For The Love of White Teeth & Overall Health

Have you heard of oil pulling?

I see this topic popping up all over.  I recently read articles touting the benefits of oil pulling for whiter teeth, healthier gums and overall disease prevention so I decided to give it a try.

What is Oil Pulling?

To summarize, oil pulling is the Ayurvedic practice of swishing 1T of organic, unrefined sesame or sunflower oil through the mouth for 15-20 minutes up to 3 times a day.  The oil absorbs microbes, bacteria and toxins from the body so it should be expelled and never swallowed. (

This practice seemed to have some great benefits but swirling oil in my mouth for 15 minutes sounded pretty darn gross.

So, why did this grown-up Crest kid with healthy teeth reluctantly make the switch to natural toothpaste and oil pulling?

Because this whole journey is about removing chemicals from my body, home and life.

Truthfully, I love sparkling white, cavity-free teeth and fresh breath but I am no longer willing to compromise by using chemicals.  I’m pretty uptight about my smile.  In my single days, if you didn’t have a nice set of pearly whites you better not even think about asking me on a date.

If I am so concerned about the products I put ON my body, it is time to be concerned about the products I put IN my body.  After all of those years using conventional mouthwash, these ingredients are the reason I switched to oil pulling:

  • alcohol– a drying agent that can prevent the production of saliva
  • natural and artificial flavorings or sweeteners
  • sodium lauryl sulfate
  • propylene glycol 
  • formaldehyde

What is oil pulling really like?

I am still fairly new to oil pulling, I began with 5 minutes each morning and I have now progressed to about 12 minutes; I hope to reach my 20 minute goal next week.  I think oil pulling is worthwhile change in my routine, but it is not all pleasant, the first time I used sesame oil I gagged over the sink.  I find the mild and familiar flavor of sunflower oil much more tolerable.

My favorite part about oil pulling is that it works fast!  After only a week and a half my husband commented that my teeth look “uniformly whiter.”  I love that while the oil is capturing all of the bad stuff, it is also whitening my molars where the whitening kits don’t reach.  OCD much?

So you might be wondering what the heck I do during the 15 minutes I’m swooshing oil around my mouth?  I promise I am not very coordinated but I can still shower, make breakfast, boil water for tea, read a book; well maybe not ALL of those things.  If I can incorporate it into my routine, oil pulling can easily fit into your morning routine as well.  I encourage you to read a bit more about oil pulling and see how it can fit into your life.

Bottoms up y’all!


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