What is Oil Pulling? (Updated – 02/14/2018)


At the beginning of last year (2017) both my husband and I had our regular cleanings at the dentist and the hygienist asked what I use to clean my teeth. I told him I use homemade toothpaste made with coconut oil and baking soda. His return question was I doing Oil Pulling? I said not yet, and decided at that time I should start.

When we returned home I asked my husband if he knew what Oil Pulling was and he stated “no”, and the discussion started.

I have known about oil pulling for a while now but really didn’t think it was something I needed to do, as my cleanings always go so well. This time, however, I was a bit annoyed that the hygienist had mentioned that my numbers for my gums were up (not in the right direction), so it got me thinking.

As my husband has had issues in the past with his gums and goes out of his way to clean his teeth at least 3 times a day, it was time to introduce him to this concept as well. Our discussion ended with “yes” we are both going to start using this procedure to help improve our teeth, gums, and general overall health. (Remember that your mouth is the pathway into your body and your health.)

We all grew up with toothbrushes pushed at us from a very early age, but thousands of years ago, they didn’t have toothbrushes. As a matter of fact, they didn’t “brush” their teeth, but used oil to clean their teeth and mouth, used chew sticks to rub against their teeth, ate all natural diets, lived long lives, and had all, if not, most of their strong healthy teeth when they died.

I’ve also just finished taking an Essential Oils course on-line that includes Oil Pulling as one aspect. In it, I learned some things about blending oils to help with the “taste” of the coconut oil I’m using. It really does make a difference and adds that extra benefit of antibacterial action while performing our morning ritual.

What is Oil Pulling? Well, it’s done by using either Sesame Oil, Olive Oil, or Coconut Oil. The procedure goes something like this – a) First thing in the morning after waking, do not eat or drink anything before doing your oil pulling; b) Place 1 to 2 Tablespoons of oil in your mouth and swish around for 10-20 minutes (you could do this while having your shower, shaving, or reading the newspaper); c) Spit the oil into the garbage – DO NOT spit it into the sink as it will clog up the drain! d) Rinse your mouth with warm salt water; e) Brush your teeth as you would normally. One more thing – DO NOT SWALLOW THIS LIQUID. That’s it.

Now, you may not like how this feels at first, as it is so different from swishing water, or mouthwash, but the pros of doing this certainly will outweigh the cons. The oil will feel like it doubles in size in your mouth, when if fact, the saliva generated while doing this adds to the liquid and makes it feel that way. I recommend using liquid oil to help make this process a bit easier. My coconut oil stays liquid most of the time, so it’s no big deal. If you live in a cooler climate, your coconut oil will likely be solid. You can put a little in your mouth and it will turn liquid because your body temperature will turn it liquid. If you keep your home over 76F or 22C it will likely stay liquid for you. Optionally, I might suggest you warm the oil a bit before using it. Sesame and Olive oils stay liquid.

When you first start oil pulling, you might want to start out with 5 minute sessions, and build up to 10 minutes, then eventually 20 minutes. I’m sure once you see and feel the difference in your mouth you will agree it is very much worth the effort. Plus the added benefit of better dental reports each time you go.

Another thing you could do to help with this process is to add essential oil to your oil before you use it. Just place 3-5 drops of one of the following essential oils to the oil you will be using: Frankensence, Teatree, Peppermint, Clove, Cinnamon, or Lavender are good ones as they all have anti-bacterial properties as well and will help in the elimination of bacteria in the mouth. You could also make an oil pulling recipe and keep it in the bathroom beside your dental hygiene equipment and just add a drop or two to your oil before doing this procedure. We have a couple of recipes that I keep on our bathroom counter: Mix half and half of Peppermint and Clove, or Peppermint and one or two citrus essential oils together. These mixtures help kill the nasty bacteria in your mouth and make it feel clean and refreshed.

What are the benefits of doing this? a) Better gum health especially if you use either sesame or coconut oil as they both have anti-bacterial properties; b) cleaner mouth feel; c) fewer cavities and may also cure┬áthe cavities in your teeth (teeth can and do heal themselves); d) improved overall health – your mouth is the pathway to your body; e) prevents heart disease; f) cleaner breath; g) heals bleeding gums; h) whitens teeth; i) improves immune system; j) reduces inflammation; k) can sooth throat dryness; l) strengthens gums and jaws. These is not all the benefits, but just a few to mention.

Do I have to do this every day? Yes, but only in the beginning, for the first 2 weeks, then just a couple of days a week after that to maintain a healthy mouth and body. We actually do this daily as it’s just a good habit to have, and has proven quite beneficial to us both.

If you try this, please let me know by leaving me a comment below or send me a note at louise@happyaiper.com.

Have a blessed day and week ahead.