· Natural Remedies · Oil Pulling With Coconut Oil: Benefits And How To Do It
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Oil Pulling With Coconut Oil: Benefits And How To Do It

Oil pulling is swishing oil around your mouth and between your teeth to deep clean them.

Pulling Coconut Oil For A Healthy Mouth And Teeth

When I first heard about pulling coconut oil several years ago, I have to admit that I thought it sounded a little crazy. But once I heard that my sister had gotten on board with oil pulling too, I figured I should at least do some research on the topic before making further judgments about it.

I was surprised to learn not only that there are several dental health benefits associated with pulling coconut oil, but that it’s easy to do and even fairly inexpensive. In this post, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about oil pulling to decide whether you’d like to incorporate it into your own oral hygiene routine.

A Complete Guide To Oil Pulling

A combination of coconut oil and Defend essential oil blend has incredible disinfectant power for oil pulling.

What Is Oil Pulling?

Oil pulling is the practice of swishing oil in your mouth for a short time each day to benefit your oral health. (It’s similar to using mouthwash, except it’s best to do it before brushing your teeth.) The logic behind oil pulling is much the same as oil cleansing for your face — like dissolves like, so swishing oil around your teeth should help to break down oily plaque without harming your teeth or gums.

Oil pulling may also help to whiten teeth like baking soda and promote healthy gums. It might sound like a strange thing to do, but oil pulling has been an aspect of Ayurvedic medicine, the traditional medicine of India, for thousands of years.

Coconut oil is great for oil pulling. If it is solid, it will soon liquify in your mouth.

Does It Work? Benefits Of Oil Pulling

While research on oil pulling is fairly limited, one study found the practice contributed to a reduction of plaque and fewer microorganisms in the plaque. Another study showed that oil pulling can improve halitosis, which is a definite plus!

At first, my mouth got really tired from oil pulling because you are supposed to swish for 20 minutes.

How To Do Oil Pulling

  1. Put 1-2 teaspoons of oil (or a flavored oil pulling tablet) in your mouth. If it’s cold, allow the oil to melt.
  2. Swish the oil around your mouth, including pushing, pulling, and drawing it through your teeth, for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Spit the oil out, ideally into a garbage can to avoid any problems with clogged drains. (And always spit the oil out — never swallow it!)
  4. Rinse your mouth out with water, then brush your teeth as usual.

The best time of day to do oil pulling is in the morning before breakfast, but you can do it anytime.

Many oils can be used for oil pulling, but most people agree that coconut oil is the best.

What Oil Is Best For Oil Pulling?

Some advocates of oil pulling suggest using safflower, sunflower or vegetable oil, but I rarely use anything other than coconut oil. Its antibacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties make organic, extra virgin coconut oil a perfect fit for oil pulling (and it tastes nice, too!)

Most of the time, I use 2 teaspoons of organic, extra virgin coconut oil with a drop or two of Defend essential oil blend added to it.

Adding essential oils to your coconut oil adds a variety of benefits to oil pulling.

Essential Oils For Oil Pulling

Incorporating essential oils into your oil pulling can have additional benefits for your teeth, gums, and mouth. Defend Essential Oil Blend contains a number of oils that make it a great addition to the practice of pulling coconut oil:

I add a drop or two of Defend to coconut oil when I do oil pulling. If you want to try it for yourself, just click here to shop.

Oil pulling is wonderful for oral health and fights bad breath, cavities, and yellowness.

My Experience With Pulling Coconut Oil

My daughter Britta started pulling coconut oil several years ago, and her experience with it inspired me to give it a try for myself! She was particularly enthusiastic about how clean her teeth and mouth felt after oil pulling, and she also had back-to-back dental check-ups with no new cavities.

I will admit that I was a bit unnerved the first time I put a spoonful of solid coconut oil in my mouth. But it only took a few seconds for the oil to melt, and then it was more or less like swishing mouthwash, but for longer. (My face and cheeks actually felt a bit sore afterward, but it got easier after a while!)

