Healing Cavities (A True “We’ve-Done-It!” Story!)

Oh, people. I”m about to reveal something to you that has taken me months to work up the nerve to confess.

Are you ready for this? {I’m not sure I am, but here goes…}

I haven’t used toothpaste in over a year.

Oh my gosh. I can’t believe I just said that out loud. On the internet.

I guess now I have to explain myself, huh?

Exploring alternate tooth care…

Over a year ago now I started looking into natural tooth care, as part of my goal to make better, more natural choices in each area of my health and my household.

I thought we had been doing good in this area, using a ‘natural’ brand toothpaste. Until I realized that even my natural toothpaste had stuff I knew I wanted to avoid–like sweeteners, fluoride, and glycerin.

It didn’t take long as I looking into natural, holistic approaches to tooth care to realize that what we eat has so much more of an affect on our teeth than the substance we scrub them with, and maybe my search for a ‘safe’ toothpaste was a waste of energy. And then I read about people not using toothpaste at all, and, well, since toothpaste (and the alternatives people talked about using) has always given me the ibby-jibbies, I decided to just quit the habit entirely.

So, I just scrubbed with water. And it seemed to work fine.
Your Real Food Journey

What in the world is Oil Pulling?

Later, I heard about oil pulling. It was such a strange term, I didn’t even look into it for a while. Till I realized that the pain and sensitivity I had been experiencing in my teeth off an on for a while might be remedied through this idea. So, I read up on it—it made sense (coconut oil is anti-bacterial, and could pull toxins from your mouth when you swished it in your mouth for 15-20 min.)—and I tried it.

healing cavities with oil pulling--we tried it and it really works!

I posted the above photo on my Facebook page and had a lot of friends ask me to report how it worked. So, here’s the report:

I loved how my teeth felt on this new cleansing routine—I felt it reduced plaque and made my teeth stronger. Within a month, all sensitivity I’d been experiencing in my lower molars was gone.

So, I quit toothpaste, and replaced it with oil pulling, and my teeth have never been healthier.

Now, that’s my story, but I put a ‘we’ in the title, because Jeremy’s got a story, too.

And Then Mr. Holden Tried It…

Several months ago, my husband came up to me and said, “I think I have a cavity.” I looked in his mouth and was mortified. His back wisdom tooth was—I kid you not—green and brown and black and pitted, and definitely did not look healthy. Neither of us had ever had a cavity before, but I was pretty sure this was a case study.

I said, “Honey! You need to start oil pulling right away!”

Well, you know, he kinda looked at me the way I imagine you looked at me when I said I quit toothpaste.

But a week later, he felt a chunk flake off of said tooth, and the next morning he pulled out the coconut oil before breakfast. (They say you should rinse first thing in the am).

He began oil pulling faithfully every morning, as well as taking cod liver oil (upping nutrition was something I read was key to regenerating tooth decay). Within 3 days, he said the pain was gone. And a month later, after oil pulling 5-6 times a week, I looked in his mouth, and his tooth was—are you ready for this? White. White with a bit of yellow, but the black and green and brown were all gone, and the surface of the tooth was smoothing out instead of being pitted.

People, I am not lyin’ here.

Tooth regeneration is possible, and surprisingly simple…

God designed our bodies so incredibly. If we are nourishing our bodies well, He designed them to be able to heal from injury and disease—even our teeth.

I share our stories because the idea of ‘healing your teeth’ is quite foreign to people. But listen to this…

“That tooth decay is caused by nutrient deficiencies and not bacteria has been proven in both animal and laboratory experiments published in books and dental journals…

…If brushing, flossing, massive fluoridation campaigns, and dental surgery were effective in preventing tooth decay, it would not get worse over time. It would stay the same, or get better.”  (Ramiel Nagel of CureToothDecay.com)

But that’s not what’s happening, is it? It has become normal to have our teeth rot out of our head, starting not in our 60’s, or 40’s, but as children and even babies.

