Oil pulling is a natural folk remedy from India that involves swishing oil around the mouth. Because of its purported health benefits, some people are learning how to oil pull with coconut oil or other oils.
Oil pulling with coconut oil can fit easily into an oral health routine. Coconut oil is available at grocery stores and online, and this is the only ingredient.
Below, we describe what oil pulling is and how to do it. We also look at what researchers and practitioners say about the possible benefits and other considerations.
Oil pulling involves swishing oil around the mouth. It is like using mouthwash, but for a longer period.
Most proponents of oil pulling recommend swishing 1 tablespoon of oil around the mouth for
Benefits of oil pulling with coconut oil may include:
Killing harmful bacteria in the mouth
Reducing bad breath
Bad breath generally results from a buildup of bacteria in the mouth. This may be related to poor oral hygiene, infection, or gum disease.
Cavities stem from tooth decay. They
Reducing inflammation and improving gum health
The bacteria in plaque can contribute to gingivitis, a
Whitening the teeth
No scientific evidence has confirmed that oil pulling can whiten the teeth. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that it may clear stains from the teeth’s surfaces. There is little risk in trying to whiten the teeth in this way.
It is not safe for people with allergies to coconuts or coconut oil to try this technique with coconut oil. Otherwise, there are no known risks.
It may be worth noting that oil pulling does not replace brushing, flossing, or other oral care techniques.
To try oil pulling with coconut oil, place a tablespoon of coconut oil in the mouth. Anyone who does not like the taste might try sesame oil or olive oil.
Sitting upright or standing, swish the oil around the mouth for
Once done, spit the oil into the garbage — spitting it into the sink or toilet can lead to clogging. Do not swallow the oil.
Most guides suggest brushing the teeth immediately afterward. Others say that it is better to wait a bit to promote the retention of good bacteria and the rebalancing of the oral microbiome.
In any case, use a different toothbrush after oil pulling to the one used for daily teeth cleaning.
There is scientific evidence of some benefits of oil pulling with coconut oil. However, high-quality evidence is somewhat lacking.
Oil pulling remains a simple, often affordable, and generally safe technique to add to an oral health routine.