Related: This Is The Best Decision You Can Make For Your Teeth

One more thing: I saw a lot of wild claims about oil pulling online while doing research for this post, many of which suggested it can “pull” toxins out of your bloodstream and cure everything from arthritis to heart disease. I suggest taking such claims with a massive grain of salt, and consider oil pulling as just one more helpful tool you can add to your oral and dental health toolbox.

Have you tried oil pulling? 

Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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  • I am curious about the quality of the studies you referenced. By whom were they funded? We’re they published in a peer reviewed journal. I have been a dental professional for over 40 years and have never seen any credible evidence to support this practice. Not to mention, who can swish for 15-20 minutes??
    I suggest swishing for One minute with an ADA approved fluoride rinse

  • After oil pulling for a few months now my teeth and mouth both feel AMAZING. So happy I stumbled upon the fantastic benefits of Oil Pulling! I;’ll probably continue doing it for the rest of my life now :).

  • Great informative article on Oil Pulling! I thought i’d comment and add my experience.

    I’ve been oil pulling for a couple of years now, my mouth and teeth seem so much healthier, and are brighter than ever! I’ve practiced Oil Pulling every day for atleast 2 years! My dentist is impressed with my teeth and I’ve never had any problems! Oil Pulling really is a blessing

  • Hey there! I just want to offer you a huge thumbs up for the excellent information you have here on this
    post. I will be returning to your site for more soon.

  • […] sounds familiar, it’s because it is the same Indian medical tradition that brought us the practice of oil pulling! Neem sounded like a great addition to me, so when I was shopping for supplies I picked up a bottle […]

  • I just started Oil Pulling 3 days ago and thought I’d jump on your site and see if you’ve tried it. When I put the solid chunk of Coconut Oil in my mouth on first try I gagged. The next day I had a better plan to melt it first and it was a cinch! Definitely “swish” slowly to not tire out the cheeks and mouth. So far I’ve noticed very good results of a clean mouth. My teeth are getting whiter already. My floss is clean and odorless which tells me the bacteria has vanished. Plaque that was clogging the base between my bottom teeth is already gone. I had never heard of this and never thought I could do it, but it is a very doable and healthy practice.

  • Read about this on another website, last summer. Tried it with coconut oil from Costco. Couldn’t take the consistency in my mouth. Gave up. I don’t normally watch Dr. Oz, but Judge Judy had repeats so I didn’t change the channel. Dr. Oz admitted that his family has been oil pulling for 2 GENERATIONS! That sold me! The only oil I had was Grapeseed. I poured 1 tablespoon into my mouth and concentrated on keeping busy cleaning and moving, and watching the clock. At times, I had to lean my head forward so as to ensure I don’t swallow a bit. After 20 minutes, I spit into the toilet. The whiteness of my teeth blinded me! I couldn’t accept that happened so fast, after the first use. My “teeth shine” reminded me of how shiny my dentist polishes my teeth, after my yearly cleaning. I’m adamant about brushing twice a day, flossing once a day and using a fluoride rinse twice a day, as per my dentist. With the oil pulling, I notice my breath is fresh ALL DAY LONG, even AFTER eating and in between meals. I now implement into my daily regiment. When I can afford to, again, I’ll buy the coconut oil, but until then, I’ll continue to use “edible” oil. It is awesome!

  • question: I have severely crooked teeth and terrible receding gums. I have no insurance and cannot afford a dentist so I’m looking for homeopathic treatments for receding gums. will this help? Should I add any essential oils? I can’t find any accurate, unbiased info. I really need some help.

  • Is it weird to be comforted that others gag on their own spit like I do? Anyway, I am working around the kitchen today and decided to give this oil pulling thing a try. I did ok, better than I expected, but after about 12 minutes, I made it to the sink and spit, rinsed and spit again. I used coconut oil. Despite my highly developed aversion to anything phlegmy or spitty, I will give this a real shot and continue to push through. Tomorrow. I used coconut oil, and after it finally melted, I skoozed it all around my mouth. I could feel it forcing through the gaps in my teeth and along the gum line. After spitting, my mount feels cleaner and not oily at all! Thank you, Jillee. If I hadn’t read it on your site, I wouldn’t be trying it. Looking forward to a healthier mouth and whiter teeth!