“What is missing from the ADA’s bacteria theory of cavities is that strong teeth resist acid and bacteria. And when you, the consumer, understand that a strong tooth resists acid indefinitely, then the next logical question is, what makes a tooth strong?” (Ramiel Nagel)

The answer, which Ramiel details in his ebook (linked below) is good nutrition. And you know what it means when I use that term around here…lots of whole foods, good fat, raw milk, tasty meats and properly prepared grains and veggies. Ramiel especially stresses whole, raw milk in the diet and plenty of deeply nourishing fats like butter oil and cod liver oil.

So, gotta a toothache? Wish you had stronger teeth? Don’t despair. You can actually do something other than have them all pulled and getting dentures. (Oh, yay!) Increase your nutrition and try oil pulling!

How to Oil Pull With Coconut Oil

  1. Scoop about 2 tsp. of coconut oil out of your jar and pop it in your mouth.
  2. Chew or hold the oil in your mouth till it melts and becomes liquid (takes about 30 seconds).
  3. Start swishing, pulling the oil back and forth and sideways through all your teeth.
  4. Swish for 20 min., spitting the oil out (into the trash) when you’re finished.

Why Oil Pulling works:

Your teeth are actually porous, comprised of yards and yards of minute passages (like a sponge) that bring nutrients to the outer enamel when good nutrition is present in your diet…or suck toxins into the teeth when nutrition is lacking. Oil itself has the ability to cut right through plaque to the tooth surface, and coconut oil in particular has rich, anti-bacterial properties. It’s believed that  one of the reasons oil pulling strengthens teeth is that it can help reverse the flow of toxins, pulling bacteria out of the teeth, and becoming a vehicle to dispose of toxins. Also, we’ve found the swishing action can be as effective as flossing, without any damage to gums (yes–I’ve gotten popcorn kernels out with oil pulling!)

Where to get good Coconut Oil:

Any organic, cold-pressed, virgin coconut oil will work for this. If it smells like coconut, that’s a sign that it hasn’t been over-processed and still has all the wonderful things God put in the coconut to begin with! You’re looking for coconut oil that is cold pressed, extra virgin, and organic, like this brand available right from Amazon (this is an affiliate links–thanks for helping me keep the lights on around here!).

Here’s some resources for further reading on Healing Cavities…

Remember, oil pulling is just part of a natural tooth care plan. Our teeth will be strong when our bodies are well nourished with plenty of whole, nourishing foods. For help getting started on your real food journey, check out Your Real Food Journey.one of the best resources to gradually add more real food into your lifestyle
If you struggle to source whole foods like raw milk, check out “What to do if you can’t find or afford raw milk” or my resource page. And for my best secrets to feeding your family well even when life gets busy, I offer my book, Real {Fast} Food!

Note: I’m not a health care professional, and am not giving health advice. I’m simply a woman with a passion for learning, sharing something that worked for me and my family. Thanks for stopping by!

Got More Questions? I’ve answered all the questions I’ve received on this post in the new post: Oil Pulling: Frequently Asked Questions!

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  1. says

    Hi There.
    I just wanted to add my bit here. I’ve ben oil puling (oil swishing) for almost three years now after hearing about it from a friend. One issue I had was not being able to find a resolution to a large amount of sore scar tissue in my mouth, which was rather uncomfortable to say the least. It had been a source of discomfort for over 30 years! Since I started “oil pulling,” I’ve noticed and felt an incredible difference in my teeth, gums and general oral health. My mouth has completely regenerated, all to the the dismay of my dentist; who I have not seen for over two years now, and no longer need the help/hinderance of his services. His (my dentist) response to my incredible results was to pour scorn and tell me that I’m risking my oral health with this nonsense. Well the results speak for themselves. No more dentist or hygenist bills, no more plague, no more scar tissue, healthy gums and amazingly white and strong teeth. Try it and experience the amazing results for yourself. For reference, I use cold pressed organic sunflower oil and swish it around (oil pull) until the oil turns milky white and turns watery. This takes approx 25 mins. On a final note, oil pulling does not only have incredible effects on the mouth, but also boasts amazing results for many chronic illnesses and conditions. Do your research! Have fun!

