I’m a big fan of oil pulling. I’ve shared before how I originally started this age-old practice and why I eventually started using coconut oil for oil pulling instead.
Why Oil Pulling?
If you aren’t familiar with oil pulling, it is simply swishing oil (usually sesame or coconut oil) in the mouth for a period of time (5-20 minutes) and then spitting it out in the trash. It is said to help reduce plaque and coconut oil is naturally antibacterial and even said to kill the specific bacteria that causes cavities.
The idea is that the oil is able to reach and help remove harmful substances in the mouth like bacteria and plaque. Unlike alcohol-based mouthwashes and regular toothpaste, oil may be able to reach parts of the gum and between the teeth and the naturally antibacterial properties of oils like coconut may help break down bacteria.
Many people report that their teeth and gums feel much cleaner when using oil pulling regularly. Others notice that bad breath goes away. Personally, I saw a reduction in gum swelling and in plaque on my teeth and my dentist commented on how clean and plaque-free my teeth were after I added oil pulling to my oral health routine.
What Oil Pulling Won’t Do…
Some online sources claim that oil pulling can help with everything from acne to sore throat and even reduce the chance of heart disease, but I haven’t been able to find any actual evidence to back up these claims, other than the fact that good oral hygiene is important for overall health. Oil pulling probably won’t be a miracle cure for your acne or health problems, but there is a good chance it will promote healthier teeth and gums, especially if used in combination with other good oral health practices.
Coconut Oil Pulling Chews
The other day when making coconut oil chocolate in little heart molds, I realized that I could simplify the oil pulling process by making pre-made, bite-size oil pulling chews.
Lately, I’ve been experimenting with adding essential oils to oil for oil pulling to improve the taste and to get the added benefits of the essential oil and I decided to pre-add the essential oils as well. My favorites so far have been essential oils that are naturally found in toothpaste, like peppermint and clove. As with any essential oil, make sure that oils used for oil pulling are safe for oral use.
The result was simple-to-use pre-mixed oil pulling chews. I keep these in the fridge so they maintain their shape and also so that they are cool when I use them since it helps with the texture at the beginning. In fact, for my kids who have trouble with the texture of coconut oil, I’ve found that keeping these in the fridge so they can “chew” them first helps a lot.
Oil Pulling Chews -Ingredients
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 20-30 drops of essential oil (peppermint, cinnamon, clove, etc- check with a doc or midwife if you are pregnant, nursing, or before using on children)
- Melt the coconut oil until just barely liquid.
- Remove from heat and add essential oils.
- Pour into silicon candy molds and put in the fridge or freezer to harden.
- When done, remove from molds and store in a jar.
- Use one per day as needed for oil pulling.
Other Healthy Mouth Recipes:
I’ve always been fascinated by oral health, and after I was able to use a combination of diet, supplements and oral health products to reverse a cavity, I’ve made these methods a priority for our whole family. These are some of the other recipes and methods we use:
- Homemade remineralizing toothpaste
- Simple whitening toothpaste recipe
- How to brush your teeth to fight bacteria in the mouth
Ever tried oil pulling? How did it work for you?
Discussion (226 Comments)
I never considered adding essential oils to my oil pulling before, but I love the idea. At first, using coconut oil was a little odd tasting, but I’ve grown to enjoy it. However, I love the idea of adding something different to the mix to keep things fresh and enjoyable! Thank for the wonderful idea!!
I love this idea. I have been oil pulling on and off for the last 6 months. I have seen a positive change in my teeth, whiter and less plaque. Sometimes, though, I’m too lazy in the mornings to grab a spoon, get the oil jar, try to eyeball how much I need, and then mix in an EO. I also like using peppermint, I love the fresh feeling it give my mouth. I will definitely have to try this. Maybe I will get back in the habit of oil pulling more regularly again 😉
Love the convenience of this! How many pieces would you make with 1/2 cup of coconut oil? Thanks!
It really depends on the mold. I wouldn’t recommend an abstract mold, the sharp edges might hurt your mouth! Try something small and simple, hearts or circles.
Great tips to learn about. Happy to have found your blog.
These are a great idea. Do you keep them refridgerated?
Now long do you oil pull everyday?
Thanks for posting. – Rose
It depends on the temperature of your house. Coconut oil melts around 76 degrees. Mercola recommends oil pulling for 30 minutes a day.
I have heard 15-20 minutes repeatedly from many…. 30 minutes can mean you start swishing around the bad stuff as well as the oil… should only take the 20 minutes max that is most often suggested.