  • I like to oil pull with sesame oil twice in the morning, and once before bed. I’ve definitely noticed an improvement in breath and gum quality, and I think my teeth are becoming a little whiter too.

  • I’ve been doing oil pulling for a long time now. I can promise you, whatever it is that it does, it REALLY does! I can’t tell you my story without admitting that my mouth is a mess and I just don’t want to go to the dentist, but here goes: I have some pockets that literally have infection oozing from them all of the time. There was an abscess knot on one side that you could feel and see from the outside. When I started oil pulling, it was to keep that abcess under control. I do it with high quality EVOO. My belief is that the mouth tissues absorb the excellent anti-inflammatory phytonutrients in the oil better than they are absorbed in our guts. Kind of like taking B12 as a sublingual instead of as a pill to swallow. If I get slack on the oil pulling, the knot in my jaw comes back and the pockets ooze to the point where I can’t stand my own breath and no amount of brushing, listerine, or mints helps. When I start back regularly again, the knot goes away and my breath gets better. I had never heard about first thing in the morning; I usually do it AFTER coffee with cream so that it will loosen the fatty stains from my coffee, then I brush my teeth. After the last time I slacked off, the infected pockets got to the point where that whole side of my mouth started hurting all in one day. This time I added some lavender EO to EVOO. I started not minding the taste of the EVOO but I really hate the taste of the lavender. However, after pulling twice a day for 5 days in a row, there is no more ooze from the infection. Oil pulling WORKS at whatever it really does do. I’m sceptical about the more outrageous claims, but I know for problems in the mouth, there is something about it that has a real impact.

  • […] Jillee, has a wonderful post about it as well that dives further into the health information as well as adding essential oils to it for extra benefits.  For now, I’ll do just the oil and see how it goes in a year. […]

  • I have a friend that does this daily with coconut oil, she has the prettiest, whitest teeth. I tried it once, but it just felt really weird. I guess it’s something I have to get used to. I have a container of coconut oil that I use in the frying pan, now I need to stock up on some for my bathroom since I’ve been reading about all the benefits of it.

  • Well, I’ve done this for two days and can’t tell any difference at all. I used EV Coconut Oil, which makes me want to gag until it dissolves. I swished for about 10 minutes each day. My ADD mind can’t really do more. My mind wanders, and I stop swishing. I’m afraid I will swallow without thinking about it. I also hate coconut. People that like coconut will probably say you can’t taste it, but I can. Even after rinsing my mouth and brushing my teeth, I still taste it. Another problem is that my teeth are very close together. Since the oil is thicker than water, I don’t feel like it swishes through my teeth like it should. I don’t notice any difference in plaque. Perhaps this is the reason.

    • Kay, heat the coconut oil in a glass dish on the stove top just until it melts, handle it with tongs. NEVER use the microwave (it changes it on a molecular level, and it loses its benefits) once it cools to inner mouth temperature, you can swish away without dealing with a solid chunk!
      Good Luck

  • This is something I have heard about but have not yet tried. It is my understanding that if you do have fillings(the type with mercury in them, and some amalgam fillings also have mercury in them) that you should not oil pull as it has the chance of pulling out the mercury and having that mercury spread through your body. So, the solution is to first have those fillings redone with mercury free fillings (costly). Or read “Cure Tooth Decay” by Ramiel Nagel and try to make better food choices. It’s a long journey. Best of health to everyone.

  • Ok, I feel like a complete idiot. Are you talking about just regular Olive Oil? Like what you buy in a bottle to keep in the pantry? I am totally lost, and have never heard of this. Please help me out, I have always had a “challenged” mouth, never have a check up with having to have something done,

    • You’re definitely not an idiot Kathy! You’d want a good quality extra virgin olive oil but yup, just like what you keep in a bottle in the pantry :)

  • What a great topic, Jillee- I’ve been curious about oil pulling for awhile now and think I’m going to give it a try! Thanks for posting on non-mainstream stuff like this- you start such great conversations!

  • I’m doing this right now as I type this (trying to distract myself from wanting to projectile vomit!) I’m using extra virgin coconut oil… The sensation and texture of the oil is pretty revolting, it doesn’t smell too bad or taste too bad, it’s more the sensation that’s awful. And trying to fight the urge to swallow! I’ve made it to 10 minutes so far… Going to have to stop at 15 I think.

