Teeth Whitening: What is Oil Pulling?

Understanding teeth whitening, and a technique called oil pulling, is essential to maintaining a healthy and beautiful smile. Although it might not be clear to everyone, some foods can have a huge impact on the health of their teeth, especially if consumed on a regular basis. When teeth get stained, it is sometimes difficult to restore them to their natural color.

What is oil pulling?

While teeth may seem like solid, dense material, they are actually porous. There are small holes that can trap food, which leads to tooth decay; some foods additionally can stain the teeth. Oil pulling is a method that entails holding a small amount of oil in the mouth while intermittently pulling the oil between the teeth for roughly fifteen minutes. The swishing of the oil serves to remove the bacteria from the teeth as well as in the regions between the teeth where cavities typically form.

Oil pulling as prevention

Oil pulling is a prime example of a preventive measure for treating the teeth by using a material beneficial for dental health. In addition to rinsing away bacteria and food particles, the high fat content of the oils serves to strengthen the teeth, thereby decreasing their porosity and reducing the likelihood that bacteria and food particles get trapped. Less porosity also means less opportunity for staining.

Best oils for oil pulling

Like everything else, not all oils are created equal. Oil pulling primarily derives its advantages from the fat content and antibacterial properties of the oil. Therefore, it is important to use coconut oil, sunflower oil or sesame oil. The strong toasted flavor of sesame oil may be difficult to pull for extended periods of time, so coconut oil and sunflower oil might be better choices for oil pulling, especially for inexperienced users.

There are other liquids that are beneficial to dental health. Just like the other oils, they can be pulled through the teeth or simply used as a mouthwash. One example includes vitamin E oil, which is important for connective tissue health. Some other liquids have teeth whitening properties that can help remove stains.

Oil pulling for beginners

While dental visits might seem intimidating and costly, oil pulling can easily be done by anyone. All that is needed is a spoonful of oil and about twenty minutes. Simply insert a spoonful of one of the oils mentioned above into the mouth and swoosh it around like mouthwash for about fifteen minutes. After the fifteen minutes have passed, simply rinse with water into the sink and enjoy a clean mouth!

Financial benefits

Practicing oil pulling can also have financial benefits. Protecting your teeth can potentially save hundreds if not thousands of dollars in dental treatments. Preventive measures such as oil pulling, in combination with an intensive brushing routine and regular dental visits, will be sure to keep the cavities at bay. In addition, it may help keep the teeth a more normal color, thereby avoiding the costs of potentially expensive teeth whitening treatments.


Many patients can benefit from the renewed confidence, better chewing and resistance to cavities that oil pulling provides. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, call our office today.

Are you considering teeth whitening in the Delray Beach area? Get more information at https://www.palmbeachdentistry.com.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Teeth Whitening.

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