You’ve done it again! Something so simple once someone thinks about it and passes it along – what an awesome idea and here I was trying to ‘scoop’ out the perfect amount of oil every morning 😀
I have attempted oil pulling but usually last a minute or two before the gag reflex kicks in. It’s very frustrating since I believe this practice may help my dental health. How do these chews work? Are they easier to use then liquid coconut oil?
The coconut oil will melt in your mouth so i bet it will still trigger your gag reflex. Just keep trying while increasing your time little by little. I couldn’t do it very long at the beginning. Good luck!
I started oil pulling yesterday, although I’m used to cocnut oil as have 2table spoons every day ,for few months .I have managed 3 mins. Then just feel had enough so get rid. So sure will be able to do longer as time goes on .too early for results to see yet I’m sure but will,carry on .
I found that the first few minutes were the hardest…try different amounts and you don’t need to be super vigorous with it. I find kinda pulling it back and forth on one side at a time helps.
you only need 1 tsp to a tablespoon, Heather. Two tablespoons is too much. You need to leave room for saliva and to swish 🙂
I think that she meant she eats the 2 tablespoons daily.
I had trouble with the gag reflex for awhile right towards the end of 20mins. Fixed it by resting my elbows on my knees while sitting & simply leaning forward with my mouth towards the floor.
Smart cookie to reposition your throat away from the back of your tongue.
Try putting a smaller amount in your mouth at a time. Along with with the mint or cinnamon it may help. And the longer you have it in your mouth the thinner it feels. To me bout half way through, it just feels like swishing water.
Try putting less oil in your mouth
Some coconut oils brands are easier to use. I used olive oil at first but switch to coconut because it’s supposed to be better. The first brand was aweful I had a hard time with the texture and the flavor and I just couldn’t do it. Recently I tried a different brand and the flavor and texture was MUCH better. I also think trying less at a time is helpful. Good luck 🙂
I’ve found that placing the solid coconut oil under my tongue and allowing it to completely melt before slowly starting the swishing made all the difference for me. I’m up to the full 20 min with no problems now.
I put mine in a shot glass inside another glass of super hot water to melt it. No way could I let it melt in my mouth….that would totally gag me.
Good idea! I gave up on this finding about swishing for 2 min felt like 2 hours. But I see I’m not the only person who felt this way. I think I can give it another go based on these suggestions. Thanks wellness mama community!
I have a very sensitive gag reflex as well. I can’t brush my teeth without gagging most of the time. A couple of things to try for oil pulling, first as others have mentioned try using a smaller amount and then working up to more, you will get a sense of how much to use. Next when your mouth starts to feel full and like you are going to gag spit some but not all of what’s in your mouth out so it isn’t so full and doesn’t touch the back of your throat (a key factor in the non-gagging I think). It also helps to start at 5-10 min and lengthen the time as it works for you, don’t worry about getting to 20 min, that will happen. I also find it very helpful to pull while getting ready for and showering. I think the distraction of doing other things along with the warm water is helpful but it’s also helpful not having to worry about cleaning anything if I have to spit it out or do gag. Oh and I find adding peppermint essential oil very helpful as well but that’s me another oil might work better for you if you don’t like peppermint, I have always planned to try orange and or lemon, tangerine… Hope this helps, pulling really is great in so many ways once you figure it out.
You don’t want to use citrus oils for oil pulling. No citrus is good against your teeth. It will eat enamel.
Thanks that was very helpful now I have more hope on getting this done.
Try using peppermint oil and a drop of clove oil and spearmint oil to help flavour the oil and add a pinch of baking soda and use the mixture as a toothpaste to brush your teeth and mouth with and swish after then spit it out follow with a floss then second brush and swish
Thank you. I was wondering if you could use baking soda mixed with the oils. I’m going to brush first and then try pulling. My coconut oil stays solid because I keep it in the fridge.
I’ve learned to lean forward. Helps with the gag reflex. And take a little less at a time.
What are your thoughts on oil pulling while nursing? Do you think it I safe to start while nursing?
Katie - Wellness Mama
I’ve done it while nursing, but always check with your Dr. if you’re worried about it.
Love this idea! I will definitely be making these. Thank you for the time you spend to give me such useful info for my family. I could spend hours here!
Best idea ever ive been meaning to try oil pulling but it just seemed too messy. Thank you !