    — made it to 14 minutes! My teeth feel really clean and my mouth feels fresh (if a little coconutty). I’ll try and continue this for a few weeks and hopefully will notice some of the major benefits, such as whiter teeth.

    Thanks for posting this!

  • My husband is a tobacco chewer. He has many times to quit with out any luck. Do you think that pullling oil could or would help to lessen the damage he is doing to his mouth from the tobacco. what oils would you add to help.

    • That is exactly my question – wouldn’t the saliva build up after just a few mins of not swallowing or spitting it out? I’ve used the Plus White 5 min whitener and I either put cotton or tissue in my mouth to soak up the slobber or just spit it out – and that’s only FIVE mins!

    • I’ve just done this, made it to 14 minutes and yes, the spit does mount up. I didn’t completely fill my mouth with oil to begin with, so there was still “room” for the spit to mount up. But after 14 minutes my mouth was getting pretty full and sore and it was a real effort not to swallow or vomit!

  • Why 20 minutes? Why not 5 minutes 4x per day instead, for example? At least until I get used to this. Oil swishing is soothing to the gums. I use the coconut oil and like the taste & feel on my gums. Thanks for bringing this back into my routine.

  • I really want to try this but I want to make sure I understand how to do this correctly. Do you completely replace brushing your teeth with the oil pulling? Or do you do the oil pulling in addition to brushing your teeth? Also, I noticed it’s just a once a day thing, so if you oil pull in the morning, would you brush your teeth or something in the evening?

    • Oil pulling helps release toxins. After you spit the oil, you brush your teeth as usual to wash away what the oil has loosened. Oil pulling does not replace brushing. I hope this helps.

  • The post says “a short time”– 20 minutes is a long time to swish something around–especially when the mouth is “trained to swallow”.
    I like the idea of doing it in the shower–but who takes 20 min to shower? Even when I shave my shower comes in under 10.
    A question for those who said sometimes they need to spit & start again, are you just switching the oil out or are you starting the timer again too?
    Will give it a go though.

    BTW I tried the pulling for face cleaning–not so good. Severe breakouts, even using organic coconut oil. After 3 1/2 weeks of relentless breakouts I stopped. (the article mentions breakouts at first, due to the “crud” being pulled out- but I think 3 1/2 wks is too long). I don’t wear make up & I use organic coconut oil everyday to moisturize.

    • Coconut oil is notorious for causing breakouts if you use it for the OCM. I use 10% castor oil and 90% grapeseed oil mixture and my skin has never been healthier!

  • I approached my dentist about it. When we went home that evening he started looking it up in dental publications and called me that night and told me he found a lot of evidence that it does help and is good for you to do. He did say it was great because it helped remove the bacteria on the surface of the mouth but that there was no evidence that it actually took toxins out of your blood. Though getting rid of it in the mouth might actually help reduce how many toxins you get in your blood. So in a way it could help but it is not pulling it out as you do your oil pulling.

  • This is a helpful link regarding oil pulling details… http://oilpulling.com/oilforoilpulling.htm
    like the importance of the oil being unrefined and certain oils to avoid like grapeseed because of the solvent used. Also that coconut oil can be too detoxifying for some, unrefined organic sesame is the original oil used in Aryuvedic medicine. Also the importance of disinfecting your mouth well with tea tree or wild oregano after you oil pull – you really don’t want to swallow what you’ve pulled out! Also the best time to do it is right when you wake up before you eat or even drink. I have noticed a remarkable difference in my mouth – so did my dentist. Healthier gums… whiter teeth …less sensitive. Also don’t feel pressure to do 20 minutes… start slowly and work up to what is comfortable until you get used to it :)

    • I started it for the same reason and it’s the first time in years that my nose and throat are clear all day! If it helps my teeth that’s nice but the sinuses alone are worth the work.

