Healthy Habits: What Is Oil Pulling?

Healthy Habits: What Is Oil Pulling?
For the past few weeks, I’ve been doing something a little strange every morning when I wake up… After drinking a full glass of water, I take a tablespoon of coconut oil (you remember my obsession, right?) and swish it around in my mouth like mouthwash for about 20 minutes. This might sound a little nuts to some of you, but others reading this may already know about the currently trending health craze called oil pulling. When I read about all the benefits of oil pulling (we’ll get to those in a minute), I decided to try it for two weeks so I could write a detailed review.

So, here’s a little bit about how oil pulling works, what experts like our nutritionist, Shira Lenchewski, RD. have to say about it, and my overall review…

The Benefits

Oil pulling is an ancient Indian folk remedy used for detoxification. “While the research is mixed regarding widespread health benefits, I do believe oil pulling helps draw out that pesky oral bacteria that leads to plaque buildup, gingivitis and bad breath,” says Shira. Oil pulling has also shown to strengthen your teeth, whiten your teeth, and prevent cavities. And, although it’s not yet scientifically proven, it has been known to help alleviate hangovers, reduce headaches, and support general detoxification of the entire body.

How To Do It

Basically, oil pulling works as an all-natural mouthwash. Right when you wake up in the morning, drink a glass of big water. Then, put a spoonful of coconut oil or sesame oil in your mouth and swish it around for 5 to 20 minutes (20 is recommended, but I usually do about 15). Don’t eat anything before—you want the oil to literally pull the toxins from your body before you’ve put anything else in your mouth. While swishing, aim to have the oil hit every area of your mouth evenly. Try not to swallow the oil while swishing because then the toxins will just go right back into your system. I like to jump in the shower while oil pulling or respond to my morning emails so that I’m distracted by another task and doing two things at once. After the time is up, spit the oil out in a trashcan. Be careful not to spit it in the sink as it will clog up your drain. Swish with salt water afterwards, then brush and floss as you normally would. Supposedly, if the oil turns yellow, you’re pulling out a good amount of toxins and doing it right!

My Thoughts

I chose to use coconut oil because of it’s strong antibacterial properties and because, well, I’m just obsessed with the stuff to begin with. After using it for two weeks, I have definitely noticed that my breath is fresher, my teeth are a bit whiter, and I actually noticed that I broke out less around my chin and jawline. The sensation of swishing an oil around in my mouth for 20 minutes felt very strange at first, but after a couple days I got used to it and actually looked forward to detoxifying being a party of my morning routine. I also did my oil pulling one morning after having a few too many drinks the night before, and (whether it was a placebo effect or not) it did help with my headache. I have yet to see the oil turn yellow after spitting it out, but my mouth did feel very clean afterward. Overall, I would recommend using the method of oil pulling as a natural mouthwash since the benefits of it’s detoxifying properties are still being researched. Go ahead and try it—you might love it or hate it, but I thought it was worth seeing for myself!

Will you try oil pulling?

Also, do you have a crazy morning ritual you do every day?

Comment below with questions and I will try to answer as many of them as I can! I can’t wait to hear what you guys think.

Team LC


Photos: Living and Loving
Sources: Shira Lenchewski, RD., Free People Blog, Fashion Lush
Categories: Allison Norton, Get Fit, Health
Share This
  • Cassidy Short

    This is interesting, I’ve never heard of it! I’ve been wanting to incorporate coconut oil into my health/beauty regimen, so many benefits!



  • Ashley

    I looked into this and then tried this after you mentioned about a week ago. I only did it for five minutes and I spit the coconut oil into the toilet. I’ll definitely look into trying it for longer and I hadn’t heard anything about trying it right when you wake up! That’s good to know! :)
    Thanks for the review! Do you think you’ll continue you doing it consistently?

    • Robyn

      Be sure and spit it into the trash can, not down your sink or toilet (it will clog up your drains). Good luck!

  • Cori

    I do this every single morning, I started a few months ago. I figured it’s cheaper to try for a while than have my receding gums and possible future denial issues done at the dentist. I have a friend who has been oil pulling for over 2 years and she said it took about a year for her dentist to notice that her gums stopped receding and having so many problems with her teeth! I’ll keep doing it.

  • Guest

    I agree with the others, this is very interesting. Twenty minutes seems like an impossible amount of time to be squishing something in your mouth. This may sound funny, but do you have any suggestions? Or does it still work if you start with five minutes and work up to the twenty?

    • Philly

      Try it while you watch TV

    • Danielle

      I can get to about 20 mins per sitting, I just set a timer and turn on the tv.

  • Cristy

    Love reading these articles! But have to say I do not like the typos.

    • Ivy

      Then move on and don’t read it…are you one of those people who find negative in everything?

      • Beth

        I’m one of those people called an ‘editor,’ so I consider it unprofessional for a business to post a piece without having a second set of eyes even skim it beforehand. But as a reader, it’s distracting.

        As an aside, her comment included just as much praise for the article as it did negativity, but *you* chose to focus only on the negative.

        • Marissa

          Are you guys really arguing over this. I’m 14 and don’t argue over such stupid little human mistakes. Grow up.

