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What is Oil Pulling?

What Is Oil Pulling? And why you should totally be doing it!

I have a confession to make. I’ve been doing something super weird for the last three months. I wake up have a glass of water and stick a spoonful of coconut oil in my mouth and swish it around for about twenty minutes and it’s called oil pulling. What is Oil Pulling? That’s a question I started to ask a few months back when it started popping up all over Pinterest. Things catch on pretty quickly in blogland & can become Pinterest sensations almost overnight, which oil pulling has. Sometime they’re complete BS and sometimes they’re amazing. This one is 50/50 for me.  At this point, if you don’t frequent Pinterest (you’re missing out, for real) and haven’t seen one of these posts before you’re probably thinking to yourself “This broad is crazy and why on earth would she do this. Gross” that’s almost exactly what I thought when I read about it for the first time, short a few expletives. But I swear, there is a reason behind this madness. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself. Wikipedia will tell you that Oil Pulling is a “folk remedy” and usually done with sesame oil. However, celebrities started endorsing using coconut oil and ya know… the rest of us just followed suit.

Let’s talk about what they blogland say are the benefits. Whiter teeth, draws out the toxins and bacteria in your mouth that cause plaque buildup, gingivitis, bad breath and cavities. Remember that cavity part for when we get to my thoughts on this.  It works as an all natural mouth wash if you will. A few other claims are that it clears acne, boosts your immune system, prevents heart disease (this one if far fetched, even for me) and reduces inflammation. People say it strengthens your teeth and gums. It’s a holistic remedy for bleeding gums, decreases bloating, helps you sleep better, regulates your menstrual cycle, clears sinuses, cures migraines, increases your energy, relieves hangovers and about 500003093 kagillion other things that if you just type ‘oil pulling’ into Pinterest or Google search you are sure to find. Some of the claims are completely insane and I’m almost positive that if I looked hard enough I would find that it also creates world peace. I mean, I’m not knocking it… there are just some things that I am not 100% sold on. However I love me so coconut oil for hair masks, removing my makeup and body scrubs so why not give this a try, right?

What is Oil Pulling?

Alright, so what did I think? The first week or so I thought all of these chicks were crazy. Nothing was different. Not one thing. And let me start this with a bit of a back story I had just had a routine dental visit and I had what was becoming a cavity and I had at this point scheduled to get a filling (which would be day 16 of this oil pulling adventure) and I was 7 days in and that thing hurt. So yeah, I was ready to call BS and move on to the next crazy thing taking over Pinterest (gluing toy dinosaurs to everything and anything and calling it art) but I wanted to give it the old college try and promised myself I’d give it at least two weeks. Fast forward to day 16, wake up, drink my water, do my oil pulling, convince myself that drinking wine before going to the dentist isn’t the best idea, and head on out to get my filling. Wait for an hour in the office, get increasingly annoyed, get called back, get all ready, the dentist comes in and opens my mouth to do his thing and says “Oh, that’s interesting!”. I’m sorry, WHAT? is so interesting in my mouth, you freak. He tells me he wants to do an x-ray to be sure but that cavity I had two weeks ago seemed to have healed itself. WHAT IN THE WHAT? For real? I tried explaining oil pulling to him but he looked at me like I was crazy and just said “These things happen, see you in a year!”

I am 100% convinced that the oil pulling healed my cavity and that was enough for me to continue. I hate the dentist so if this can keep those visits to just once a year, I will swish that stuff daily for-freaking-ever. I’m not crunchy enough to give up my toothpaste or dentist visits completely but I will continue to oil pull in addition to those! Let’s see… other things I’ve noticed after a few weeks in, my teeth are definitely brighter and it’s doing a good job of whitening them. My gums have always bled a bit if I used a toothbrush that is rough and I haven’t had any bleeding since I started oil-pulling. I can’t speak to the bad breath because I brush my teeth immediately after I oil pull and still use mouth wash. So no bad breath for me, but who knows what is preventing it. For me, that’s really the only benefits I have seen from oil-pulling but they’re definitely enough for me. It’s like it’s detoxifying my mouth and keeping it extra clean so I’m sold. As far as the claim “helps with insomnia”… yeah, still waiting on that one to happen I’m a chronic insomniac and I’m still not sleeping. Menstrual Cycle? Still irregular, I still bloat and am still a raging lunatic of crazy hormonal proportions. All of those other claims, the jury is still out on whether or not I’m buying what they’re selling. As far as the mouth and teeth go though I am 100% on board and you need to start doing this to see the benefits for yourself!

If you’re wanting to try it out, I’ll share how I do it. Wake up, drink and entire glass of water, (I don’t know why, I just read it somewhere and if it was on the internet, it must be true… right? lol) grab my coconut oil and a tablespoon and start swishing (which is a really nice way of saying chewing the coconut oil until it melts) and I like to jump in the shower or do the dishes or something for the next 20 minutes to keep my mind off of the fact that I’m even participating in this weird task. I won’t lie either… It’s absolutely disgusting, more so if like me you hate the taste of coconut (yuck!) and I literally hate it but I’ve gotten used to it and at this point it’s just another thing that I do. Spit it into the trash NOT YOUR SINK (it will clog your pipes and your husband will hate you, not that I’m speaking from experience or anything…) and brush as per usual.



  • Baby cavities can actually go away on their own. From Wikipedia: “The earliest sign of a new carious lesion is the appearance of a chalky white spot on the surface of the tooth, indicating an area of demineralization of enamel. This is referred to as a white spot lesion, an incipient carious lesion or a “microcavity”. As the lesion continues to demineralize, it can turn brown but will eventually turn into a cavitation (“cavity”). Before the cavity forms, the process is reversible, but once a cavity forms, the lost tooth structure cannot be regenerated. A lesion that appears dark brown and shiny suggests dental caries were once present but the demineralization process has stopped, leaving a stain. Active decay is lighter in color and dull in appearance.”

  • I have never heard this before. Hmmm…I’m not for sure if I could do this. I’m glad your cavity is gone. That’s awesome!!

  • I’ve seen this a lot…and it’s definitely intrigued me. What kind of coconut oil do you use?

  • I am tempted BUT have really bad gag reflex (you know the rest, I would struggle). I use Crest Whitestrips for my teeth and that does work. I do love me some coconut oil though, for the hair and skin mostly.

  • This is cray cray! I’m so torn on this, I love coconut oil (I use it A LOT) but it sounds super disgusting! LOL!

    Funny side-story (tangentially related): my daughter and I were watching Top Gear and Hammond says, “I read it on the internet, it *must* be true!” and my daughter looked at me (totally serious) and said, “Well, not everything you read on the internets is true, you know!” LOL!

  • I’m trying it and it is hard. Makes me want to gag but not gona stop. Thanks for the blog. I want white teeth.

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