I began oil pulling this past July using coconut oil but I have used extra virgin olive oil too. I just swish it in my mouth for 20 minutes daily while I am in the shower – spit out in a Dixie cup and throw in the garbage. I had my 6 month dental cleaning and check up in October. I noticed that I did not have as much blood when I rinsed after the hygienist cleaned my teeth and she was pleased that I had less plaque build up on my teeth. So, for me, oil pulling is helping with my oral hygiene so I will continue my daily regime. And, if I can do swish the oil for 20 minutes, I believe that anyone can.
I read your blog and I’m all about natural alternatives but the fact that you are still bleeding (maybe less… but still bleeding) means that you have an infection in your mouth and the source of the infection is still in there. Unfortunately oil pulling does not remove old plaque. All it does it makes the surface of your teeth more slippery and makes it harder for plaque to stick to, The only remedy for the bleeding is a good deep cleaning and prevention by proper flossing daily. There is also a saliva test now that can be done to determine what kind of bacteria is hanging around your mouth and how susceptible these bacteria make you to gum disease. Some bacteria are hard to get rid of because they are hidden inside the soft tissue instead of on teeth and for these bacteria the remedy is to have a specific antibiotic that needs to be taken by the patient to target them. By the way to prevent cavities baking soda is very helpful (sprinkled on toothbrush ) raises the ph of the mouth and makes it hard for caries to even start.
Would adding baking soda to water used in an irrigator be effective? Thx
Yes it would for pH correcting but it wouldn’t help scrape plaque off of your teeth.
Blood in your spit when getting teeth cleaned by the dentist can sometimes just be from where they poked your gum with the dental tool. The dental hygienist can tell you whether the blood is from ‘aggressive’ cleaning by them or whether it was actually your diseased gums.
That!s a cop out, I’m a student and because of that the chance of me causing bleeding is probably higher than a professional, however most of my patients do not bleed when I work, and those that do, generally have some sort of gingivitis.
This may seem strange, but eating sauerkraut can lift plaque without the needs for digging or scraping. I have a spot behind my bottom two front teeth that accumulates plaque into a thick pad that I will occasionally take to with a scraper to remove. However, I discovered when I started making my own homemade sauerkraut that eating it did the job for me.
Awesome, Paul. Thanks! I wonder if all fermented foods aid in the same way. We’ve been enjoying fermented salsa at our house.
Awesome thank you!
What scraper do you use?
My friend told me about oil pulling with coconut oil. Ha had chronic gingivitis and had been struggling with it for years. Also his teeth were very yellow and no amount of antibiotics or whiteness would solve his problems, but now that he uses oil pulling his gums are pink instead of red, they don’t bleed when he brushed, his teeth are whiter that ever, And no more mouth pain or bad breath! If he could fix it better with oil than antibiotics after years of dental help and prescriptions, I think the oils are definitely better, (there are many antibacterial oils that can be added) And better for you than artificial and abrasive whiteners too!
I had a gum infection from a popcorn skin, the dentist advised to swish with hydrogen peroxide for 5 minutes daily ’til it cleared up. It took a few days then was good. Dentist also said instead of paying for tooth whiteners, swish peroxide around teeth for 5 min a couple times a week.
Baking soda was recommended too, for changing acid balance in mouth. If mouth is too acidic, maybe from poor gut microbes or reflux, it will deteriorate the enamel on teeth and make them prone to weakness, plaque build-up and cavities.
You might even want to try Young Living Thieves Aromatic toothpaste. This DOES remove plaque, and with pulling. My dentist was SHOCKED at not having to clean off as much plaque from my teeth on my last visit, than she normally does. I told her it was from Oil pulling and the toothpaste! Its pricey BUT WORTH EVERY DIME!
Rinsing your mouth with hydrogen peroxide will heal your mouth of the bad bacteria and no more gingivitis.
You really shouldn’t use olive oil, safflower oil or linseed oil to pull since studies have shown those oils did not have an antimicrobial colonization effect on enamel of teeth. Sesame or coconut is best, organic.
one needs to be careful putting EO’s in plastic or Silicone molds in this case. The heated coconut oil, the silicone and EO’s = not healthy. No one has ever done long term studies on heating silicone so I never buy it as a muffin tin or mold to use in the oven. But I do know that the EO’s should be mixed in only glass.