    • crystalluv

      Oh please!

    • Deborah Kerr

      No one likes to read articles, books etc… riddled with typos. It makes the text more difficult to read/enjoy and visually its just plain unprofessional. Cristy has every right to complain (I agree with her BTW) and Ms. Conrad should ensure, her site is legible and the text is error free. Perhaps the editor made a mistake. She/He needs to fix it. End of story. P.S. I really like the articles as well. Lots of good info on this site.

    • Miss Iris

      Ha! I totally noticed too and thought to myself “wow, does she not proof-read her work before publishing” Can be a little distracting.

  • farah mukadam

    Oil pulling is all the rage right now, nothing better than using something as batural as coconut oil. But what else can coconut oil be used for?

  • ❤Cate❤

    I’ve never heard of this before but it sounds interesting so I may try it out for a couple weeks. I love coconut oil and have been looking for some other things to try out so hopefully this will be another one of its amazing qualities xoxo

  • The Italian Bunny Report

    I tried doing this for a while and then just forgot.. I want to try again. Does it *have to* be coconut oil? Can’t it be olive oil?

    • Danielle

      I’ve read elsewhere online that yes, it can be oilve oil . Just do a quick google search and you will find your answer :)

    • Courtney

      I would be careful with olive oil, though; I haven’t personally used it, but I have read warnings that it can turn your teeth yellow. Not sure if that’s true, but definitely watch out for it!

    • whittykaye

      i would think olive oil would taste really really bad?

      • Colleen Eakley

        It does

    • Go Organic

      There area claims that you can use a variety of oils, and each has it’s own beneficial properties, they won’t all be the same.

  • diana

    amazing i also use Green tea is become a habit and it works amazing as well just because it has a lot of benefits

  • Jen

    20 minutes does seem long when standing in front of the mirror, but I do oil pulling while I’m in the shower. The time goes by faster as I’m doing shower stuff, plus I can then just spit it right out in the shower. Easy and done each morning! Coconut oil is actually great for thyroid patents as well. I will then also use it as a lotion before I towel off. It’s a great moisturizer. Doesn’t hurt to try!

    • BFantastic

      I’ve read that you shouldn’t spit it down drains because the coconut oil will reharden and can cause a clog in your drain.

      • Amanda Kay

        True, it will harden in the pipes. It’s bad news. They say spit it into the trash.

        • Renée Bootsma

          Indeed, you can also spit it into toiletpaper

  • Gré Tee

    I don’t think you should drink a glass of water before it, instead drink it after. The whole point of oil pulling is to remove the bacteria from your mouth, so if you wash down half of it with water, I think you’re just beating its purpose! I am currently testing it myself, I’m very curious :)

    • Christine

      I was going to say the same thing! Oil pull brush then drink water

    • chelle fish

      yes and drink water with lemon that has awesome benefits as well

  • Annie

    I use coconut oil for my hair, I also thought it was for teeth whitening. I just got my wisdom teeth pulled so I may try oil pulling once I’m all healed. Thanks for the article!

    Annie @

  • Danielle

    Please edit, these typos are horrendous; “A glass of big water”, ” being a party of my daily routine”?

    When I oil pull I don’t consume anything first, not even a big glass of water. That seems counterproductive if you are trying to get toxins out of the body. Everything else after I do.

  • jenny the babe

    This is a good idea. I’ve begun to love coconut oil, on my skin, on my hair – it truly does wonders! My hair is a lot more shiny, it’s good for your skin and it even removes your makeup. So exited to learn more about it! :)

  • Olivia M. Bouton

    What brand of coconut oil do you use ?

    • Laura Adams

      Olivia, you can use any brand, but it’s best to stick with an organic, virgin coconut oil so that it’s in it’s purest state. I love the Central Market brand. A good baseline is if it smells like coconut, it’s probably good!

    • Amanda Frances

      there is an link to my favorite one on my blog!! check out:

      it’s super important that it’s 100% organic unrefined cold pressed coconut oil.

  • Serena Hurtado

    Going to try this right now! Thanks for the tips!

  • Ashley @ A Lady Goes West

    I’ve read so many good articles about the benefits that it’s about time I give it a try. Thanks for sharing.

  • Katelin

    I have been wanting to try this! Coconut oil has so many different uses, I love it!!

  • Ciny

    I’ve been doing this for two weeks. Floss right after, the plaque basically flosses off.
    And good to know about not spitting into the sink!

  • lendel

    Thanks Allison for posting this. I have been interested in trying this. I did learn through this post that the oil will change colors if it’s pulling. :) you are so awesome. What are other uses for coconut oil?

    • Danica

      There is a hyperlink in the article for “my obsession”. It should take you there. And if you are going to reference the author, check the name first. Lauren doesn’t make every post on the site.

      • lendel

        Thanks. Hope your mood improves.

    • katherine morris

      They make a coconut paste and coconut oil so you don’t have to melt anything :)

  • Hayley

    This is a great idea, but coconut oil comes in a paste form so do you melt it?

    • Courtney

      It softens and melts once in your mouth from your body heat :) I’ve heard of people just holding it in their cheek for a few seconds and that does the trick.

