When you hear the term “oil pulling”, you may imagine a new age nutrition coach or health influencer who cannot stop singing praises about this current health fad. However, oil pulling is not a recent health trend. 

The concept of oil pulling dates back thousands of years and has its roots in Ayurvedic traditions. It is only in the recent past that the trend of oil pulling has gained global popularity, with people in the West adopting it in their lifestyles.

Let’s look at some FAQs on oil pulling and find out the answers. 

1. What is oil pulling? 

Oil pulling is the act of swishing around oil in your mouth for 15 to 20 minutes and then spitting it out. The swishing around of oil in the mouth for a short time is believed to improve oral health.

The harmful bacteria that make up plaque (the slimy bacterial film on your teeth) and may lead to dental health issues, get swept away during oil pulling, dissolve in the oil, and are eliminated from the mouth.

2. Which oils are used in oil pulling?

Coconut oil, usually the extra virgin type, is the most popular oil used for oil pulling because of its pleasant taste. Coconut oil is also known to have antimicrobial properties. 

Sesame oil, olive oil, and sunflower oil are also popular options. However, any edible oil can be used. 

3. How is oil pulling done?

Oil pulling is a simple exercise. 

  • After waking up in the morning, keep a tablespoon of oil in your mouth and swish it around using the back and forth motion of your tongue. 
  • You can start by doing it for 5 minutes, and then move on to doing it for 15 to 20 minutes. 
  • Once you are done, do not swallow. Spit out the oil, preferably on some kitchen napkin before discarding, to prevent the build-up of oil in drainage pipes. 
  • Rinse your mouth with water and brush your teeth.

4. What are the benefits of oil pulling?

Oil pulling removes harmful bacteria from your mouth which may have gathered in your mouth during nighttime. 

Oil pulling also maintains the natural pH and bacterial flora of the mouth. It may help prevent cavities and reduce bad breath. Research suggests that it may help in strengthening teeth and gum health too.

Remember, do not use oil pulling as a substitute for regular dental hygiene measures such as daily brushing and flossing. Incorporate it only as an additional measure in your routine. 

Disclaimer: This article is written by the Practitioner for informational and educational purposes only. The content presented on this page should not be considered as a substitute for medical expertise. Please "DO NOT SELF-MEDICATE" and seek professional help regarding any health conditions or concerns. Practo will not be responsible for any act or omission arising from the interpretation of the content present on this page.