Oil Pulling VS. Mouthwash: Which is Better?

Would you like to improve your oral health and get a brighter, healthier smile? If so, you've probably heard of oil pulling and mouthwash as possible oral hygiene methods. Although they are both popular, there is a raging debate about which one is better. 

Let’s get into details of oil pulling and mouthwash and help you decide which method is more effective for promoting oral hygiene. Any decision regarding health should be based on through the examination of scientific evidence and doctors/dentists' recommendations, so let’s look at what we know and which method is better: oil pulling or mouthwash? Let’s dive right in!

What is Oil Pulling? 

What is oil Pulling

Oil pulling is an ancient method of Ayurveda wherein you swish some oil, most commonly coconut or sesame, in your mouth anywhere between 5 to 20 minutes. It is believed that oil will remove toxins, bacteria, and plaque from your mouth to promote good oral hygiene and overall health.

What Are The Benefits of Oil Pulling?

  1. Oil pulling, an ancient practice in Ayurveda medicine that dates back centuries, is believed to offer numerous oral health benefits. 
  2. It mitigates the potential of harmful bacteria in the mouth, likely to cause the risk of gum disease, cavities, and bad breath and thereby helps to avoid serious dental problems.
  3.  Furthermore, oil pulling is believed to enhance energy levels and reduce fatigue by removing toxins from the body. 
  4. Additionally, it helps clear the skin and reduce acne by detoxifying the body. 
  5. It also helps strengthen the body's natural defence mechanisms — the immune system — by removing harmful bacteria from the mouth. 
  6. Moreover, oil pulling is recognised for its ability to naturally whiten teeth by removing stains and discolouration and thereby providing a natural and safe alternative to chemical teeth whitening alternatives. 

In view of the numerous benefits, oil pulling has become a popular and effective natural method to maintain good oral hygiene.

Also Read This: Benefits of Bamboo Toothbrush

How To Use Oil Pulling?

To begin oil pulling, choose your best oil pulling oil. The most commonly used oils are coconut and sesame oils. Measure out about a tablespoon of oil and add more if needed. Swish the oil around your mouth from anywhere between 5 to 20 minutes; start short if you're new to oil pulling. 

After swishing, to avoid clogging your pipes, spit the oil into a trash can rather than down the drain. It is most effective to wait 20 to 30 minutes after oil pulling before brushing your teeth as usual, after thoroughly rinsing your mouth with warm water, to allow the oil to thoroughly clean the mouth and remove bacteria and toxins. 

Oil pulling should be done in addition to regular oral hygiene practices, like brushing and flossing, and can be done once a day or a few times a week depending on your preference and schedule.

Why Do We Use Mouthwash?

Mouthwash, an oral care product, is used to clean and freshen the mouth. It can help prevent bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease by killing the harmful bacteria in the mouth. 

It is most effective to swish the recommended amount of mouthwash in the mouth for 30 to 60 seconds, then spit it out and wait 30 minutes before rinsing with water, eating, or drinking to allow it to finish working. 

It can help improve your oral health if you incorporate it into your oral hygiene routine along with regular brushing and flossing.

Oil Pulling vs. Mouthwash: What's The Difference?

When comparing oil pulling to mouthwash, there are several factors to consider. Certainly, oil pulling and mouthwash are both unique and effective alternatives for maintaining optimal oral health. Nevertheless, both offer different sets of benefits and drawbacks. Moreover, a choice between the two is subjective and depends on personal preferences and needs. Let us look into some major points of distinction between oil pulling and mouthwash that can help make an informed decision.

Oil pulling involves using natural oils, while mouthwash contains synthetic chemicals that can cause irritation, sensitivity, dry mouth, or harm if ingested, and can even mask potential oral health conditions like chronic halitosis (aka bad breath). Oil pulling is a natural and holistic approach to oral hygiene, whereas mouthwash is a conventional and scientifically-backed product.

Oil pulling can help reduce harmful bacteria in the mouth, freshen breath, naturally whiten teeth, and so on. Mouthwash, on the other hand, can help kill bacteria, prevent cavities and gum disease, and freshen breath. Oil pulling, a gentle practise, is considered safe most often than not; however, mouthwashes that contain alcohol and other harsh chemicals can have potentially perilous implications for people's overall health. 

While oil pulling asks for dedicated time and effort, on the other hand, mouthwash offers convenience and can be used on the go. However, oil pulling is also increasingly seen as a morning ritual that is not just a way to cleanse the mouth but also a mindful practice that allows one to connect with the body and mind and can be seen as an act of self care. 

What Do Dentists Recommend?

Many dentists recommend mouthwashes as part of an oral health routine as there is a body of knowledge that shows the benefit of it. However, there is also increasing evidence that shows that using a mouthwash everyday not only gets rid of the bad bacteria but also kills good oral bacteria which is important for us to retain overall balance of the oral microbiome. Therefore, using a chemical laden mouthwash everyday is not advisable. 

Increasing number of studies show today that having a healthy mouth is similar to having a healthy gut. Improving the microbiome by retaining and encouraging the growth of the good bacteria is important and that is where more dentists are now recommending supplementing brushing teeth along with traditional remedies like Oil Pulling with premium ingredients that has no negative impact on the mouth. 

In conclusion, maintaining good oral hygiene is essential for overall health and well-being. Both oil pulling and mouthwash offer unique benefits for promoting oral hygiene. But the choice between the two should precisely depend on your individual needs and preferences. 

By choosing high-quality product like Birdsong’s Oil Pulling solutions, and following proper and personalised techniques, you can maximise the benefits of these oral hygiene methods and enjoy a healthier, brighter smile. A healthy mouth leads to a healthy body, so make sure to take care of your teeth and gums and have a wellness ritual around oral care every day!


Q1. Do we need to use Mouthwash after Oil Pulling?

Ans. No, since Oil Pulling is a mouth cleanser/wash in itself. A chemical mouthwash is not required or recommended after Oil Pulling. 

Q2. Can we brush immediately after Oil Pulling?

Ans. It is advisable to wait for a few minutes after oil pulling to brush your teeth. 

Q3. How many minutes should we do Oil Pulling?

Ans. It is advised to swish the oil around your mouth anywhere between 5 to 20 minutes; start short if you're new to oil pulling.

Q4. Does Oil Pulling whiten teeth?

Ans. Oils help remove stains and discoloration, thereby providing a natural and safe alternative to chemical teeth whitening.