How oil pulling helped new mom Sonam Kapoor keep her teeth, gums healthy during pregnancy

Sonam Kapoor, who gave birth to baby Vayu on August 20 this year, recently took to Instagram to share details and answer queries about her pregnancy journey, postpartum, and more for other new mothers and mothers-to-be out there. Among other things the Delhi 6 actor opened up about, she shared how she developed “super sensitive gums and teeth during pregnancy”, and how she dealt with it.

“Even though I dread going to the dentist, I did two rounds! I also do oil pulling every morning,” Sonam wrote on her Instagram Stories, while sharing about the ancient Ayurvedic practice that involves swishing oil/oil mix in the mouth on an empty stomach to remove bacteria and promote oral hygiene.

“I make a combination of sesame oil, coconut oil, and olive oil,” added Sonam.

Sonam Kapoor opened up about gum health during pregnancy. (Source: Sonam Kapoor/Instagram Stories)

What is oil pulling?

As per the Ministry of Ayush, “Oil pulling has been used to prevent decay, oral odor, gum bleeding, dryness of throat, cracked lips and for strengthening the teeth, gums and the jaw. It is a simple daily regimen, which when done routinely, enhances the senses, brings about a feeling of freshness, and maintains clarity in the voice.”

Oil pulling is traditionally done using cold-pressed coconut oil, which has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial qualities, Lavleen Kaur, head dietitian and founder, Diet Insight, a nutrition and wellness clinic, told indianexpress.com in an earlier interaction.

“Other oils, such as sesame seed oil or sunflower oil, can also be used to help neutralize acid and eliminate plaque, resulting in improved overall oral health. Olive oil is another popular option because of its anti-inflammatory properties. Just one minute of swishing coconut oil in your mouth right after waking up will significantly help kill bad bacteria, reduce bad breath, prevent cavities, reduce inflammation, and improve gum health,” she said.

Dr Ashutosh Nanal, an Ayurvedic practitioner, told indianexpress.com that oil pulling is “completely safe during pregnancy”. “Since the oil is swished and spit, it is completely fine. Simple oils like plain sesame oil can be a good choice for oil pulling,” Dr Nanal suggested.

How does swishing oils help?

Oil is a media that “dissolves many settled particles, micro deposits, and contents in the oral cavity”, Dr Nanal said. “Oil also helps loosen such deposits and mixes them with the oil you are holding in the mouth. Oil also heals the microstructures and tissues in the oral cavity,” Dr Nanal described.

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