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From Detox to Dental Health: The Comprehensive Benefits of Oil Pulling

May 25, 20243 min read

Oil pulling is more than just a natural alternative to a mouth-washing practice.  This amazingly effective practice (with its roots in Ayurveda) has been used for centuries as a traditional, natural remedy for:

  • Tooth decay

  • Inflammation

  • Cracked lips

  • Bleeding gums

  • Bad breath

  • Gingivitis

  • Headaches

…and so much more.


Fights cavities

Improper tooth-brushing techniques and/or poor (or lack of) flossing can leave behind bacteria in your mouth that may cause cavities.  When you swish the oil in your mouth, bacteria is whisked away, inspiring a clean oral environment.

Detoxifies the body

Think about how much spit (and food/drinks) you swallow throughout the day. If there’s a ton of bacteria, fungi, and other toxins in your mouth, you’re swallowing those too. Yuck. It may not be your first guess on the Name-The-Natural-Detoxifier gameshow, but it makes a whole lot of sense when you think about it.

Naturally whitens teeth

Oil pulling removes plaque from your teeth, which naturally whitens them.  Not to mention it helps heal plaque-induced gingivitis.  Score! Shining teeth and happy gums? That’s what I’m talkin’ about!

Supports immune system + boosts energy levels

When we are constantly exposed to harmful environmental toxins — if you don’t think you are, read up on what’s in the air, in your household cleaners, how plastic/most cookware wreak havoc on our bodies, etc. — our bodily systems and vital organs are working tirelessly to keep us from getting sick.  Oil pulling removes toxins from your mouth before they even reach the depths of your body.  This in turn helps your immune system not go through so much effort to remove toxins all by its lonesome, which keeps your energy levels from getting massively depleted.  Win-win with a side of win!

Bye-bye bad breath!

Research has shown that “oil pulling with sesame oil is equally efficacious as chlorhexidine in reducing oral malodor and microbes causing it. It should be promoted as a preventive home care therapy.” Chlorhexidine is a disinfectant/antiseptic used in oral care products.  (FYI, chlorhexidine has been found to be pretty toxic for the body, so oil pulling is a MUCH safer alternative).

Leaves lips soft, supple, and hydrated

Having oil in/around your mouth is almost 100% guaranteed to treat (and even heal, especially with consistent use) cracked and dry lips.  When you pair all the great vitamins and hydrating properties present in a natural oil (such as coconut or sesame), you’re getting a recipe for happy/healthy lips to die for! If you could kiss yourself on the mouth, I bet you would.

How To Oil Pull

Ideally, you do this upon waking, before eating/drinking anything, and before brushing your teeth. However, if you find that you only feel pulled (wink) to do this practice in, say, the evenings, do it then. Whenever you’ll actually do it is the BEST time — same as exercising. However, try to do it in the mornings on an empty stomach and without potential food particles in your mouth.

  1. Swish approximately 1 Tbsp of coconut or sesame oil around in your mouth

    • Contrary to what a lot of websites say, 20 minutes of pulling isn’t totally necessary. Use your discretion (or do a little homework) and pull for about 3-10 minutes. If this is too long and your jaw hurts, swish for a shorter period. Better to do it for a shorter time frame than not do it at all.

    • Alternate between swishing it around in your mouth, pulling it through the teeth, and also just holding it in your mouth. Keep the rotation going: swish, pull, hold, do the hokey-pokey — you know the deal.

  2. Spit oil out — not in the sink though, because clogged drains aren’t fun. I spit it in the trash (with a bag though, obvi).

  3. Rinse

  4. Brush your teeth as normal

    • If you want to be an A+ oil pulling student, you’ll gargle with warm water after the fact too.

It’s THAT simple! Happy pulling!

Oil PullingAyurvedaDental HealthCoconut OilSesame OilTeeth
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