  • Emma Fox

    I started oil pulling about three weeks ago and LOVE it! I always notice my teeth and mouth feel so much cleaner immediately after and now that it’s been a couple weeks I’ve started to notice my teeth are whiter too!

  • Ana Pierce

    Interesting! I posted about some other uses for coconut oil a few weeks ago. Some people use it for everything!!

  • Joie

    Sounds like another “ionic foot detox” hoax. We don’t have “toxins” floating around in our body just waiting to come out. This is ridiculous.

    • Samantha

      Actually, we do. That’s why we have livers and kidneys. Using chemically-based products, ingesting food made or treated with chemicals, or just being in certain environments can expose you to toxins.

  • Angel

    I’ve been oil pulling for over a month and it has healed three of my small cavities. I absolutely love it.

  • Regan

    Love the benefits of coconut oil- have been wanting to try this for so long!

  • Becca

    I am a dentist and I can confirm the positive effects that oil pulling can have on oral health. In traditional Ayurveda texts sunflower or sesame oils are most often used and only done for 3-5 minutes. There is scientific evidence to suggest oil pulling reduces plaque and gingivitis by emulsification and saponification, but not through any antibacterial process ( I am not familiar with evidence of prevention of systemic diseases, but I haven’t done the research. If you have small cavities (incipient lesions) that have not made their way to the dentin yet, there are many ways to help them remineralize before they need fillings. This is definitely a great option in addition of brushing with fluoride toothpaste and flossing!

    • Samantha Brown

      I am really quite happy to read that you don’t have to do it for twenty minutes to get the benefits! I haven’t tried it yet but to be honest it’s because I’ve found the twenty minute commitment a little daunting. I think I’m going to give it a try for 5 minutes and see how I go (I’m sure it’s all mental and I’ll probably end up doing it for 15-20 minutes anyway but sometimes it’s so hard just to start).

      Thanks for sharing your knowledge :)

      Sam xx – how to make the most of your twenties

    • Babz

      I’m pleasantly surprised that a dentist is aware of oil pulling. However, you lost me when you mentioned fluoride. On the one hand you recommend an organic solution for mouth and teeth cleansing, the on the other hand you recommend a toxic substance.

      There is a movement around America to stop poisoning our drinking water with fluoride. Dentists in my area are seeing the light and one by one have stopped using fluoride and mercury in their practices.

      • Gabrielle

        I think you need to review the literature on the importance of fluoride, especially in the formation of permanent teeth. As a dental professional and current university student I am well versed in the area and can tell you now that fluoride has many more benefits than risks.
        Also,, may I ask what you think is in non-Mercury fillings? I for one would almost prefer a well studied metal in my mouth than a bunch of different polymers that form a plastic that I have no idea how my body is being affected by this.
        Just some ideas to get you thinking!

  • Grace

    I’ve tried oil pulling before but after every time I do this, my throat gets so dry. Is this because I’m accidentally swallowing a bit of the oil?

    • cassi

      Me too!!! Its been two weeks at least since I stopped pulling and my throat is still dry but almost back to normal. Its awful! :(

      • Grace

        I stopped too because I got a really bad sore throat at the time, which I don’t know if I actually got a cold or if it had something to do with the oil pulling. Since then, I’ve stopped with the oil pulling but I want to try it again! I’m a bit scared though 😛

  • natalie terry

    Does it not make any of you gag? Maybe my gag reflexes are extra bad because I always spit it out after one or two minutes!! Is there anything that helps with this?

    • Bobby Upchurch

      try to focus mainly on breathing through your nose, try to forget that there’s something in your mouth, and breathe steady and deeply… i’ve always had bad gag reflexes and getting braces was rough waiting for impression trays to set… my orthodontist told me i looked like i was about to pass out from breathing through my nose so deeply, but that’s the only way i could withstand it…. same thing happens to me with olive oil… though coconut isn’t as harsh for me personally… good luck!

    • Laura Adams

      I have a highly sensitive gag reflex, and definitely still gag sometimes (I’ve been doing it for months now), but for me the benefits outweigh that inconvenience. Focus on breathing and distract yourself by multi-tasking. :)

      • Amanda Kay

        Yeah, I have to agree with this statement. The breathing steady is really important. I have the same issue as well, and I found that If I set out the amount needed so it becomes soft or melted then it helps a ton. Or if I’m in a hurry then I put some in a glass and hold that glass into a bowl of hot water. Doesn’t take much to liquefy it. Good Luck!!!

    • Eboni

      Natalie, I’m the same way. My twin and I tried it and yes for the first 30 seconds, it’s strange, but honestly you get use to it. Find something like checking email or watching tv to get your mind off it. It’s not that bad at all :) Here’s a video we did on our first time trying it :)

  • Erica

    my sis and I tried it for the first time a few days wasn’t too bad..check it out here

  • Justine Woytowish

    I’ve done oil pulling in the past with safflower oil. A few years ago when I had my tonsils removed my gums became overly sensitive and would swell up easily- just from bumping it wrong with the toothbrush or eating toast and other rough foods. I went to both my dentist and orthodontist about this problem. The first suggested a toothpaste allergy. The second suggested a bacteria infection that would “go away on it’s own”. A friend of mine suggested oil pulling with safflower oil. I no longer do it regularly but any time my gums become sensitive or I start to get ulcers I oil pull for a few days and instantly feel better. I have yet to try coconut oil but did try sesame oil. I wasn’t a fan of the taste of sesame oil.