    • Awesome! I’ve done it for the tooth benefit, then slacked off. Now I’m starting up again for teeth AND sinus reasons! I had no idea it helps with sinus. Maybe, just maybe, it’ll help with the migraine headaches I get from the barometric pressure here in Colorado. I know the sinus’s are connected to all sorts of things in the head and face. I’m starting tonight, then I’ll get on the morning schedule tomorrow.

      And I noticed that the Tropical Traditions coconut oil does get thinner the longer it’s in my mouth. It’s more watery than olive oil.

      • Stephannie A

        I also suffer from terrible migraines, I am definitely going to start the oil pulling again. Try warming it up on the stove in a glass container first – NOT the microwave – It is much better when it is already at mouth temperature. Much less Gag.

  • I too have a very strong gag reflex. I cannot imagine being able to do this. Clarified butter would be the closest thing to oil I could even think about trying without gagging.

    • I have a horrible gag reflex as well. I have a hard time just brushing the back molars without activating it. The first couple times I tried this I had to spit it out after 5 minutes because it was getting bad but eventually I was able to do it the full 20 minutes, though having something to preoccupy my mind helped a lot. Also the first time I tried it I used olive oil and it was way too thick, coconut oil was so much easier, it gets to the point it almost feels like water.

    • Oil pulling during pregnancy and while breastfeeding is safe according to Dr. F. Karach, MD who introduced it to the U.S. in 1992. However, I personally would discuss this with your doctor.

      • Thanks, Jillee! I will. Also, I mean to say the last few links were *not* working for me.
        But thank you!

    • jen, coconunt oil is one of the best things to take during pregnancy and while nursing. A form of it is actually put into formula and fed to premature babies. Coconut water will help with increasing your milk supply while nursing also, although I find it tastes gross and just add it too a smoothie instead of milk. Coconut milk would work for that also. I have never tried teeth pulling before, but I will try it starting today, I am a big coffee and tea drinker so anything to whiten without having to pay an arm and a leg.

    • Ok, tried it. I know I will do it again. My teeth do feel clean and I loved the taste of Trader Joe’s coconut oil. I actually mixed one teaspoon of the oil with three drops of grapefruit oil.

  • Love the idea but as a migrainer I’m not sure about the 20 minute thing as my jaws are one of my triggers. I’ve been able to keep my teeth and gums in good shape by swishing with Listerine with a squirt of good old peroxide in it.

    • The alcohol in Listerine can cause tooth and gum problems, because it dries out your mouth. Hydrogen peroxide is also very bad for gums and teeth.

      • Listerine is what my hygienist recommends and I do know since I’ve been doing it my gum pockets have improved dramatically and I’ve had one cavity in the past 15 years.

      • A bit of hydrogen peroxide mixed with water is a good oral rinse once or twice a week and it kills germs. Same rules apply: no swallowing.

  • I’ve been oil pulling with unrefined coconut oil for several months. My mouth feels super clean all day. I do drink coffee and tea and cranberry juice so my teeth aren’t as white as my husbands who also oil pulls. You would never be able to tell that I drink these stain causing drinks because my teeth are still white. I usually start my day with oil pulling while I make my coffee. At first I couldn’t oil pull the full 20 minutes but after a week I could. My decision to try oil pulling was because I stopped using toxic fluoride in my toothpaste and wanted to keep my mouth extra clean along with flossing every day and using tools to get between my teeth. I don’t know about the other claims either but do know that this works for squeaky clean teeth!

  • I must be the only one with a strong gag reflex. I have tried this a couple of times and I cannot get past a few minutes because I feel like I’m going to throw up. Any suggestions (I used coconut oil)?

    • Maybe try a different kind of oil (one that doesn’t solidify as easy as coconut oil). I don;t gag that easily but I know I’ve tried to swallow coconut oil (for health reasons) & have almost gagged a couple times.. Maybe Olive oil? (or grape – never tried that so not sure if it solidifies quick or not).

    • I also gag terribly – I am using sesame oil & it just feels like castor oil in my mouth, which I HATE. Two swishes & I am ready to do a serious projectile thing. Wish I could get past this because I do think this method has benefits for teeth & mouth, if not for other things.

      Please let me know if you try some type of oil that works for you. Maybe I will try olive oil tonight. Will let you know if this works. I doubt it, because I am generally just a gagger. UGH!

