Oil pulling. WTF is that right? Or maybe you know, but you haven’t researched in depth the benefits. What science says about it. Or simply, how to perform it properly.

Let it be said, as in ALL my work, this is not medical nor professional advice! This is always just my compiled research and journaled experiences.

What is oil pulling?

Oil pulling is an Ayurvedic practice in which oil is swished around in the mouth for 5-20 minutes. 20 minutes is ideal although 5-10 minutes is still beneficial- especially if you do it often. The main benefit is overall an increase in oral health however people in India who incorporate this practice into their lives say that they see an increase in health overall.

Oil pulling is a routine that one would have to keep up with, and in all honesty, I am writing this from a humble standpoint. It can be tough to stick to allllll the self-care routines. This practice is something I have incorporated on and off for years. I’m someone that, if I miss even one week of a particular habit… it will be months before I pick it up again. I started oil pulling again this last month after being very minimal with it the past year.

Pulling with coconut oil – my own experience

I am all about multi-tasking when I do my self-care routines. So when I’m oil pulling- I spend that 10-15 minutes (length of time I usually do it) with my legs up the wall for extra circulation (while reading or scrolling IG), I’ll do it while stretching, or while I’m lathering up my body with shea or mango butter and doing some self-massage. Sometimes I’ll watch an informative video while I oil pull. It’s a time for me to really be effective in doing things for my body and mind.

I will say this- when I oil pull, my mouth feels exceptionally clean. It’s such a nice feeling. My teeth even begin to look whiter overall after some time. I find I’m not using whitening strips as often because the oil pulling really does help with stains. Another thing- I am prone to cavities. It sucks ASS- even with super diligent oral hygiene, I get cavities more often than the average person. When I’ve been really good about oil pulling- I usually am not getting cavities. Or at least wayyyyyy less. This alone is reason for me to stick to it!

Oil Pulling Scientific Evidence

There are studies in favor of oil pulling, however… there needs to be a lot more done. Oil pulling is not recognized by the American Dental Association and there are researchers out there who are at best, skeptical about it and at worst, flat out turn it down. There are other researchers who are very HELL YEAH about it.

I’m confident in oil pulling because my own experience has been so beneficial. I’m confident in it because there have been human trials done on oil pulling with great results. I’m confident in it because so many people benefit from this practice- and that can’t be ignored.

That said– I would still like to see more science behind it. I cannot guarantee anything with oil pulling, although I am incredibly positive about it.

Science studies so far are positive about oil pulling

This analysis in general states that oil pulling, when done correctly, may have an impact on oral health. It states that this practice would need to be done regularly, for 20 minutes if we can, and we ought to be using organic and unrefined oil. Sesame and coconut are the most popular choices.

Decreasing oral bacteria

This study was interesting! It followed 10 people over the course of 40 days (they oil pulled daily) and saw positive results in the reduction of bacteria. When we have excess bacteria… that means tooth decay eventually. No thanks!

Helps with gingivitis and reducing plaque

I thought this was cool. This study involved measuring levels of plaque formation in 60 individuals between the ages of 16-18. They measured them over a period of 30 days and saw a significant reduction in plaque. What was interesting to me was the first 7 days showed a lot of improvement and then it dipped off towards the end. I wonder if it really does a lot upfront and by a week in you are in the maintenance phase. Like it can’t do any more for you but just maintain (which is still good.) Hmmmm… I wonder!

Final thoughts on oil pulling

Bish… TRY IT! Nothing wrong with trying something new and if it brings an uptick in advantages to your health game then awesome! If not, ditch it! Also, don’t swish TOO hard… some people have reported it not being good for their existing cavities (the fillings) if they pull too hard. Light and gentle is enough! I’ve never had a problem.

Spill your thoughts!