  • Sherry Pryor Fry

    I read somewhere that after you do this you are not supposed to brush your teeth..but if you have to use baking soda..

  • Ashley in Orlando

    I actually tried oil pulling a couple months ago and within a week later I was the sickest I’ve ever been with strep throat and high fever of 102-103 at age 26. That strep throat then triggered guttate psoriasis to be released in my system which had previously been dormant in my system.

    No idea if the oil pulling was the cause but I do find it pretty ironic and question if the oil pulling triggered the sickness and psoriasis.

    • cassi

      I had the exact same reaction minus the fever. A few weeks after and im still recovering from the sickness I got :( weird but I could only assume it was from the pulling also. Plus my throat has been so very dry from it!

  • collinsinla

    i have tried oil pulling but i can’t swish for more than 1 minute before i start to gag…do i have a stronger gag reflex than most????

    • Laura Adams

      Probably. I gag easily, so when I started oil pulling, I used about a half teaspoon of oil and went as long as I could. Do what works for you and build up.

  • Laura Adams

    I’ve been doing oil pulling for months (finally got desperate for a better remedy after several years of intense dental work and constant [but unsuccessful] cleaning). I love it! I haven’t used toothpaste since I started, and my dental hygiene has never been better, and that’s saying a lot considering my genetics and history. I also like to brush with it before bed just to have a clean mouth at night. I do still gag occasionally – it’s a texture thing – but that is far outweighed by the oral health benefits. I will never go back to toothpaste. And yes, my dentist is aware of everything I’m doing and hasn’t shunned me for it. 😉

  • Kim Pham

    I want to try this! I have a huge jar of coconut oil sitting in my kitchen cabinet and I want to make use of it. This is really interesting, because lately, I’ve been concerned about the health of my teeth. I eat a lot of sugary foods and I would like to try anything that prevents cavities

  • Jessica

    Hmm, this sounds really interesting, definitely going to start this at the end of the week which is good because I’m going on a cleansing diet for the next 30 days so this will be a nice add on. I’m also going to ask my mom has she heard about this! Thanks for sharing!

  • Holly

    I have been thinking about Oil Pulling thanks for explaining it better!
    Great Post!
    xo Holly xo


  • Lauren S

    sounds like an interesting way to detox, i love coconut oil and being able to get whiter teeth at the end of it is a bonus !

    Lauren x

    Please nominate my blog for Best Lifestyle Blog and Newcomer here !

    Britton Loves | Fashion Lifestyle + Photography –

  • Christy

    If anyone can offer a physiological basis for why these results occur, then I will be more interested in this. Until then, I’m inclined to believe it is just be an expectancy effect.

  • Alexandra

    I’ve been trying this! Really awkward to get used to at first, so I’ve been going for 5 minutes trying to work my way up.

  • Amanda Frances

    I love that you jumped on the bandwagon, Lauren!!

    Y’all should check out this blog about the FIVE life-changing ways I’m using coconut oil (4 out of 5 are beauty related). Oil pulling is great, but there is seriously so much more amazingness I use it for! xoxoxoxo

  • Amanda Frances

    OMG! New favorite coconut oil use: it makes a bad-ass, super healthy latte!

    I explained more here:

  • Nicola Elliott

    I live in England where would you buy this kind of thing? x

    • RoshOlive

      Sainsburys sell extra virgin coconut oil

  • Anonymouse

    The idea that swishing oil in your mouth can somehow “detoxify” your body is entirely ridiculous. From an oral health standpoint, it’s better than nothing, but if you brush/floss regularly, it’s a waste of time. There’s also a risk of lipoid pneumonia if you accidentally breathe in some of the oil. The amount of pseudoscience in these health posts is absurd.

  • 82kaska .

    I love coconut oil! I use for all kind of purposes! I tried to eat a table spoon of co everyday because its amazing for the scalp…however after few days i had to stop as it made me a little sick :) but its still amazing as a hair mask with some honey.

  • Siham Hamdan

    I’ve been to tempted to try this, I think I’ll give it a go, specially for teeth whitening.
    | |

  • Jeny Fisher-Rojas

    I’ve been using pure coconut oil but I haven’t seen a difference in the colour of my teeth, am I suppose to be using virgin coconut oil or does it not matter?

  • Hope4311

    This post DOES NOT suggest that one should forgo brushing your teeth and flossing! Did you even read it??? NO WHERE does it say “stop brushing your teeth everyone”. Oil pulling is meant to act as a more natural mouthwash of sorts. I’m still on the fence with this oil pulling thing and haven’t tried it yet so I’m not defending the claims but don’t jump to conclusions! Any sane person realizes this is done in addition to normal oral care. Freakin moron.

  • Laur

    “actually looked forward to detoxifying being a party of my morning routine” & “drink a glass of big water” — SPELL CHECK!!!

