How to do oil pulling: simple steps and tips

Table of Contents

How to do oil pulling? We are not talking about cooking or cars. Oil pulling is actually an ancient practice for maintaining oral hygiene and dental care. This practice goes back to ancient India, more specifically Ayurvedic practices. Now, not to get off the track, let us tell you what you will read in this article. We will go through the basic instructions and suitable oils for this practice. So not to give everything away at the beginning, let’s see the first and most important practice on how to do oil pulling.

How to do oil pulling in 4 steps

This practice might sound complicated, but in fact, it is pretty simple and easy to do. Let us give you the instructions for how to do oil pulling”. Before getting to the steps, you will need edible types of oils. The most popular choices are coconut oil, sesame seed oil, sunflower seed oil, and olive oil

Step 1: Measure 1 tablespoon of oil of your choosing.

Step 2: Swish the oil in your mouth for 15-20 minutes.

Step 3: Spit out the oil and do not swallow.

Step 4: Rinse your mouth with warm water.

There you go! Easy peasy! You might be intimidated by the duration you have to swish the oil in your mouth. We know 15-20 minutes might seem a long time. We agree, and the feeling of oil in the mouth can be quite unbearable. Well nobody said it was easy. But let’s remedy that!

Tips on how to do oil pulling

Use a good quality oil. Coconut oil is one of the best kinds to go with. Lauric acid, which is an important component of coconut oil, has anti-inflammatory properties and can reduce plaque formation.

Start small, and by small we mean you can swish just for a few minutes and gradually build your tolerance. Basically, you are training for the oil-pulling championship! Because the benefits of oil pulling lie in the duration, you swish the oil in your mouth. Speaking of time, that brings us to the next part of our article.

Which oil is best for this practice?

Sesame oil and coconut oil are considered the best oils for oil pulling. They are chosen for their taste and their oil consistency, which makes them easy to swish around in the mouth. Most people prefer sesame or coconut oil because they have a neutral flavor, while others prefer the taste of sunflower or olive oil. Avocado oil is a less commonly used oil but can also be used.

However, finding the best oil is based on individual preference, so it’s a good idea to try different oils to see which works best for you.

How often should I do it?

No need to overdo this oral health practice. Preferably try to do oil pulling once a day. And continue the practice it every day. This way you can see the beneficial effects of it on your teeth and oral hygiene.

When is the best time? In the morning or before bed

There is no specific time to do oil pulling during the day. But to gain exceptional health benefits from this practice, some suggest the best time is in the morning on an empty stomach. So, before starting your morning routine of grabbing your toothbrush and brushing your teeth, go for oil pulling instead.

What if you do not have time for a morning routine? Not to worry. Even if you decide to do oil pulling at another time during the day, it is recommended to do it on an empty stomach. If you have eaten wait for at least 3 hours.

Does oil pulling need to be done on an empty stomach?

Ideally, yes. That is why it is recommended to do oil pulling in the morning, before brushing your teeth. Some anecdotal evidence suggests that doing oil pulling on an empty stomach without even having a sip of water in the morning helps release the most saliva. This will help get most of the bad bacteria from your mouth. The more saliva you have the less likely you are to develop tooth decay and bad breath.

If you do it on a full stomach, you would not have any serious problems. But with a full stomach, the process of saliva-making slows down. With less saliva, the antimicrobial effects will be less effective.

What to do after oil pulling?

When you have finished swishing the oil in your mouth, the first thing you should do is spit it out and not swallow it under no circumstances because it contains all the harmful bacteria. Then rinse your mouth with warm water to remove the oil residue from your mouth and teeth. Afterward, you are free to eat and drink whatever you desire right away.

Can I brush my teeth after oil pulling?

Yes! It is actually a good idea to brush your teeth afterwards to get rid of all those harmful bacteria and food particles that the oil has pulled out. This way you will end up with a clean mouth. However, it is recommended to wait at least 30 minutes to brush your teeth, as the oil may still be active in removing toxins and bacteria from your mouth.


Here we are! We tried our best to cover everything related to how to do oil pulling. Spend some time and go through the steps and other topics to familiarize yourself with the process. The more you know the less likely you will have any problems. Even though there are benefits, it is not an oral hygiene practice that is recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA). The American Dental Association does not support this practice as part of the oral health routine due to a lack of scientific evidence of its benefits. But still, it is being practiced and people have claimed it works. So do what you will with this information. 

If you are looking for a dentist to ask your questions from look no further! We at Dentfix will put you in touch with the best dentists! For more information please contact us!


(1) Shanbhag, Vagish Kumar L. “Oil pulling for maintaining oral hygiene – A review.” Journal of traditional and complementary medicine vol. 7,1 106-109. 6 Jun. 2016, doi:10.1016/j.jtcme.2016.05.004 Link

(2) Kuroyama, Muneyoshi et al. “Exogenous lipoid pneumonia caused by repeated sesame oil pulling: a report of two cases.” BMC pulmonary medicine vol. 15 135. 30 Oct. 2015, doi:10.1186/s12890-015-0134-8 Link

(3) Peng, Tzu-Rong et al. “Effectiveness of Oil Pulling for Improving Oral Health: A Meta-Analysis.” Healthcare (Basel, Switzerland) vol. 10,10 1991. 11 Oct. 2022, doi:10.3390/healthcare10101991 Link

(4) Shanbhag, Vagish Kumar L. “Oil pulling for maintaining oral hygiene – A review.” Journal of traditional and complementary medicine vol. 7,1 106-109. 6 Jun. 2016, doi:10.1016/j.jtcme.2016.05.004 Link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.