Oil Pulling with Coconut Oil: All You Need To Know



Coconut oil really is the cure-all superfood. With health benefits ranging from faster metabolism to healthier skin, yet another benefit of coconut oil is gaining in popularity: Oil Pulling.

Oil pulling with coconut oil is a natural way to reduce harmful bacteria in the mouth and improve oral health. An age-old remedy used by Ayurvedic Indians, oil pulling uses natural oils to clean and detoxify teeth and gums. As an added benefit, teeth are also whitened naturally through the process.

Oil is swished around in the mouth for a short time each day, dissolving plaque and removing toxins without harming the teeth or gums. Essentially, oil pulling is simply using a high quality organic oil as a mouthwash to help suck the toxins out of your mouth.

The bacteria in the mouth creates a kind of “biofilm” on the teeth. This is what we know as plaque. Having some plaque on the teeth is normal, however over time a build up of plaque can cause bad breath, yellow teeth, gum inflammation, gingivitis and cavities. The way oil pulling combats this is simple.

The oil swished around in your mouth causes the bacteria to get “stuck” and dissolves into the liquid oil. Basically, you are removing a large amount of bacteria and plaque in your mouth each time you oil pull. Pulling this bacteria from your teeth and gums helps to detoxify your mouth, which leads to a healthier self overall.

Why Coconut Oil?


Traditionally oil pulling has been done with sesame oil, but coconut oil provides added health
benefits that sesame oil does not. Coconut oil is effective in attacking Streptococcus Mutans bacteria, the bacteria which causes cavities. It also contains lauric acid, a proven anti-microbial that can kill bacteria, viruses and fungi.

Oil pulling can also be unpleasant at first since you essentially have a mouth full of oil, but coconut oil has a much more pleasant taste than other oils. Plus, because coconut oil is highly absorbable, you can experience all of the health benefits of coconut oil simply by swishing it around in your mouth!

Benefits of Oil Pulling


Whitens Teeth

Stop paying for those expensive chemical filled teeth whitening strips! Coconut oil contains natural antibiotic and antiviral properties that help to brighten and clean teeth. While results won’t be seen over night as with chemical treatments, prolonged use of oil pulling will lead to naturally whiter teeth.

Fights Plaque & Gingivitis

Because oil pulling causes the plaque on teeth to dissolve into the oil being used, a reduction in overall mouth plaque is almost instant. When done consistently, oil pulling can also help to fight gingivitis by keeping the build up of plaque at bay. In fact, in a recent study of 60 young adults who had plaque induced gingivitis, a significant decrease in plaque was noticed by day 7 of oil pulling and continued to decrease during the period of the study.

Promotes Oral Hygiene

Oil pulling is highly effective at reducing cavities and eliminating bad breath. It also helps to remove the Streptococcus mutans bacteria as well as other micro-organisms that can harm overall oral health.

Because oil pulling can help to detoxify and cleanse toxins from the body, many people have experience a variety of health benefits.

More benefits include:

  • Reduced headaches and migraines
  • Reduced sinus infections
  • Reduced bad breath
  • Decreased joint pain and stiffness
  • Reduced chemical load
  • Reduced risk of gum disease
  • Increased mental awareness

How To Oil Pull

  1. First, select the type of oil you would like to use. While sesame oil is what has been traditionally used, coconut oil has more health benefits and a better taste. Whichever oil you choose, make sure the oil is liquid. Coconut oil has a tendency to harden in cooler temperatures and while it will melt in your mouth, it may be easier to begin with the oil already melted.
  2. Place two to three teaspoons in your mouth. This normally increases to one to two tablespoons as you progress with oil pulling.
  3. Swish the oil around in your mouth, through your teeth and all around. Try to “suck” the oil through your teeth. Swish for 10 to 20 minutes, or however long you can before you need to spit out the oil. Don’t swish the oil too aggressively, as you’ll just end up with a tired, sore jaw. Do not gargle or swallow.
  4. Spit the oil out into the trash can as it can clog the drains of the shower or the sink. Rinse your mouth out with water afterwards, then brush your teeth.


  • Oil pulling is best performed in the morning because your bacteria levels are the highest and you will have the greatest potential for detoxification.
  • If you are having issues on getting through 10 to 20 minutes of swishing, distract yourself by going through your normal morning routine. Take a shower, make your breakfast, pack the kids lunches, or check your emails. Focusing on something other than the oil pulling will help the time to go faster!
  • If the taste of the oil is keeping you from oil pulling, try adding a few drops of mint extract to the oil!
  • While oil pulling is beneficial, it should not be used as a replacement for normal oral hygiene and teeth brushing.

Oil pulling might seem a bit odd to some, but the benefits simply can’t be ignored. While this process has yet to be extensively researched, many whom have tried it have experienced all of the above mentioned benefits and more. In fact, many holistic practitioners and functional medical doctors are even suggesting daily oil pulling to their patients. I’d say that makes it worth a try!

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