    • Viv

      Spell check wouldn’t catch these errors because every word is spelled correctly smarty pants.

      • Dawn Thomas


  • Eboni

    My twin sister and I tried oil pulling for the first time. Here’s the video. Our initial reactions are probably what everyone who first tried it goes through, but it’s all good :) Here it is Stay swishing my friends!!

  • Nicole Smith

    I definitely want to try this trick.

  • Megan

    I’ve been thinking about trying this for a while now. Thanks for the review!!

    xo Megan, Lush to Blush

  • sherree

    I’ve done oil pulling for almost a year now, but use sesame oil. It works so well because to removes all the bacteria from the mouth. Helps so you get sick less as well. Will have to try the coconut oil.

  • disqus_pf09UskxZu

    do you have to melt the coconut oil first?

  • Joni

    Hmmm… I’m not sure I could swish anything in my mouth for 5 minutes, let alone 20. Without swallowing it? How is that possible?

  • Shae

    Also, some people have different levels of acidity in their mouths due to the pH of their saliva making them more or less prone to cavities…I would hope you know that as a dentist.

    • Lola

      While that’s true, an acidic mouth is by no means applicable to everyone and caused by factors such as hormonal imbalance, constantly eating acidic foods and frequently drinking soft drinks and medical conditions such as acid reflux. I didn’t mention it before because it is hardly relevant to oil pulling. Some people might try to argue that coconut oil has an alkalizing effect but oils in general are poor buffers and although the pH varies slightly from brand to brand, in general coconut oil’s pH range is pretty neutral and not an effective buffer. If you have an acidic mouth, try frequently sipping water: it’s neutral, will flush the acid away and it’s more cost-effective. And again, even if you have an acidic mouth if you brush and floss you can prevent cavities. Acid provides a good environment for bacteria to proliferate but if you physically remove them then they cannot cause cavities. The real problem with an acidic mouth is erosion, but I won’t go into that here because it has nothing to do this article. So yeah, I would know that but it’s hardly relevant.

  • Jen

    You actually don’t want to brush with toothpaste after, as you are just “retoxing” by adding a bunch of chemicals back into your system. Salt water rinsing and brushing with warm water after (I water swish, water brush, then water rinse after oil pulling) is all you need to do… and of course floss if you like with PLAIN floss!

  • sleepyxpanda

    I’ve tried this… how do you do it without wanting to VOMIT?!!!

  • Carlie

    As I am graduating from dental hygiene school in 2 months, I did a research project on oil pulling. Coconut oil is the best to use as sesame oil has proinflammatory components that can hinder the benefits. Overall the problem with oil pulling is people think they can replace brushing and flossing with this method, but wishing with ANYTHING does NOT GET THE FLUOD INTO THE GUMS! It has to be mechanically forced with an instrument hense why you are supposed to floss and brush towards the gums and get dental cleanings every 3-6 months. This does decrease the oral bacterial load on the cheeks and tongue etc which holds bacteria that can lead to inflammation of the gums so as long as you continue to brush and floss, it’s a great ADDITION to an oral routine :)

  • Stephanie, Sandpaper and Glue

    I’ve been oil pulling for a little over a month now and have definitely noticed stronger teeth/gums and reduced breakouts as well! I always do it right before bed because mornings are a little hectic, but it’s at least still several hours after a meal.

  • Dona`

    Hi everyone. This is a “fun” site. Where I can appreciate being an editor and all…do not take on so much.. Smell the roses, love the sunshine on your shoulders, and know this is just a great place to get away from work, and find new and exciting ideas, suggestions, recipes…Leave work outside this site and just enjoy! You are so worth it! Have a great week end everyone!

  • erzzy

    Wrong “its”: I chose to use coconut oil because of it’s strong a

    • alisha

      Actually she used the correct form. Your sentence would read “I chose to use coconut oil because of it is strong…”

      • alisha

        Oops never mind! I read your comment wrong. Good catch!

  • Lydia

    I work for a company, Kuumba Made, that make beautiful Botanically Infused Coconut Oils. The Rose Infused Coconut Oil has actual Rose Petals AND Rose OTTO Essential Oil infused in it, made by hand and in small batches. There are about 9 other infusions like: Calendula, Lavender, Pinon, Sage, Vanilla, Coffee, Mochalicious, Jasmine, and Rosemary. They are also great to use in your hair!! I’ve used the Vanilla Infused Coconut Oil for my own oil pulling! Who knew your mouth could taste like an actual Almond Joy WHILE BEING cleaned??!! Check this company out…

  • Julia

    Definitely trying this for a hangover. Anymore hangover help suggestions?!

  • Diane

    I’ve been ‘pulling’ for about 6 months now. I started because I’d read it was good for clearing blemishes. I’m 66 years old and have tried everything under the sun to keep my skin clear. This worked! I use Coconut oil, swish for about 20 minutes while in the shower, and if I miss more than 3 or 4 days, I have breakouts! I’m hooked!

