What is oil pulling?

oil pulling
Oil Pulling

What is oil pulling? In a nutshell, its swishing oil around your mouth to help “pull” out toxins. Its an ancient dental technique that’s been around thousands of years. Yes, you read that right – THOUSANDS.

The way it works is that the oil – usually coconut oil but olive or sesame works good too – attaches to microorganism cells living in your mouth. These cells are covered with a fatty membrane (the cell’s skin). When these cells come into contact with oil, they attach to each other. So when you spit out the oil, out go the microorganisms too.

Why do it? There have been lots of studies lately that show oil pulling helps against gingivitis, plaque, and bad breath. It brightens your teeth and makes you feel good overall. Its an all natural solution to some common issues that we all have, and a great addition to your oral hygiene ritual. All you do is get a tablespoon of oil and swish it around your mouth for 20 minutes – then SPIT IT OUT. Easy peasy.


Coconut oil. While you can get the same bacteria-fighting benefits with other oils, coconut oil has lauric acid which is well-known for its anti-microbial agents making it more effective. Plus it tastes awesome.

Start with 5 minutes a day. Twenty minutes of swishing is a long time! You’ll still get some benefits with just 5 minutes, and you won’t tire yourself out. Would you start exercising by jogging 20 miles? You gotta warm up to it! Also, don’t work too hard at it either. Gentle swishing, pushing, and sucking the oil through the teeth is all you need to get the job done. Don’t strain your jaw!

DON’T SWALLOW. OMGosh I can’t stress this enough. Don’t use too much oil or you’re gonna want to swallow it, but resist the urge. Spit it out and try again with a smaller amount. Also, better to spit it out in the garbage can than your sink, since the oils can solidify and clog your drains.

Keep brushing and flossing. Don’t replace routine dental visits and the toothpaste and floss with the oil pulling. Remember, its not a replacement, its an addition.

Want an extra tip? For irritated and/or swollen gums, rub a little vitamin E oil directly on them. The antioxidants are easily absorbed, and helps regenerate healthy gum tissue.

Google around and you’ll find TONS of articles on this. Here’s one by CNN but keep in mind its from 2014: http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/06/health/oil-pulling/

So now you know. Go pull some oil and get your pearlies white again!

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