Dental Hygiene,  Q&A

Brushing Teeth with Coconut Oil Instead Toothpaste – Benefits For Toothache, Whitening

This article is a part of our Q&A series in which we give detailed answers to our readers' questions. Have a question? Don't hesitate and send it to us to get a detailed answer!

Coconut oil has gained popularity as an alternative dental care product. Brushing teeth with coconut oil, often referred to as oil pulling, is believed to have several oral health benefits. This guide aims to provide you with comprehensive information on brushing teeth with coconut oil.

What Is Oil Pulling?

Oil pulling is an ancient oral hygiene practice that involves swishing a tablespoon of oil (such as coconut, sesame, or sunflower oil) in your mouth for about 15-20 minutes and then spitting it out. Oil pulling is not technically brushing your teeth as a toothbrush is not required in the process, but it can be used right after the oil pulling procedure is completed.

Coconut Oil For Oil Pulling

Unrafined coconut oil is often preferred for oil pulling due to its pleasant taste and lauric acid content, which has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.

Potential Benefits

  • Reduces Plaque and Gingivitis: Some studies suggest that coconut oil pulling can reduce plaque and signs of gingivitis.
  • Whiter Teeth: Many people claim that brushing teeth with coconut oil helps in achieving whiter teeth.
  • Fresher Breath: Oil pulling is believed to help in reducing the bacteria that cause bad breath.
  • Prevents Tooth Decay: By reducing the number of harmful bacteria in the mouth, coconut oil pulling might help in preventing tooth decay.

How to Brush Teeth with Coconut Oil

  • Choose the Right Oil: Opt for organic, virgin coconut oil.
  • Measure the Oil: Use about one tablespoon of coconut oil.
  • Swish and Pull the Oil: Place the coconut oil in your mouth and gently swish it around. Pull it through your teeth for about 15-20 minutes. Avoid swishing too hard, as this might tire your jaw.
  • Spit It Out: Spit the oil into a trash can. Avoid spitting into the sink, as the oil can solidify and clog pipes.
  • Rinse Your Mouth: Rinse your mouth thoroughly with warm water.
  • Brush Your Teeth: After oil pulling, brush your teeth as usual with toothpaste.
  • Clean Your Sink: If you spit the oil into a sink, make sure to clean it properly to prevent any clogs.


  • Duration: Don’t swish for too long as it might cause the oil to be reabsorbed with the toxins.
  • Do Not Swallow: Avoid swallowing the oil as it contains bacteria and toxins.
  • Not a Replacement for Brushing: Coconut oil pulling should not replace regular brushing and flossing but should be used as a complementary practice.

Common Misconceptions

  • Replacing Toothpaste: Coconut oil should not replace toothpaste. Fluoridated toothpaste is crucial for preventing cavities.
  • Instant Results: The benefits of coconut oil pulling usually take time to become noticeable.

Expert Opinions

Dental professionals have varying opinions on oil pulling. Some support it as a supplementary oral hygiene practice, while others call for more scientific evidence of its benefits. It is advised to consult a dentist before making any significant changes to your oral hygiene routine.

Bottom Line

Brushing teeth with coconut oil or oil pulling can be a beneficial addition to your oral hygiene routine. However, it is important to remember that it does not replace traditional brushing and flossing. Always consult a dental professional before incorporating new practices into your oral health regimen, and ensure you understand the proper technique to avoid any adverse effects.

This Q&A series article is complete and was published on August 4, 2023, and last updated on August 4, 2023.

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