How To Start Oil Pulling & Why It Matters

Categories Wellness

With so many health trends, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. One week, everyone is obsessed with bone broth and the next it’s turmeric latte galore. But one of my favorite trends I’ve been working to incorporate into my life lately is oil pulling.

If you follow me on insta, you might have recently seen my story where I mentioned I was trying to get into oil pulling. To be honest, it’s taken me ages. And like every stubborn child, I have to get there on my own time and terms. Last fall when I was head first into a mission to healing my teeth, I knew I needed to start oil pulling. Except it seemed like just one more thing I needed to do. Yes, everyone is obsessed with it. But what was this oil really going to do for my life?

So if you’re like me or still don’t really understand why you should try oil pulling, hopefully I can help clear things up a bit. And maybe somewhere along the way you’ll decide to give it a go. Let’s chat about how to start oil pulling & why it matters.


Oil pulling originated in India. It was used as a way to treat & prevent tooth decay, drying gums, dryness of the throat and bleeding gums. (1) In the original traditions, oils like sesame or sunflower were used and held for 3-5 minutes in the mouth before being spit out.


If you’re wondering why someone would swish oil around, you’re not alone. Most people are drawn in by the benefits. Oil pulling can help with dental health, teeth whitening and improving acne. (2) It can also boost your immune system and reduce inflammation. The idea behind oil pulling is that you’re helping your body pull toxins out. In theory, the benefits affect the entire body by removing the bad bacteria.


Start small. Oil pulling is an adjustment. And building it into your routine can take time. A good starting amount is 2-3 teaspoons of oil. The best time to do it is first thing in the morning before you drink or brush your teeth.


Old traditions use sunflower and sesame oil. Personally, I prefer to use coconut oil. I like the taste better. Ideally, you want to use a high quality oil you would cook with or eat. I find unrefined coconut oil to taste the best. But if you’ve got something else in the kitchen, start with what you’ve got.


This will probably depend on your goals. I’ve quickly noticed how much better my gums feel. But without months of routine, it can be hard to tell. Also, I’ve seen my hormonal acne calm down a bit quicker after my monthly cycle as well. Remember it’s like any healthy routine, it can take time to see changes.

 What Do I Do?

Set a time to start your new oil pulling routine. I put a post it on my bathroom mirror to remind me. You can either keep oil in their or walk to your kitchen for a spoonful in the morning. I like to set a timer so I can just run around and do things while I swish. But when you’re first starting, 5 or 10 minutes is a good goal. If you’re using coconut oil, it might be solid when you first use it. Don’t worry. The heat from your mouth will melt it down.

Pop the oil into your mouth and swish it around 10-20 minutes. The idea is to do it gently but to push it through your teeth to sweep up all the bacteria. Make sure when you spit it out that you aren’t spitting it into the sink. The oil might clog it up. But you also don’t want to swallow because then all that bacteria you’ve collected in the oil will go back into your body. I like to brush my teeth after and make sure to scrap my tongue to get all the extra oil out.

And there you have it. Are convinced you need to start oil pulling yet? Personally, I’m glad I’ve start despite how long it’s taken me to get into the routine. My mouth feels better for it and I can’t wait to see what other benefits come of this. Have you tried oil pulling yet? I’d love to know how you got started and why you love it. And if you do try, be sure to let me know! I love hearing from you!




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