      • I’ve been using coconut oil. I always gag at first, but I press on and after the first five minutes, the urge to gag is gone.

    • Let me know if you find a solution, I have a bad gag reflex too. I was wondering if i could do it for a bout 5 min and then spit it out and go for another 5 mins.

    • I’ve only used Tropical Traditions coconut oil myself, but maybe you could try fractionated coconut oil from Sparks Natural or Doterra. It isn’t as thick/textured (can’t find a good word for it) as regular coconut oil. Hope you find an oil that works for you b/c oil pulling has given me great results–a cleaner mouth & whitening my teeth (I add lemon essential oil).

    • Joyce, I am right there with you!
      The first time I tried, I used olive oil, it was all I had except for canola…as I was out of coconut. Within seconds I had to spit out into the toilet, ‘cos I thought I was going to throw up. My whole body was shaking.

      I tried again after I restocked my coconut oil, tho’ I melted a little on the stove top in a small glass dish handled by tongs. This is how I’d seen it done on a program on the Veria channel, all about Ayurveda. I was still gagging, but I stuck with it for about 10 minutes this time. I think I was using table spoons, not teaspoons.

      Maybe you also used a tad too much? I think I might add some peppermint oil next time, that should help with the gagging, after all, I can swish mouthwash for 20 mins to half an hour… I should be able to do this,,, try warming the oil in a glass dish (ovenproof) NOT microwave, that might help, then you can anoint your body with the left overs.
      Good Luck.

  • What an interesting idea! I will try it! Coconut oil is so good for so many things, that I don’t doubt it would be beneficial here too! Thanks!

  • I have been using this method for a couple of months and have noticed a difference. I used olive oil at first then switched to grapeseed oil; I will have to try the coconut oil. I use this method during or after my evening shower before bedtime. It leaves my mouth feeling wonderful and I have noticed a reduction on the “scummy” morning tooth feeling.

  • I’ve been doing this off and on for several months. The first thing that I noticed was that my teeth were much whiter, and my hubby remarked a few times that my (constant) bad breath was better. Then I noticed that my gums weren’t bleeding when I brushed and were becoming more pink and less red. Then I went to the dentist for a cleaning/check up. I had a few cavities, but my family is also “challenged” in this area and I hadn’t gone to the dentist in several years (and had only been oil pulling for a few months). Despite the cavities, the hygienist said that my gums were in very good condition and I had almost no plaque to scrape away with those awful hook things that they use.

    I actually talked to my regular family doctor about this. I thought she’d be less likely to look at me like I’m crazy because she’s from India. I was right, while she doesn’t oil pull herself, several people she knows do oil pull. She also said that they use coconut oil for almost everything in India and isn’t surprised that it can be used for oral health too. She didn’t seem convinced of many of the more wild claims, but generally agreed that it could improve teeth, gums, and bad breath since this is mostly caused by bacteria, but could also help keep us from getting sick because so much of the time we breath in bacteria that leads to sickness. It should also be noted that I haven’t been sick since I started, even though the rest of my family has been. Also, the rest of my family has had to be on allergy meds this summer, but I haven’t had any.

    If you get bored of sitting in front of your mirror and doing this for 20 minutes, try swishing while in the shower, getting dressed, doing the dishes or some other mild activity. It makes the time go faster and you don’t realize how long you’ve been doing it. If you can’t go the full 20 minutes at first, that’s ok, work up to it. It also can cause a lot of drainage (especially if your allergies are really bad), so you may have to spit it out early and get some more to finish the time.

    • You might want to try “Closys.” It did wonders for my bad breath. (It was bad even right after brushing) I use it twice a day, before brushing. I don’t add the mint mineral oil that comes with it, I use it unflavored.

  • I saw this on the Camp Wander website a couple of months ago and decided to give it a try. I am over 50 with many teeth issues that have gone on for years…I think I have more fillings than teeth. My teeth have not felt smooth in years, even after a cleaning. So I gave this a try. I cannot emphasize enough how pleased I am with the results. I had one stain between my teeth that has been there for years. It is now faded to almost nothing. I use virgin coconut oil and I do the full 20 minutes now and even lose track of time sometimes. Just find a time in the day that you can do this while doing something else, and definitely spit into the trash. Your teeth will feel better and cleaner. I will be going to the dentist soon and cannot wait to hear what he thinks. I HIGHLY recommend this process!