  • Kay

    Yes, I might try this. I use coconut oil as a makeup remover and makes my skin really nice. It’s also really good on our hair :) as many of us know already :)

  • Leticia

    I’m trying this for the first time as we speak after reading this =).. Just a quick question does anyone know if the salt water after is necessary or? Thanks x

  • shutupandmodel

    I did oil pulling for a week, its awesome!!
    I put a glob of it in my mouth the first time and it was SICK!!
    I warm it up then take a spoonful, its much more manageable that way

  • Lex

    I love reading this because I’m in dental hygiene school right now and this is exactly what we talk about and tell our patients. Even if it does work, it will never replace the mechanical removal of biofilm with a toothbrush, flossing, and still getting your teeth cleaned every 6 months. If people think oil pulling works, by all means feel free to do so, but it doesn’t replace anything you’ve been told to do by a dentist or dental hygienist.

  • ambar

    I hope you keep us informed of how is doing after a couple weeks :) I’d like to know

  • Balance

    Why are you even on this website? You aggressive unprofessional mannerless, bully. Carry on in your 100 year old practice and let others get on with always looking to better themselves and the world around them. If you have nothing nice to say, just change your browsers contents. No one needs your passive aggressive self riteous, self-proclaimed genius, advice on here.

    • Hope4311

      My thoughts precisely Balance! :)
      Why Lola feels the need to attack LC’s post is beyond me. Agree or disagree with the oil pulling fad…either is fine by me. Post the facts about why it doesn’t work but don’t lash out at her for trying it and accuse her of encouraging poor hygiene!
      @Lola – I stated that you were jumping to conclusions by saying that SHE (Lauren) is promoting oil pulling in luei of teeth brushing when SHE (Lauren) said nothing of the sort! So THAT is the conclusion you jumped to. Again – READ what people write!

      • rainbowgirl

        Balanced – you are on here accusing a dental profession of ‘bullying’ for stating well-known FACTS against the points in the article and asking why she is even on the site? Health professionals tend to want to advise the public on issues related to their field to best direct them in their self-care – and BTW, I believe Erica Martin is the one that resorted to name calling and aggressive accusations in the first place, so how exactly is she not the bully, but the professional trying to inform the public about proper oral health is??
        Also, I find it funny that you talk about a dental professional carrying on with 100 year old practices??? The whole crux of the oil pulling argument is based on its historical use (i.e. bc there is no peer-reviewed research that supports its use over current dental practices)! I don’t know what dentist you’re going to but registered practitioners these days are constantly implementing state of the art techniques and equipment to best treat the pts needs and are constantly looking to for improved treatment approaches.
        Just because someone calls you out for making fact-less statements doesn’t make them unprofessional – it makes them informed and, in this case, a lot more caring about other peoples health then someone who is promoting a frivolous anecdote.
        Erica Martin, seriously, you got owned so just get over it. Its not really Lola that’s disagreeing with you so much as its science and the American Dental Association. The whole reason it seems that Lola made the comment in the manner she did was because the article is very misleading and requires assumptions about the use of oil pulling by uninformed readers. This creates confusion among the public and may lead to serious dental problems as a consequence. Hence, its an irresponsible article. As health professionals it gets very frustrating explaining to a patient that they require invasive treatments (ie: root canal therapy) because they tried some ancient miracle cure for 3 months instead of coming into the dentist because some blog said its magic- but hey, you don’t have to deal with these patients and you read blogs so you know better than a dentist, science and the ADA. Lastly, I’m not sure you understand how the whole science thing works – you are asking Lola to provide proof that oil pulling doesn’t work?!? The fact that there is no scientific evidence that proves the claims made here IS essentially the evidence your looking for in itself – if there was evidence it would be all over this board (and, in fact if it did work it would be supported by the ADA). Generally scientists don’t spend to much time and money trying to prove something doesn’t work, when there is no evidence in the first place that it ever did work! But if you really want proof that it doesn’t do anything but waste money and 20 minutes of your day, you can do this – continue to oil pull, don’t go to the dentist and in 3 years see how your teeth, gums, mucosa, throat, and esophagus are and come back and report it to everyone!

        • Hope4311

          How did I get “owned” when I neither agree nor disagree with oil pulling to begin with?!?!?! I jump to the defense of people who are being beat up on and misquoted/misinterpreted. That was and is my only beef here as I was very clear about that.

          Note to self : Never write a post on my blog about something that I am trying out or that states my opinion about anything…

          I don’t have time for anymore of this non-sense!

      • Lola

        Erica Martin, first of all Lauren Conrad didn’t write this article. Which makes me wonder if you actually even read past the title or are just lashing out at me because I don’t agree with something posted on a website by someone you probably idolize. Secondly, I didn’t jump to conclusions which I what I tried to tell you in the previous comment (which I’m guessing you also didn’t read- against your own advice). I merely pointed out the fact that it was very misleading not to emphasize putting proven oral hygiene techniques first and opens the door for people to mistake this as an alternative. As you said, agree or disagree it’s fine by you. I didn’t agree with the oil pulling fad and pointed out the lack of factual evidence. Respect that. Please take your own advice and read what people write. Also, I didn’t attack anyone but you actually attacked me on a personal level by calling me a “freakin moron”. This takes away from any shred of credibility you had and is just plain hypocritical.

