Coconut Oil Pulling
Do it Yourself Teeth Whitening with Coconut Oil

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What is Oil Pulling?

Did you know that people only started brushing their teeth after the 1930s!! Why is it then that most of them managed to keep their teeth healthy and strong until they passed away? The answer is that they ate a different diet to what we eat today. Mostly void of all the unnecessary sugars that we take in. But, there were also other natural methods of maintaining good oral hygiene, including the process of “oil pulling.”

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Oil pulling has been used for many years as a detoxifying treatment. It does not just clean the inside of your mouth, but because it removes harmful bacteria and toxins from those areas, it prevents all types of other problems in the process. The health of the inside of your mouth has a lot to do with systemic health (the health of your entire body). 

How is coconut oil pulling done?

You swirl about a tbsp of the oil around in your mouth for a few minutes (recommended time is 10 - 20 minutes)  and “pull” it through your teeth to get rid of the germs and bacteria between them. So you are literally pulling coconut oil between your teeth. 

Don’t swish the oil around too aggressively, as this may cause your jaw to tire. You will then spit it out and rinse your mouth with water before proceeding to brush your teeth. Don't forget to floss ;-) This is done morning and evening or more if possible.

Once the mixture in your mouth has turned milky, it is filled with harmful organisms, viruses and bacteria! 

You can use coconut oil instead of your usual mouthwash. Can be done once a day (most effective on an empty stomach in the morning).  You should notice a fresher breath within a week of doing this. Within a month of oil pulling treatment you should see improved dental and gum health.

How does it work?

The human mouth contains on average about 50,000 organisms on each tooth. Any microorganism coming into contact with an oil will adhere to the oil.

Coconut oil is especially useful because it contains antibacterial properties, therefore killing all harmful bacteria in the mouth. Streptococcus Mutans is the bacteria in the mouth that causes tooth decay and disease of the gums. Coconut oil is effective at getting rid of these strains of bacteria.

What Wikipedia says about Oil Pulling.

A few interesting quotes:

‘It is also suggested that by increasing the secretion of saliva, oil pulling uses the salivary glands in the mouth as a detoxifying organ: the saliva can trap the toxin within the oil particles.’

‘A 2012 - AIT, Ireland - study[citation needed] indicates that coconut oil which has been partially digested (or enzyme modified) by saliva is more effective as an antifungal and antibacterial, than natural coconut oil. Amongst the pathogens tested were Candida albicans and Streptococcus mutans which are most often related to oral health issues.'

Read the rest here

The Lauric acid found in coconut oil is antimicrobial, which means that it has the ability to kill viruses, and fungi too. Microorganisms can enter the bloodstream via your mouth, and this often happens during dental visits, so why not make sure that you have less of these harmful substances in your mouth? You could prevent many systemic problems. Bacteria in the mouth has been proven to cause all types of issues such as pneumonia, meningitis, and sinusitis.

Simply looking after your teeth and gums can improve your overall health in many ways. By removing the harmful bacteria in your mouth, you prevent it from causing other issues in your body. Some issues that may be remedied with the regular use of coconut oil include: getting rid of bad breath, preventing the yellowing of teeth (coconut oil teeth whitening) and preventing gum inflammation, gingivitis and cavities.

Oil pulling on its own cannot replace proper oral hygiene though, and should only be used to improve on this.

Some may be allergic to coconut oil, if this is the case you can use black seed oil or sesame seed oil. Always first check with your dentist. 


  • Do not swallow the oil after oil pulling, spit it out
  • Do not spit your coconut oil into the sink, but rather into the bin (I spit mine into the garden ;-). Cases of diarrhea and upset stomach have been reported in areas where coconut oil was spat into sinks. The oil can also clog the pipes.
  • Brush your teeth only after the oil pulling process.

A few Tooth Whitening Tips

  • If you can only do 5 min of oil pulling, it’s better than nothing
  • You might notice a runny nose after oil pulling, this is normal.
  • If you feel you want to gag, use less coconut oil. 

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Coconut Oil Pulling Benefits

The benefits of coconut oil pulling are so vast that its difficult to mention them all here, but Coconut oil pulling has been used traditionally to:

  • Prevent and remedy tooth decay.
  • Even if you are only really interested in coconut oil for teeth whitening, it's worth a try. Does coconut oil whiten teeth? Well, some believe it does. Why not try it for a few weeks and share your results here with us below in our comment box.
  • Another advantage is that you can avoid bad breath. The germs in your mouth are often the culprits that cause bad breath.
  • To reduce inflammation and bleeding associated with gingivitis.
  • Soothes cracked lips as an added advantage. Use our recipe below and rub the coconut piece on your lips before putting it in your mouth. 
  • The benefits of oil pulling with coconut oil often include the relief of gum and tooth sensitivity.
  • Boosts the immune system and is detoxifying.
  • Kill yeast infections including oral thrush. Coconut oil is often used on the breasts of a mother and the inside of a baby's mouth to treat and prevent yeast infections.
  • Reduction of headaches and sinus issues.
  • Skin issues are reported to improve, some to note: acne, eczema, psoriasis.
  • Improving systemic health (health of your body as a whole)
  • Those suffering from a “dry mouth” will benefit from the moisturizing properties of coconut oil.
  • Some have experienced weight loss from coconut oil pulling.

The many health benefits of coconut oil

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Adding Essential Oils
for the Best Coconut Oil for Oil Pulling

Add 2 drops of your choice of essential oil to 2 tbsp of coconut oil. Some to choose from: 

  • Tea Tree oil  - For treating inflammation, it is also anti-fungal and antibacterial
  • Lavender oil - Healing to your gums.
  • Clove oil and cinnamon oil - Boosting the immune system during colds and flu. Clove oil is also great for deadening sensitive places in the mouth or for a toothache. 

DIY Coconut Bites for Coconut pulling

oil pulling coconut oil, coconut oil pulling teeth, brushing teeth with coconut oil, coconut oil to whiten teeth, coconut oil on teethCoconut Recipe for Oil Pulling

This specific recipe is especially useful for preventing flu and for those with sore places in their mouths and toothache. You can use other essential oils if you don't like the taste or you can go without the essential oils.


  • 10 to 20tbsp coconut oil (depending on how strong you want the essential oils)
  • 6 drops of tea tree
  • 4 drops of clove oil

coconut oil whiten teeth, coconut oil teeth whitener, brush teeth with coconut oil, is coconut oil good for your teethPouring the coconut oil into molds.


  • Melt your Virgin coconut oil over low heat on the stove (do not microwave it).
  • Add your essential oils and mix well.
  • Pour your oil into small molds.
  • Put into fridge until it sets.

Remove from molds and keep in a glass container for easy access in the mornings. If you live in warmer temperatures, you might want to keep your jar in the fridge. 

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References and Resources

Other pages in the cocopalmtree you might be interested in:

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