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The Big Fruit is an organisation dedicated to swapping out chemical based and abrasive cosmetics, foods, and remedies with natural alternatives.

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Home » FAQ » For How Long Should I Oil Pull?

For How Long Should I Oil Pull?

By The Big Fruit
Last Updated 24 February, 2018

Oil Pulling can be practiced anywhere from one to 20 minutes each day. The majority of people we talk to, stick to between five and 10 minutes daily. But oil pulling is not a one-size-fits-all practice. People have different aspirations, lifestyles and oil pulling experience.

How Long Have You Been Oil Pulling?

If you are new to the practice, or even oil pulling for the first time, keep the duration as short as one to two minutes. You are going to be using muscles around your jaw that are most likely under used and under developed.

Leaping in like an overenthusiastic newbie at the gym can result in inflammation in the muscles around the jaw which leads to soreness and can cause a headache. Nothing too serious, but who needs it?

Get used to swishing oil around your mouth and build the time up gradually. Add a minute every other day and don’t swish too vigorously. Oil pulling should be a lifestyle practice so don’t put yourself off at this early stage by overdoing it and making it an ordeal.

As a side note, headaches experienced by some people who are new to oil pulling can easily be explained by over exerting the jaw muscles. It is not as some have suggested, “your mouth adjusting to the new bacterial balance”. This would be a far more romantic notion, but none-the-less, not true.

If you have been oil pulling for a week or more, or you regularly chew gum, then you should be good to oil pull from five to 20 minutes.

Aspirations – Why Are You Oil Pulling?

Whiter Teeth (two to five minutes)

A growing trend over the last few years is oil pulling being used as a natural way to whiten teeth. Whitening or brightening the teeth needs two to five minutes each day. This is enough time to absorb the build-up and staining on your teeth, and not just the front teeth unlike using a home peroxide kit. If you eat excessive sugars, drink a lot of coffee, tea or wine (yes, even white), then you will be closer to the 5 minute end of the spectrum and it will also take longer for you to see results.

Fresher Breath (five to 10 minutes)

Naturally freshening your breath takes longer than masking it with a water or alcohol based mouthwash. Oil pulling removes the bacteria that causes the bad breath and if done properly, provides protection from the bacteria re-forming – this slows the bacteria down, it cannot prevent it entirely.

The lips, gums, cheeks and tongue absorb the oil as it is swished around the mouth. This allows the oil to capture more than the bacteria on the surface and removes the cause of most people’s bad breath. This takes extra time. Allow, five to 10 minutes of swishing for the oil to kill and absorb the bacteria. Unlike a mouthwash, the oil will contain the bacteria and when you spit the oil out, the bacteria comes with it.

Healthier Mouth (15 to 20 minutes)

The original aspiration for oil pulling is for a healthier mouth and healthier body. This is the pinnacle of oil pulling and demands a greater commitment of time and consistency. Plan for 15 to 20 minutes of swishing every day. The oils needs the extra time to satiate the soft tissues and provide a greater reach to pull bacteria. The results over time can be remarkable but not without this level of commitment.

Note: I have used the term bacteria to include bacteria, toxins, fungi and everything else in the oral biofilm that you would prefer was not residing in your mouth. It saves me a lot of time writing and, saves you having to read the the full list of unpleasantries over-and-over again.

There are other very specific reasons to oil pull, but too many to cover here.

What is Your Your Lifestyle – What Do Your Mornings Look Like?

Oil Pulling is going to compete for your time and attention with with all of the other things you have to do especially if you going to oil pull in the morning. The busier your day, the harder this will be.

There are few tips to make it easier like oil pulling while you are doing mundane tasks or even while you prefer not to talk to others. But, it does need to fit in, so don’t aim for a duration that will likely be a burden after a week or two.

The Two Most Important Things To Leave You With

It is better to oil pull two to five minutes every day than 15 to 20 minutes once a week. Bacteria does not take days off.

Enjoy your oil pulling.


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  • What is the Best Time of Day to Oil Pull?

    Published on 22 March, 2018
    By The Big Fruit

    Oil Pulling Overview Oil pulling is an effective way to detoxify the mouth, whiten your teeth, get rid of bad breath (halitosis) and take good care of your gums on a daily... Read more

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