How To Do Oil Pulling With Coconut Oil

coconut halves with coconut oil on a wooden table

Last Updated on April 8, 2021 by Lori Geurin

Wondering how to get whiter teeth naturally? Find out how to do oil pulling with coconut oil here! Plus, a quick video tutorial.

Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic Indian tradition of swishing or “pulling” oil in the mouth. It cleanses and pulls harmful toxins out of the body.

Did you know harmful bacteria can enter the bloodstream through your mouth and cause illness and disease?  Oil pulling kills Streptococcus mutans bacteria which cause tooth decay (1). It’s affordable, and is a great teeth whitener too!

Here’s a quick tutorial I made showing how to do oil pulling.

Is It Good For Detox?

Yes! In recent years the practice has reemerged in the field of holistic health. In the midst of my struggles with untreated Lyme disease, two of my doctors recommended I start. They said it should help with detoxing, especially because I had mercury fillings. Mercury is toxic, so they suggested I have the fillings removed, which I eventually did.

If you want to get your fillings replaced with natural fillings as I did, you can search online for a holistic or biological dentist. My doctor recommended someone and I was pleased with the process and results.

In the future, if our kids need to get a filling I’ll make sure they’re natural and not made of mercury. But in the past, I didn’t know this could be an issue. Have you had your fillings replaced?

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How Long Does Oil Pulling Take?

Wondering how often to do oil pulling? I usually do it for around 20 minutes most days. This may sound like a long time, but once you learn the process it’s not hard at all.

I look forward to it in the morning because I know I’m doing something to improve my health. Plus, having a brighter smile is a nice perk too! I can see a noticeable difference in the whiteness of my teeth since I started.

I like to use organic coconut oil, but you can also use sesame or olive oil. Many sources say to use one tablespoon, but I’ve found that taking a couple of teaspoons is plenty. Otherwise, you’ll need to spit out half of the oil before the 20 minutes are up.

Side note: If you only have 10 or 15 minutes to oil pull don’t let that stop you. Pulling for 20 minutes isn’t a magic number. So no worries if you’re more comfortable doing it for less time than this. Or, if that’s all the time you have.

You may find it easier to build up to 20 minutes, or prefer to stick with 10 or 15 each time. Either way counts and is beneficial so don’t sweat it!


coconut and coconut oil on a blue table

How To Do Oil Pulling With Coconut Oil:

  • Put 1 or 2 teaspoons (or up to 1 tablespoon) of oil in your mouth. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature. So you may need to chew it a little at first to help change it to a liquid form.
  • Swish the oil in your mouth for about 20 minutes (see side note above). I set the timer on my phone so I don’t have to keep checking the clock. This way I’m able to get other things done while I’m swishing. The swishing needs to be hard enough to pull the oil through your teeth. But don’t swish so hard that it causes you stress or jaw pain. Using a gentle swishing movement is perfect! While you’re swishing make sure not to gargle or swallow any of the oil! Doing so would put the harmful toxins back into your body.
  • Spit the oil out in the trash. Do not spit in the sink because this could clog your plumbing (and that would not be good!).
  • Rinse your mouth out with water, swishing well. Repeat until the oil is gone.
  • Brush your teeth well. (See more on this below.)
  • Look in the mirror and enjoy your clean, white smile!

Related: 6 Health Tips For Summer

Do You Brush Your Teeth Before Or After Oil Pulling?

I always brush mine after I’m done because it leaves a residue on your teeth. Brushing your teeth after oil pulling removes any of this leftover residue from your teeth and mouth and gives you a fresh, clean feeling.

Do You Have To Swish When Oil Pulling?

Yes, swishing is what pulls the oil through your teeth and gets them extra clean and white. (If you watched the oil pulling video above you may have noticed me struggling to pronounce swish.)

Without the swishing action, you’re not really pulling the oil at all…so swish away!

Oil Pulling Side Effects

This holistic lifestyle practice is generally safe to do. But, there are a few things to be aware of:

  • Make sure you don’t swallow any of the coconut oil during or after the process. Swallowing this oil (and all of the toxins in it) could upset your stomach. You want to get those toxins out of your body, so swallowing them would sort of defeat the purpose.
  • If you’re allergic to coconut oil you’ll want to choose a different oil to pull.

coconut and coconut oil on a white table

Summary – Cleaning Teeth With Coconut Oil

As you can see, oil pulling has many health benefits and it’s a wonderful natural approach to oral health that you can easily add to your healthy lifestyle. I hope you’ve found this helpful and would love to encourage you to try it and see what you think.

If you want to learn more be sure to check out:

Have you tried oil pulling? Do you have any questions or tips to share?


6 thoughts on “How To Do Oil Pulling With Coconut Oil”

    1. Great question, Amy! If you oil pull every day you should start to see results within a few days to a week. Feel free to do it until your teeth reach your desired whiteness or continue every day for the oral health benefits.

      If you don’t oil pull daily your results will be much more gradual. I hope this helps!

    1. Hi Anna, Many people recommend doing it first thing in the morning when you wake up before brushing your teeth. But you can do it before meals or anytime that fits your schedule.

      The simple act of doing it is what matters most. 🙂

    1. Hello Mona, I’m so happy you think it’s interesting. 🙂 Oil pulling has truly been a game changer for me, and once you start and see the benefits it’s quite motivating.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and please come back soon!

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