting it out. The oil literally vacuums all the gunk in your mouth, removing plaque and stains, keeping your breath fresh. Because it removes all the microbes between the crevices of your teeth (gross but true) it also clears the complexion and increases immunity.

To do: Take a small sip of any cheap, local sesame seed oil (roughly one tbsp). Most people do oil pulling with virgin coconut oil but I don’t think that its effective at all. Ancient texts also recommend sesame or sunflower oils. Having tried both sesame and virgin coconut oils, I know for a fact that sesame is better at cleaning teeth because it is slightly thicker. Plus, it doesn’t have that cloying, coconut-y smell.

After swishing it in your mouth for max 20 minutes, spit it into a bin. The oil should have turned into a cream foam. Don’t spit it in your basin as it can clog pipes. And for heaven sake, DO NOT swallow even a bit as it contains all the microbes that have been pulled out from your mouth. Do it first thing in the morning, even before drinking water. Start by doing it for five minutes and then slowly increase it up to 20. Don’t swish too vigorously – if your jaw starts hurting then you are putting in too much effort.

This technique made my teeth gleam within a month. But even if you don’t have bad habits like me, try it. You’ll love the clean feeling in your mouth, not to mention the natural whiteness of your teeth.

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