Does Oil Pulling Really Whiten Teeth? My Week Long Experiment!
Hi, Beth here from the team at the Health Base! Today I will be discussing a concept that has been long associated with oral hygiene and, in particular, boosting the shade of one’s teeth. This concept centers on oil-pulling and whether it can be used to make teeth whiter.
But where did this technique first originate from?
As is the case with most health and beauty remedies, this one can be found to have existed in ancient Ayurvedic medical traditions.
This means that this concept has existed in human culture for thousands of years.
I was interested in this process from the get-go as I've been looking for a way to boost the appearance of my teeth. So, with this in mind, I decided to give it a go. Below is a day by day recording of my week-long experiment!
My Reason for Experimenting
The reason? Caffeine!! It’s as simple, and unfortunate, as that. Over the past several years, I have developed a regular coffee drinking routine.
It started in college and really hasn’t ended!! I used to say to myself…”OK, you just need a coffee in order to be alert for the next lecture, or in order to make an assignment deadline”.
I think I genuinely believed that eventually I’d kick the habit once I finished college. Nope! Today, I start my day with a cup and I usually have another sometime throughout the afternoon 🙁
Unfortunately, drinking coffee on a daily basis can lead to teeth discoloration. Caffeine is quite a tough substance and can easily stain the enamel of our teeth.
So, due to this, I was very eager to experiment with potential whitening methods. This is the reason, let’s now look at my day to day progress with the method of oil-pulling.
Coconut – the Best?
The first thing that I had to do was choose which oil to use and also how to go about the actually pulling technique. In terms of the oil, I went with coconut for my experiment.
Coconut oil is widely regarded as being the best option for this whitening technique and is seen as an overall good substance for the human body. 
Below are some of the key benefits:
- Boosts good cholesterol
- Combats factors of obesity
- Increases energy levels
- Lower blood pressure
- Can be used to treat small cuts and burns
- Keeps the heart healthy
- Promotes healthy liver functioning
- Aids in prevention of Alzheimer's disease
- Helps with digestion
- Anti-aging properties
When it comes to our teeth and my experiment, this oil is the perfect choice as it also contains anti-bacterial acid which works to remove any staining that may be present on enamel.
The next question in my quest was what was the best technique in order to utilize the coconut oil? 
I did some research into how best to use coconut oil and was pleasantly surprised to discover that it’s very cost effective and simple to use! 
Coconut oil is a reasonably priced substance that can be found in any grocery shop. Just make sure to pick up the organic version as some variations might have man-made additions such as preservatives or the like.
It’s then just a simple task of measuring out a single tablespoon of this oil and swishing it around in your mouth for 10 – 15 minutes. When done, don’t swallow the oil but rather spit it out into a trash bin. I was warned to not spit the oil into my sink or toilet less risk a blockage occurring over time! Honestly, I doubt this would happen considering the amount that would be needed for a blockage.
To finish, rinse your mouth out thoroughly with water. I repeated this process once in the morning and in the evening for my own challenge. I know some people say they do it 3 - 4 times daily, but I think this is a bit excessive! I’d rather not be swishing oil around in my mouth when in work!
So, that’s the oil and the technique, but what were the results? Read on to find out
Days 1 – 4
The Before Picture – this is obviously a key thing to do. It’s important to have something to measure your progress against. Also, by doing this it will eliminate that all too possible placebo effect from occurring.
The Taste – this was something I was wary about but actually quite liked! It’s a mild taste so even if you’re not a fan it shouldn’t be a major issue.
The Expectation – I didn’t expect miracles with the overall experience, and certainly not in the first few days. I realized that any results would take time and continued use.
The Progress – not much of anything happened in terms of color of my teeth for the first three days, though my mouth did feel cleaner after the pulling. I wasn’t until day 4 came along that I started to see improvements in the shade of my teeth.
Days 5 – 7
The Process – the first day or so of the swishing routine was a bit of a pain, but I soon got used to it. I found scrolling through my social media feeds was a perfect way to pass the time!
The Messy Factor – be careful with this oil as it’s quite messy! Like most oils, the coconut one can leave smudges and stains on things such as phones or screen so take care.
The Notable Effects – day 4 on wards was really when I stated to see the benefits of this technique as my teeth began to look noticeably whiter. The stains and discoloration also began to fade as the overall enamel became brighter
The After Picture - upon comparing my two pictures, I could really see the benefits. This was super encouraging for the possible long term use of this cleaning method.
Other Mooted Benefits
Ultimately, the results after a week-long trial was very promising! Comparing my before and after pictures proved that without doubt my teeth had indeed got whiter – this, after all, was the aim of the game!
In saying this, I would be skeptical about this method having the plethora of benefits that are associated with it. Going by some online reviews, you’d be led to believe that coconut oil was some sort of one-cure-fix-all kind of deal. Highly doubtful.
My Ultimate Verdict: I will keep pulling in my health and beauty routine for the next while to see if there are any further impacts. Personally, I believe that this method will only do so much and probably will not drastically whiten your teeth.
However, if you were to combine this option with a proven home teeth whitening kit, then I think you could very well hit the smile enhancing jackpot! Matching a natural method with a proven product in this manner really is the way to go in my opinion, and this is exactly what I’m going to do for week two of my experiment