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Better Oral Health with this Simple, Ancient Remedy

If you’re at all like me, good oral health is very important to you - bad breath and cavities, no thank you! That’s why I add oil pulling (with coconut oil) to my oral hygiene routine; an easy, effective, all-natural oral health remedy that kills harmful bacteria and promotes a healthy smile :).

What is Oil Pulling?

Oil pulling is an ancient Indian oral health remedy that dates back almost 3,000 years. It involves swishing oil around in your mouth and is used to kill bad bacteria and promote good oral hygiene. Today, oil pulling is becoming increasingly common and many people swear by its effectiveness. 

There are hundreds of different types of bacteria in your mouth; some of them are harmful and some are not. Oil pulling is thought to remove the harmful bacteria.

To oil pull, simply swish about one tablespoon of oil around in your mouth for 15 – 20 minutes, just like using mouthwash. When you swish the oil around, bacteria is swept away and dissolved into the liquid oil. Once you’re done, simply discard the oil into the trash and follow with your regular brushing and flossing routine. 

If 15 – 20 minutes sounds intimidating at first, you can always start with 5 minutes and work your way up to the full time.

What is the Best Oil for Oil Pulling?

Almost any type of edible oil can work for oil pulling. However, many people use sesame oil, sunflower oil, or coconut oil.

If you’re new to oil pulling, I would recommend using coconut oil. Not only does it taste the best, but research has shown that coconut oil contains lauric acid, which is known for its ability to fight off harmful bacteria and prevent tooth decay.

Benefits of Oil Pulling

 Though research on oil pulling is limited, studies have demonstrated numerous oral health benefits associated with it.

1. Kills harmful bacteria in your mouth

There are many harmful types of bacteria that live in your mouth. These can cause tooth decay, bad breath, and gum disease, among other dental problems.

Oil pulling can help reduce the number of harmful bacteria. This helps to support good oral hygiene and prevents some dental conditions.

2. Decreases bad breath

Bad breath can be caused by many dental health problems, such as infection, gum disease, poor oral hygiene, and unwanted buildup of bacteria.          

 Oil pulling is a simple and effective way to decrease bad breath. One study even demonstrated that oil pulling is just as effective as mouthwash at killing the bacteria that cause bad breath.

3. Prevents cavities

Cavities are the result of tooth decay. Poor oral hygiene, unwanted buildup of bacteria, excess sugar consumption, and plaque buildup can all lead to cavities. 

Streptococcus mutans is one of the main types of bacteria in your mouth that can build up and cause tooth decay. Studies show that oil pulling can reduce the amount of this harmful bacteria in the mouth  and prevent cavities.

4. Reduces gingivitis

Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums. It occurs when the immune system attacks unwanted bacteria that live in the plaque on your gums.

Oil pulling has been shown to be effective in reducing gingivitis. In one study, gingivitis decreased in 20 adolescents after oil pulling once a day for 10 days.

 5. Simple and inexpensive

 In addition to the numerous health benefits, oil pulling is simple and inexpensive.

Oil pulling only requires one ingredient – oil! The oils used for oil pulling are fairly inexpensive and all-natural, especially compared to the many ingredients in mouthwash like ethanol, hydrogen peroxide, and methyl salicylate that can even be dangerous to your health. Furthermore, oil pulling is simple to do and only takes about 15 – 20 minutes.

Common Misconceptions

While there are many benefits associated with oil pulling, a few common misconceptions do exist:

1. It detoxifies the body.

Some people believe that oil pulling has detoxifying properties and that it pulls toxins from the body. However, there is no evidence to support this idea.

2. It can treat diseases outside of the mouth.

Some people believe that oil pulling can treat diseases throughout the body. This is false, however, and research has only demonstrated oral health benefits. 

3. It whitens your teeth.

Many people believe that oil pulling can whiten your teeth. However, research has not confirmed this benefit.

4. It can’t replace brushing and flossing.

Oil pulling does remove harmful bacteria from your mouth, but it is not the same as brushing or flossing your teeth. If you decide to incorporate oil pulling into your oral hygiene routine, make sure you continue to brush and floss!


 Oil pulling is an ancient health remedy that improves oral health. It’s a simple and all-natural way to kill harmful bacteria, decrease bad breath, prevent cavities, and reduce gingivitis. Sound like something you’d like to try? Grab some coconut oil and enjoy a clean, happy, and healthy smile!

 Have you tried oil pulling? Share your experiences in the comments below!

XO - Serena

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