        • Hope4311

          Wow…I’m so sorry that I didn’t say “Team LC” instead of Lauren but I think we all know what was meant. Since we’re getting all nit-picky here, I guess I should run spell check and a grammar check on my replies as well! Ha! (Insert sarcasm here)

          #1 – You think I am defending this because I idolize Lauren??? That is just comical! I am a grown woman and do not “idolize” anyone. Not that it really matters but this is only the second article I’ve even read this site. So no, I’m not a groupie that hangs around this site to defend it. But I will defend anyone that is having words put into their mouths. Notice how I didn’t call anyone else out but you? There were plenty of people saying that oil pulling is ridiculous, but those people weren’t falsely claiming that this post was intentionally leading people down the road to bad oral hygiene.

          #2 – You did jump to conclusions! Show me where in THIS ARTICLE it says to use this exclusively as a natural alternative to conventional oral hygiene care??? You can’t because it’s not in there!
          I was fine with all of the facts you posted in your first comment, until this…”It’s a shame, this site should be promoting scientifically proven ways
          to take control of your oral health, not encouraging people to forego
          good habits to try some ridiculous opinion-based fad that will leave
          them going to the dentist multiple times for fillings and root canals
          instead of check ups every six months to a year…and this is coming
          from a dentist”.
          As I said before, the article did not say to forego anything. That is called jumping to a conclusion my dear. I guess the first line of the article should have read, in big bold letters – WARNING : THIS POST CONTAINS OPINIONS. Would it then have been ok for her to post her thoughts on the matter?? I guess every blog post everyone in the world ever writes should include a huge disclosure at the top of the page to make people like you happy.

          #3 – The bottom line is, you didn’t have to be accusatory in your comment. The FACTS were just fine. If you had merely posted the facts, this whole unnecessary conversation could have been avoided and I’d have about 15 minutes of my life back.

          And now I am closing the door on this ridiculousness. Respond if you wish but I can’t stand to read or write on it any longer.

    • Lola

      1. I am on this website because I generally enjoy all of the articles posted on here, but when an article is written about a subject close to my heart I tend to get passionate about it and will not compromise fact for fiction. Dental caries is the single most common disease in children. It’s heartbreaking to have children coming into my office every day crying because they’re in pain due to a dental infection. All because their parents passed on their bad habits to their kids or tried out a new fad instead of something that has proven to work. I am sorry if I offended you, however everything that I said was neither mannerless, untrue nor unprofessional. I think that you just feel insulted because I made logical arguments against the content of this article and you’re just trying to gang up on me. Or maybe you’re just a Lauren Conrad fan who gets emotional when people disagree with an article posted on her website. I also think it’s funny that you’re calling me an aggressive, manner-less bully when you’re the one who has resorted to name calling and insulting me as a person. If you don’t agree with me that’s fine, but don’t resort to pettiness, I am sure you’re a good person in reality and are better than that. Read the research and put an informed and different opinion forward.

      2. You say you’re trying to better yourself and the world around you- I am trying to help you better yourself by giving you professional and proven advice and warning you that oil pulling isn’t going to help you. You’re trusting what this author has told you, but she doesn’t actually have any dental knowledge. This isn’t an insult to her, I am merely pointing this out. I do have this knowledge and you have dismissed everything I have said and resorted to insults, probably because you just don’t like what I said. It just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

      3. How can I be aggressive and passive aggressive at the same time?
      4. This advice is not self-proclaimed. It’s proclaimed by every major dental board in the world, the scientific community and health professionals worldwide. It’s not genius either, it’s really common sense if you read the research or pick up a textbook.

      5. You said my practice is 100 years old- I am assuming because you think that I’m stuck in the dark ages for suggesting something that’s been around for a long time in favor of some new fad. Brushing twice a day and flossing daily is not archaic- it is still being proven to this day in the most recent journals by scientists trying to better the world and those around them- which is why it is the gold standard. It would be irresponsible for a professional to suggest something like oil pulling with no proof that it works instead of the most recent peer-reviewed research. And by the way- oil pulling was used back in ancient times in India, but it didn’t work. That’s why it fell out of favor and never became a mainstream way of keeping your teeth healthy.

  • Alejo ArenasPerez

    Lauren or Lauren team, i havema question, I’ve been reading about this before I try it, but i think, is it mandatory to brush my teeth after spit the coconut oil or can I eat and then brush. Thank you so much, I love your posts

  • Manduf

    Great article on someone TRYING it out and giving her opinion about the fad. Reading some of the comments below is so frustrating. People jump to conclusions and don’t think. Who in their right mind would substitute oil pulling with brushing and flossing their teeth? Maybe someone who isn’t doing their research and to those people I would highly suggest it. For the rest of us with common sense, I see oil pulling as a possible extra benefit to my teeth aside from brushing and flossing. The detoxification factor of it also really interests me. I’ll mention the article to my friend because she has been having issues with her acne particularly on the chin and jawline so that would be an aspect of this that would interest her. It’s a great article about someone’s up-to-date experience with oil pulling. Thank you for being non-bias about the subject and completely leaving it up to the readers to try it out.
    (Also, great little subtle tips for what to do and what not to do! Great reminders.)