  • I started oil pulling a couple months ago. I start first thing when I get up and by the time I am done with the shower I am done “pulling”. My mouth feels super clean after brushing and I can attest that it definitely does have a whitening affect! I probably do it on the 3-4 unrushed mornings.

  • I love oil pulling…My mouth feels wonderful each time I do it, not to mention the added benefit of whiter teeth! I use organic extra virgin Coconut Oil with a drop of Wintergreen Essential Oil or a drop of Spearmint Oil…and love the taste!

    From everything I have experienced, the process takes a full 20 minutes, so if you spit out before 20 minutes. start again, the process is to make the oil swish enough time in your mouth so that it becomes a white thin substance which is an indication of the process completion. For me, it seems that the mucus disappears after a 20 minute session…at first I did it for only 10 minutes and the mucus seemed to continue to “flow”, so now if I need to spit, I start the process again and continue the process, and that seems to work for me.

  • I’ve been doing this several times a week for a few months now – my teeth are noticeably whiter, and the sensitivity I had has pretty much disappeared. I find that the 20 minutes isn’t too bad if I plan it for while I’m in the shower (which also allows me to not need to speak for a full 20 minutes :) I’ve read that 20 minutes is the optimal amount of time to draw the maximum amount of toxins out before your body begins to absorb them back in. I typically don’t go a full 20, sometimes just 10 or 15. I’ve also found that I prefer the texture of a high quality olive oil over coconut oil (though the coconut oil does have a lovely flavor!)

    However. Within a week of my starting the oil pulling, I was hospitalized with a severe bladder infection. I’ve also had a horrible case of pneumonia and several other infections, and wonder if I am maybe accidently swallowing some of the oil, or if I’m somehow otherwise re-absorbing some of the harmful bacteria?

  • I used to do oil pulling and my mouth felt wonderful! If your cheeks hurt, you are swishing too vigorously. You gently swish, and then be sure to rinse with salt water to make sure to get out all the germs. I did get bored, but I started doing other chores during the 20 min and the time flew by (I had to set a timer). I stopped because I started finding articles saying not to do it if you have silver fillings, as it will draw out mercury more than with normal use. I miss it though because my mouth has never felt as clean. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to get the silver fillings replaced and I can start back oil pulling.

  • My teeth are “challenged” too. I am definitely going to give it a try. I figure I will probably work up to the 20 minutes of swishing and pull…

  • I have tried it a handful of times. I see no harm in it. I read all the hype about oil pulling removing toxins and cleansing your system. I dont see any harm in it.

    • You can do it while you’re getting ready in the morning. You can work up to the ideal 20 minutes. Start with a couple and remember, don’t spit it out in the sink

      • I do it when I am curling my hair. Takes me about 20 minutes, so works out fine. If I am not thinking about it & busy doing something else time goes by quickly.

    • The article I read somewhere else said 10min. and I couldn’t even last that long.
      I tell you, you’ve got staying power if you lasted 20 min.
      But, my mouth did feel nicer, better, healthier somehow afterward.

      Ok, I’ll start doing it again …

  • I have read that oil pulling can loosen fillings, not sure exactly how, but it is something to be aware of that people say might happen. I’ve done it a few times, usually when my gum is aching around my crown. I also do a salt water rinse before or after, so I’m never sure which is making the pain go away, but oil pulling “properly” takes too long, and I get bored and my mouth gets TIRED, so I wont be doing it often.

    • Diane,I talked about this with my dentist last night (he was impressed with how my gums have improved, btw) and he said that the effectiveness of Listerine is that it has essential oils in it – so the oil pulling definitely won’t affect fillings!

      • Hello, I was wondering if your fillings are porcelain? I also have a crown, which had root canal therapy done to it.. the removal of the root, and filled with medical grade cement to hold my front tooth in place. So I’m a little hesitant to oil pull with everything I’ve read regarding crowns.

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