**Disclaimer: I am not a dentist and am not giving dental advice. Rather, I am sharing something that has worked for me.**
I feel bad for dentists. It would be hard to be in a profession where so many people hated going to see you. So many people have stories about why they hate the dentist. I would not say that I “hate” the dentist, but I certainly have been conditioned to dread the news I get when I go. My problems are not with cavities, but with my gums. I have a lovely trait called deep pockets.
At the dentist, I have no trouble with the cleaning, flossing, or polishing. Rather, it is when they go around and check my gum pockets that my blood pressure rises. Now they keep the numbers quiet, but that was not always the case. I used to have to listen to them read off my high numbers as an assistant recorded them. Every high number I heard made me cringe more. I even had to go and have a procedure called scaling and root planing done. We won’t get into the fun that was!
After my most recent visit to the dentist, I am going to claim victory over my pockets. Not total victory, mind you, but any little move in a positive direction is a win for me. For over a year, I have made oil pulling part of my routine almost every morning. After waking up, I scoop out about a half tablespoon of coconut oil, add a few drops of tea tree or Good Samaritan essential oil, and start swishing. I do this as I am waking up and taking care of my morning “business.” You swish the oil vigorously for a good ten minutes, making sure to really push it between my teeth. When finished, I spit it in the compost. Don’t spit it in the sink because the coconut oil will solidify and clog your drain.
The ingredients are important. While many oils will work, I choose coconut oil because it is antimicrobial. Tea tree oil and Good Samaritan/thieves oil are used to kill certain bacteria and germs. Through the almost daily oil pulling, I was able to get some of my numbers to go down by one. While my really high numbers did not go down, they did not go up either. In my book, that is the best news I have heard at the dentist in a LONG time.
It took awhile to make oil pulling part of my morning routine. Often times, I would not be awake enough to realize that I hadn’t done it. Like any routine, it just took persistence to make it a habit. I even swish a bit after using my coconut oil toothpaste. After this last positive dental visit, I see no reason to stop my latest habit…speaking from experience.