a full jar of coconut oil surrounded by real coconuts

Coconut Oil Pulling 101

Coconut oil continues to amaze. This cure-all repairs damaged hair, hydrates skin, cures fungal infections, promotes weight loss, and can even whiten your teeth while improving overall dental health through a method known as "oil pulling."

Benefits of Oil Pulling

Oil pulling has many oral health benefits, such as preventing tooth decay, getting rid of plaque, freshening breath, and whitening teeth. While other oils, such as olive oil and sesame oil, can also be used for oil pulling, coconut oil is the best option, as well as the most popular. Lauric acid, the main fatty acid found in coconut oil, has antiviral, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties that kill the bad bacteria in your mouth. Plus, coconut oil does not have a strong odor or taste, which can make oil pulling much more tolerable.

How to Oil Pull

Scoop out 1 or 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, and let it melt in your mouth until you are able to swish. Then, continue swishing the oil around for 15-20 minutes. If you can’t handle oil pulling for that long, start out with 5-10 minutes, and work your way up each day to the maximum time. 20 minutes is the perfect amount of time because it’s just long enough to dissolve plaque and bacteria, yet not long enough that the body begins to re-absorb the toxins. After the 20 minutes are up, spit the oil out and brush your teeth to make sure you get rid of any leftover bacteria.

Tips

Oil pulling is a bit time consuming, so it can be difficult to find the time for it. For those with busy schedules, oil pulling while in the shower is likely the best time.

If you still just can’t find time for oil pulling, simply mix coconut oil with toothpaste and baking soda for an extra-whitening toothpaste.