How Oil pulling can keep you out of the dentist chair…plus how-to bonus tips

How Oil Pulling Can Keep You Out of the Dentist Chair…Plus Bonus How-To Tips

Oil pulling has become quite trendy these past few years! US News, Dr. Oz, Fashion Magazines…it seems that everyone is talking about—and trying out—oil pulling.

I’ve received tons of questions on this topic from patients and via the blog. So today I am VERY excited to help take the mystery out of oil pulling, and your oil pulling FAQs answered…plus bonus how-to tips.

The promise? Whiter brighter teeth, healthier gums, and enhanced overall oral health.

Advocates also claim it can reduce headaches and jaw pain (such as TMJ), improve sleep, sinus issues, and skin concerns such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema.

Intrigued? Read on and find out the answers to your most Frequently Asked Questions including:

· What in the world is oil pulling?

· How does it keep you out of the dentist chair and promote health?

· What is the best type of oil to use and why?

· What’s the best brand (not all are created equal)?

· What’s the best oil pulling technique (Spoiler alert! It doesn’t have to take 20 minutes a day)?

· BONUS: How to use essential oils to enhance your oil pulling experience.

What in the world is oil pulling?

Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic technique (Ayurvedic medicine is the traditional medicine of India) dating back thousands of years.

By swishing (or “pulling”) a high-quality oil in your mouth for a determined period of time, you help dissolve unwanted bacteria, stains, and germs from your teeth and gums while maintaining your mouth’s natural ecology and germ balance.

How does it keep you out of the dentist chair and promote health?

I mentioned the mouth’s natural ecology above, and here’s what I mean:

The mouth, just like the skin, gut, sinuses, etc. has its own ecosystem; a balance of bacteria, yeast, fungi, and germs.

When persistent oral health problems arise, it’s an indication that the mouth’s ecology is out of balance.

And—as holistic dentists have known for years and science is just starting to discover—the health of the teeth and gums is often an indication of the health of body as a whole.

When we treat these oral health issues with harsh chemical mouthwashes, teeth whiteners, antibacterial toothpastes, etc., it may help our teeth and gums in the short-run, but ultimately weakens the mouth’s natural defenses.

It’s no secret that many foreign germs, bacteria, pathogens, and viruses enter our bodies via our mouths. By practicing oil pulling on a regular basis, we help strengthen our mouth’s natural defenses while improving our oral health…a win-win!


oil pulling

What is the Best Type of Oil to Use and Why?

Extra or Virgin Coconut oil is my go-to oil for almost everything around the house, (cooking, baking, DIY sunscreen, as a carrier oil for essential oils, moisturizer, cleanser, oil pulling…the list goes on and on).

Coconut oil is naturally antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral, making it the perfect oil to help restore your mouth’s natural ecology.

The studies behind the health benefits of coconut oil are inspiring and include fighting infection, enhancing immunity, cardiovascular health, cholesterol, balancing blood sugar, cancer, metabolism, gut health, weight management, kidney and liver health.

For an eye-opening list of studies and resources on my absolute FAVORITE oil, visit the Coconut Research Center.

And for a wonderful article on 101 amazing ways to use coconut oil check out this post from

What’s the Best Brand of Coconut Oil?

There are a lot of good brands out there. Here’s what to look for on the label and packaging:

· Unrefined (Extra) Virgin Coconut Oil.

· Cold-pressed NOT expeller pressed.

· Packaged in a glass container (to prevent toxins leaching from plastic).

· If you can’t find glass, a dark plastic container keeps the oil fresh and is your second-best bet…but I always prefer glass.

My favorite brands of coconut oil are Dr. Bronner’s and Nutiva®.

The companies meet all the above criteria, and are super picky about purity, and their extraction methods to maintain optimal integrity and flavor of the finished product.

Buyer’s Tip: Coconut oil, like butter or lard, is a highly stable fat and therefore remains naturally solid until it reaches 76°F at which point it liquefies. This is normal for any brand of coconut oil.

What’s the Best Oil Pulling Technique?

Now onto the good stuff, the how-to. It’s so simple you’re going to wonder why you haven’t tried it before!

1. Place 1-3 teaspoons of coconut oil in your mouth.

1. If it’s solid, let it liquefy in your mouth for a moment.

2. Begin gently swishing, aka pulling, the oil around your mouth.

3. Continue pulling for 3-20 minutes (suggest starting out with 3 minutes and working your way up).

4. When done, spit the oil into the garbage or toilet (only if you’re not on a septic system)…do NOT swallow the coconut oil.

5. Brush your teeth as normal.

6. Repeat 1-2 times per day, and within a few days to a few weeks (depending on your oral health) you should start to notice the benefits.

7. It is important to make this a habit and you can do that by adding it into your morning routine while you shower or get your clothes together for the day, etc.

*Note to the all-or-nothing-folks out there: the term “pulling” does not mean you should be aggressive…or you may end up with a headache! Just swish gently.

Bonus: How to Use Essential Oils to Enhance your Oil Pulling Experience

So maybe oil pulling sounded like a good idea, but when you tried it out the feeling of the oil in your mouth turned you off, or perhaps you just don’t like the taste of coconut. Believe me, as a person who’s done gall bladder flushes with copious amounts of olive oil…I completely understand.

Here’s how to dampen the taste, and get past that fatty, oily, not-so-pleasant feeling:

Use 1 drop of Lemon or Peppermint Essential Oil.

Just 1 drop of Young Living Lemon or Peppermint Essential Oil combined with your coconut oil will help cut the oily flavor, promote detoxification, freshen your breath…and make the whole process more pleasant. Easy peasy.

Have I answered all your FAQs on oil pulling? Are you jazzed to try it out? I know you’ll be glad you did.

We’d love to hear your feedback below…and if you would like to learn other ways to bio-hack your health be sure download my FREE Guide Here.

Here’s to brighter smiles and naturally healthier mouths.

I am wishing you well,

-Dr. Jessica


Hi! I'm Dr. Jessica

Hi! I'm Dr. Jessica

I’m Dr. Jessica Payne, Medical Intuitive, Doctor of Natural Medicine, and your go-to guide for living your life naturally…More

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  1. Becky

    I have heard you should do oil pulling before you eat anything. So first thing in the morning or after you haven’t eaten anything for about 4 hours. This has kept me from doing it as often because… well I have kids and it’s not always easy to oil pull fist thing in the morning. There are so many demands in the morning and I need to be able to talk. Haha. Anyway… what are your thoughts on oil pulling whenever it’s possible verses having to do it after fasting?

    • jeremy11

      This is such a great question! You sound like a busy mama!!! Honestly, oil pulling in the morning and/or evening shows to be most effective and creating a daily habit is best. However, doing it anytime through out the day is very helpful to allow your gums and salivary glands to release excess bacteria and toxins. I recommend doing it daily anytime if the mornings are an issue.

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