Very good point. I don’t see why you’d really have to melt the oil before mixing it with EO’s. I usually just mash them together in a small glass bowl. I suppose it would be just fine mash them and put them into a candy mold then into the fridge until hardened. Maybe they have glass molds as well. The shapes might work better for kids but the coolness might be something an adult would like and maybe it would make it easier to tolerate when you first start chewing it up. Thanks for the idea.
If you read carefully, she does say melt to “just liquid”. With coconut oil, that is less than body temp. Oil is not hot. Also, depending on the oil you use, Citrus essential oils are the only ones that are a problem with using in plastic.
Actually, I disagree with this as I’ve worked with essential oils for over 20 years & have had some pretty nasty surprises. I’ve seen essential oils completely deform plastic containers to the point where they look like they had been melted over heat, even when diluted with carrier oils.
Just avoid plastic altogether when using essential oils. Glass or stainless steel only. Better yet, avoid storing even carrier oils in plastic. Plastics are porous to varying degrees & chemicals can leech out of them into your oils, completely defeating the purpose of using or making a natural product.
Right! I MELT my oils by putting it in a small glass mixing bowl, then place that bowl in hot water. Also, not towards you, but she didnt say HEAT THE SILICON MOLD. Just use the mold for smaller candy-sized pieces. But anyway. I enjoyed the article. My dentist wanted to do a root canal on one of my teeth. I couldn’t afford it. So I began oil pulling. And at my last appt. It looked normal so he completely forgot about it until I asked him to compare the two. ? I’m happy. #coconutrocks
Citric also breaks down tooth enamel- probably not ideal for pulling chews:)
I did use the silicone molds with cooled oils and put in fridge then in a glass jar as instructed I must say I liked this idea better than putting globs on a spoon each morning and this was my first day using it. I really enjoyed the neatness of this way of oil pulling and plan to continue in this way.
Would an ice cube tray suffice? I am going to try this but with the melted coconut oil and put in ice cube trays
1000% agree. Silicone is the “new” plastic in my opinion. I steer clear of both! Glass or stainless steel for this family!
As coconut oil melts at a *very* low temperature – even at body temperature – it wouldn’t be a problem to use silicone or even plastic to mold these chews (unless adding essential oils, in which case I’d stick to the silicone). In addition, the chews aren’t being stored in the plastic or silicone trays & are only in there long enough to set, making it incredibly unlikely that anything would leech into the oil in this case, especially in the cool interior of the fridge or freezer.
Silicones are also very different from plastics molecularly & don’t react like plastics do. Think about the simple example of putting a plastic tray in the oven vs a silicone tray. One will completely lose its form while the other will not. Both materials have very different heat tolerances, with silicone being able to withstand much higher temperatures. They’re not at all alike in this manner. I’d recommend doing some research on the origins & the differences between silicones & plastics. Both types of materials also come in different varieties, with some being more stable than others under different conditions. There’s a wealth of knowledge out there.
Ong! Thank you. I guess only a few of us read and understood the article. Thanks for your feedback.
Completely agree!!! Anyone who has researched using EOs with silicone would find that it is much different than using plastic.
Stainless steel has nickel in it, which is toxic, so not ideal for many things.
could the mold be lined with something benign to keep the EO’s from interacting with the plastic in the mold. I think even room temperature mixing would still extract the chemicals in the mold. Or what about freezing the mold first so the coldness makes the interaction less? Just thoughts to bat around.
Stainless steel has nickel in it, which is toxic, so not ideal for many things. Also, every essential oil I’ve ever bought has a plastic reducer on it so it drops proper, as it were. So ….
I gag as well.
I find it helps to add mouthwash with the oil.
Question is… Is this ok??
I am only able to do approx 10 min.
Guess I need to work on longer times now 🙂
I cant do the full 20 minutes myself. So I break it down to 2 (10 min each) or 3 (7min) increments and still get the 20 minutes in. Try that!!
I have been oil pulling for a few weeks. I can’t fit a whole tablespoon of oil in my mouth so I use less. It grosses me out. The way I avoid the full grossness is to get up before it’s time to get up in the morning. I take a spoon and just get some out of my jar, go back to bed and snooze swishing. It works for me. My teeth are getting whiter and the problem teeth I have with cavities are starting to change. It looks like they are filling in. Time will tell.
I don’t think this will work for me since during the summer, my jar of coconut oil I have in the bathroom just for oil pulling, melts to a liquid and stays there until the house temp goes down during cooler weather. I just use a spoon to scoop it ourt and swish during my shower. I suppose I could add EOs to my jar and mix, especially when the whole jar is already liquid. Thanks for the idea.