Tom’s of Maine has been our go-to toothpaste for our girls since they first got teeth. They adore the strawberry flavor, and are now capable of opening the paste and doing the whole she-bang on their own (we’re hitting the glory days)! Charlie and I are Tom’s lovers too, and felt super smug and confirmed in our dedication when going to the dentist for the first time in. . . far too long (cough, cough, 10 years… I know!) this past year, and finding that Charlie had ZERO cavities and I had only one (but don’t worry, we’re now annual dentist goers)!
This past year I’ve been focusing on whitening my teeth and making sure to keep them really healthy because my wisdom teeth are coming in and I want to stay on top of avoiding an infection. So I began to oil pull to help give my teeth some extra love and help quell any pain that comes along with cutting teeth (newfound empathy for babies here). But? An added benefit I found. . . MUCH whiter teeth!
I’ve combined my oil pulling routine with the Tom’s of Maine Luminous White Toothpaste and seen HUGE change and improvement, very quickly. I’ve been consistently oil pulling about 4 times a week for several months now, but these past two weeks I’ve been using the whitening tooth paste (still all naturally derived products, contains no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives and no animal testing. Plus, it’s gluten free!) and have seen even more improvements.
I wanted to run through my morning oil pulling and brushing routine, as well as answer a few FAQ about Oil Pulling, because yeah, it can be a little gross and it isn’t very intuitive.
I start with 15-20 minutes of oil pulling. I use coconut oil, slightly less than a table spoon, and start with it solid (or close to it). I swish it for as long as I have time for, and then spit it out (OUTSIDE! Not into anything that will lead to a pipe – it will congeal back up and clog and is REALLY nasty to break up). I often listen to music and dance around, do morning easy stretches, or listen to a podcast to keep myself distracted. I do this first thing in the AM on an empty stomach.
After that, I often floss and then brush with Tom’s of Maine Luminous White Toothpaste.
Oil Pulling FAQ:
How do I oil pull? It’s pretty straight forward. You put about a spoonful of oil into your mouth, and move it around so it melts, and then continue swishing through your teeth for as long as you can. I like coconut oil, but I’ve read that sesame oil is as, if not more, effective.
Why oil pull? It isn’t a new practice, or fad. It’s an ancient Ayurvedic practice that dates back over 3,000 years. The oil attaches to bacteria in your mouth and when you spit it out you are left with a fresher, healthier mouth. It’s also been shown to lessen tooth pain, help with infections, and whiten your teeth!
Do you really need to do it for 20 min? No! You can work your way up (it took me a few tries before I could do it at all. . . ) and even just a few minutes a couple times a week will start to be beneficial, but the longer you can do it, the better it works (up to twenty minutes 🙂 ).
How long will it take to see/feel effects? To feel the effects should be evident after just one or two times. When my wisdom teeth have been hurting I use it as a pain reliever and it helps right away. For whitening I noticed a change after about a month of consistently pulling. But adding in the Tom’s of Maine tooth paste sped up my results.
I love using these two in conjunction because I know what’s going into my body, and feel great about how I’m caring for it. Luminous White toothpaste uses two types of high cleaning silica to gently and safely remove surface stains. And all of the ingredients are naturally derived, unlike conventional whitening toothpastes. The coconut oil I use is the same I use to cook with, bake with, and use as a lotion. I love the concept of using food-safe items on/in my body.
I’ve been focusing on eliminating fast fashion from my wardrobe, and along the same vein I am working hard to care deeply about the brands I choose to support. For over 45 years, Tom’s of Maine has invested in hundreds of nonprofit efforts by giving 10% of its profits back to organizations that support people and the planet and by encouraging employees to use 5% (12 days) of paid time to volunteer.
Choosing to use more natural body care and hygiene products is a slow growing process. It’s made so much easier by so many big retailers beginning to see how important this is and carrying more non-toxic and naturally centered brands. I buy Tom’s at Target and stock up on the kiddo one whenever they’re on sale too.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.