What is Oil Pulling and Why Should You Do It?

Oil pulling has been around for centuries, its origins stemming from South East Asia. It is used to remove bacteria and promote general oral hygiene. Oil pulling as its name suggests involves swishing oil back-and-forth in the mouth. It has a pull like action and it helps to moisturize gums, increase saliva production as well as reduce the amount of bacteria in one’s mouth. It has even been said to treat certain diseases however research is very limited regarding such a claim.

Here are a few of the many benefits of oil pulling:


Roundabout 700 bacteria can be found living in your mouth with 350 of them found at any given time. These bacteria have been found to cause bad breath, tooth decay, and even gum disease. Some studies have shown that oil pulling can help reduce the amount of harmful bacteria thereby treating illnesses such as tooth decay, and gum disease.


Nearly 50% of people have bad breath. It is usually treated by brushing our teeth and using mouthwash. Studies have found, however, that oil pulling can be just as effective as a mouthwash when it comes to reducing bad breath. It can be seen as a natural sort of mouthwash.


Oil pulling may help prevent cavities which are the major cause of tooth decay.  Plaque can also cause cavities. It forms a coating on the teeth and is compromised of bacteria, saliva and food particles. The bacteria begin to break down the food particles forming an acid that destroys tooth enamel and causes tooth decay.


Oil pulling can reduce inflammation and improve the state of your gums. Gingivitis is a type of gum disease characterized by red, swollen gums that bleed easily. Luckily oil pulling may be an effective remedy to improve gum health and reduce inflammation. Coconut oil has been proven to have Anti-inflammatory properties, therefore, it’s a perfect solution to reduce inflammation associated with gum disease.


Oil pulling is believed to be a natural way to whiten your teeth. This is by far my favorite benefit and ideal for those of us who cannot afford expensive teeth bleaching at a cosmetic dentist. It is believed to pull stains from the surface of the teeth resulting in a whitening effect (although there is no scientific research to back this up).


4 simple steps to do oil pulling

  1. Measure one tablespoon of oil, such as coconut, sesame or olive oil.
  2. Swish it around in your mouth for 15–20 minutes, being careful not to swallow any.
  3. Once you’re done, spit the oil into a dustbin. Avoid spitting it into the sink or toilet, as this can cause a buildup of oil, which may lead to clogging.
  4. Rinse your mouth well using water before eating or drinking anything.

Repeat these steps a few times per week or up to three times daily. Although, I recommend starting a few times a week before doing it daily. Also work your way up, starting with swishing for just 5 minutes and increasing the amount of time until you’re able to do it for a full 15–20 minutes.

Happy pulling!

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Francis Ferreira


Francis Ferreira is a professional makeup artist & hair stylist. He studied makeup & hair design at Kohl Makeup Academy. He has always been in love and fascinated with makeup and how it can transform and enhance a face. His passion for beauty and skin care stems from many years of experience working for prestige cosmetic brands MAC & Bobbi Brown. Francis loves sharing the art of makeup with women and show them how they can utilize it to enhance their own beauty.

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