    We are all permitted to our opinions, remember to respect those of others by speaking/responding in a respectful manner. It’s easy to get carried away with messaging online.

  • Michelle

    I love oil pulling! Helps clear my sinuses and whiten my teeth naturally!

    I would suggest getting a tongue scraper too for after pulling. They’re available at Target or any drug store. The scraper really helps with the bad breath and will get off any excess oil that might have re-solidified on your tongue. It also helps to not have everything taste like coconut for the rest of the day.

  • beautybysamxox

    can you do this at night also?

    • Quinn

      Yes! I actually try and do it morning and night right before I go to bed. If you’re only going to do it once a day, though, it’s definitely recommended to do so in the morning on an empty stomach as the article says!

  • Nina Parr

    Interesting comment thread! I can see there are a lot of mixed feelings about oil pulling. I thought I’d share my experience… In 2012 I started oil pulling because I was doing some research online and came across this site that claimed oil pulling could take care of skin disorders. I still don’t know what I had but I would get these little bumps that would itch and then spread, and then go away the next day. So weird. But the awesome thing, they completely disappeared after I started oil pulling (I think it took 2 weeks, maybe less)? But on top of that, I noticed my breath was fresher, like Lauren mentioned. My teeth did not get whiter but I noticed a huge difference with allergies! That was icing on the cake for me. My allergies improved by about 90%! That’s huge! My skin also felt smoother and the dark circles under my eyes were lighter. I don’t know why oil pulling works, but I guess it has been around for centuries – and for a good reason…. I know other people who have claimed it helped them with arthritis, psoriasis, and even cancer! I’d say just give it a try before you knock it. It’s really not that weird to have it in your mouth for 15 minutes, especially when you are distracted by doing something else. I love checking email in the morning when I do my oil pulling. Thanks for writing this Lauren, glad to know it really does work for others!

  • aabi

    i will try this, thanks !!

  • Brittany

    I purchased a thing of coconut oil and tried this. Literally as soon as I put it in my mouth it turned to instant liquid. Is that what’s supposed to happen? Could I have a bad jar of coconut oil?

    • Quinn

      Coconut oil melts at about 75 degrees so yes, it’s definitely supposed to melt in your mouth almost instantly! :)

  • Rachel

    I’ve been doing this for the past few weeks now and I love it! I feel likeI have more energy and that my teeth are glistening more! It’s a great start to my morning! I drink a glass of water after but I figured it would work the same way!

  • Amber

    I’ve noticed some criticizing on her grammar. This is not an article, its a blog. They may write how they see fit. Most blogs are based off personal thought processes. Not something written in the times or another media outlet. Enjoy what you’re reading and be happy you read it.

  • Savannah

    Do you even get to eat? If you do the detoxification, the rinse with salt water, then brush and floss, when do you get to have breakfast?

  • Mimi

    I’m gonna try this. A really easy way to be a bit healthier!

  • Texasamy

    I have been oil pulling since last summer and the biggest benefit I have seen is that I no longer have “morning breath”. It also keeps me from having dry mouth, my teeth are whiter and have very little plaque. My husband refuses to try it and his breath in the morning is awful!!! I sometimes use a CoQ10 tablet along with my oil pulling if I feel I need some help with an infection.

  • xarra

    Do not drink anything before you oil pull.

  • Richard Buck

    There isn’t much research on oil pulling BUT there is some and
    it is slightly favorable. Oil Pulling will prevent cavities by
    prohibiting the bacteria that case it. It takes effect after doing it at
    least a week. I guess my only question is why would you do that when
    the dentist has given you better and faster acting remedies. Even if you
    are holistic there are faster and better remedies. Now as for
    whitening… there hasn’t been any studies done. But I would bet that
    hydrogen peroxide works way better and faster. Here is the scientific
    and peer reviewed research. Also I will post my website.

  • Pretty

    I have been oil pulling for 3yrs now and aside from great oral health, my physical health has improved. I would tell anyone to do this. My mom has been doing it since before I was born.

  • Signe

    Do you have to swish with salt water afterwards or is it optional? :-)

  • Ellie

    Does anyone know the overall risks of oil pulling and the long term affects (if any)? I don’t want to start something that has such little research and have to deal with the affects for the rest of my life.

  • sophie glynn

    This is absolute nonsense. I am a professional in Oral Health. The fats, sugar and carbs in coconut oil (no matter how natural) would only feed the bacteria that are constantly in our mouths. Plaque is the result of the bacteria eating what you eat and their excretions (AKA their poo). The only way to remove plaque and REDUCE bacteria counts is mechanically, by brushing and flossing with a fluoridated toothpaste. We will always have bacteria in our mouths, you just have to clean up after them twice a day.

  • Annick

    COils and white sugar mix together gently makes the best body and face exfoliation it’s AMAZING and if you want to exoliate your lips the bonus is …. It taste great



for a front-row VIP pass to all things lovely and chic. Sign up today for exclusive tips straight from Lauren, a chance to win monthly giveaways, and so much more.

sign up