Oil Pulling For Whitening Teeth: Does It Really Work?

Natural Teeth Whitening

My journey with oil pulling began on a very vain note; I wanted whiter teeth. On a few different dentist visits the well-meaning hygienists suggested, without me inquiring, that my teeth could be much whiter if I started using custom whitening trays. Considering I thought my teeth looked fine (albeit aging gracefully), I was somewhat put off by these suggestions.I began to think that perhaps I should invest in these trays and did a little research to discover the following.

What Is Oil Pulling?

Oil pulling is an ancient ritual that dates back 3,000 years which involves swishing oil in your mouth and “pulling” it through your teeth for approximately 20 minutes as soon as you wake up. Recommended oils are sesame, olive, or coconut oil. I use coconut oil as I love the taste and it contains anti-bacterial properties. It is recommended you use one tablespoon of oil. Once you have sufficiently pulled, it is very important to discard the oil into the trash, and not swallow it. The oil contains all of the toxins that you are trying to rid from your body. Afterwards rinse your mouth with water and brush with toothpaste (flouride-free is recommended).


Does Oil Pulling Really Work?

The oil acts as a cleanser pulling toxins out of our mouths and bodies that we accumulate from everyday life. Although 20 minutes a day might seem daunting, it is easy if you do it in conjunction with another task. I do it while I am making the kids’ lunch for school each morning. If I don’t have time for the full 20 minutes, I at least do 10. If I need an extra boost of immune support, I add doTERRA Essential Oils depending on the issue. Lemon if I’m fighting a cold, clove if I’m having mouth issues, and oregano for swollen glands.

Natural Way To Whiten Teeth

I say “discovered” loosely as this is an ancient technique with its roots deep in Ayurveda, yet it has also become a recent trend in the health + wellness community. More important than just teeth whitening, I learned about the myriad health benefits associated with this technique including: -Joint Health -Heart Health -Immune Health -Detoxification -Circulatory Health -Reduced Teeth Sensitivity -Gum Health Also a bonus surprise benefit for me, daily oil pulling helps reduce my TMJ (Temporomandibular joint dysfunction). For this reason alone I oil pull every day and have been doing so now for a year and a half. Whether my teeth have become whiter, I’m not really sure nor do I really care, as all of these health benefits outweigh any vain attempt for whiter teeth. And since starting this practice, I have not been recommended teeth whitening services anymore.


Side Effects Of Artificial Whitening

The active ingredient in teeth whitening is Carbamide Peroxide, a peroxide-bleaching agent. -Teeth whiteners are not classified as drugs; therefore the FDA does not regulate them. -Pregnant and lactating women should not use a teeth whitening substances. -Not recommended for people under the age of 13. -Most common side effects are gum sensitivity and tissue irritation if swallowed. Although my research was unclear as to how “safe” these bleaching ingredients were, I felt uneasy about putting trays of gel in my mouth for 1-4 hours at a time with the potential to accidentally ingest some of the ingredients that could inflame my body. Also what about the gel that gets on your gums? We are surrounded by toxins every day, the last thing I needed was to add another potential toxin to my already compromised immune system. I decided to research alternative methods and discovered oil pulling.


Although I certainly cannot prove if any of these health claims by oil pulling have scientific backing, Dr. John Douillard, who specializes in Ayurveda, has does some research on this topic and would be a good resource if you are interested in learning more. Have you ever tried oil pulling? If not would you ever start? Do your research to feel confident of taking it up. Happy pulling!