    • says

      Andy, thanks so much for sharing your story! It’s great to hear from someone who’s been doing this for a while and has had such positive results.

  2. Laraine says

    rinse for 20 minutes?! Do you have to do that everytime or just the beginning,,,,that seems way too long!

    • says

      Laraine, yup, 20 minutes each time! but you can do lots of other stuff (chores, watch tv, etc.) while swishing, so it goes by fast!

  3. David Lewis says

    Does oil pulling work for bath breath too?

    Cause it seems like a good idea, just wondering if it works for bad breath.

    • says

      David, bad breath can have various triggers, often related more to intestinal health than oral status–I guess you’ll have to try it and see!

  4. Sheryl says

    I tried to read through all of the comments to see if this question was answered, and I didn’t see it. So, please forgive me if I am repeating something you already addressed. I make my own lotions and other bath and body things (even the so called “natural” ones use way too many ingredients), so I have liquid coconut oil on hand. Is there a reason I should buy the solid at room temperature coconut oil? Would there be a difference? As another person said, I have severe jaw problems (already had one surgery with many more to come), so handling the solid coconut oil would be more difficult. Thanks for your wisdom and advice!!!

    • says

      Sheryl, I’m not familiar with coconut oil that is not solid below 70-something degrees, so I can’t offer any advice as to whether the liquid form of the oil would work for you. I will say though, that the solid coconut oil melts in about 30 seconds in your mouth, and becomes fluid and easy to swish. 😉

  5. says

    Hello Trina and all,

    Nice to see continued lively discussions.

    I’m afraid I have unsettling news to share. My daughter (5 years old, now, and yes, she can pull for 20 minutes straight now! : ) has had 4 pairs of cavities (8 total) diagnosed, I guess about a month ago. Two weeks ago, after I read about oil pulling, we started oil pulling and taking cod liver oil religiously, every day. I kept keeping tabs on her teeth to see if there was any improvement, and made slight alterations to her diet (more cheese instead of a sandwich, a little raw milk cheese.) I was hoping the pulling and the cod liver oil would shift things on a healing path. But, in the past week, I’ve seen the grey spot on her tooth get bigger, and sadly, my daughter has begun to complain of pain in her teeth where the cavities are every time I floss her teeth. I’m not giving up on our remedies, but obviously something more needs to be done.

    Just the other day, I ordered a copy of Ramiel Negal’s “Cure Tooth Decay”. I’m ready to jump on board with a more robust nutrition program for her, but I’m somewhat overwhelmed at where to start; there’s so much information on the web. And I’d like to follow guidelines, not do my best “guess work”–if her teeth don’t improve soon, we’ll have to resort to conventional dentistry. As soon as the book arrives I will be on it, but it may not arrive for another week, and I want to do something more right away! My wife, unfortunately, is staunchly against raw milk, fearing the possibility of it being or getting contaminated. Any suggestions from any folks out there who have a similar situation or experience to speak from?

    Thanks so much,


    • says

      Thanks for the report! I’m sorry to hear the progress was not what you hoped. As I am not a health care professional, I cannot give further advice, but I do want to commend your diligence in pursuing knowledge and better health for your family. I do have a few suggestions that you may want to follow up on.

      If raw milk is not an option, you could work on getting as much good quality, cultured dairy into your daughter as possible–full fat yogurt, kefir (my kids like it in smoothies) and that raw cheese you mentioned. You can read more about what I do for good dairy when raw milk is not available to me in this post…

      If you want to learn more about natural tooth care and the role diet plays in oral health, I’d highly encourage you to get access to the healthy mouth summit. I attended nearly all the presentations from dentists and nutritional experts from around the world and there was so much hope and practical wisdom presented–it was empowering and exciting!

  6. says

    This is fascinating. How in the world do you do that for 20 minutes, though? What about a 5 year old? Also, I read an article once at my dentist’s office about a compound in pun to beans that strengthens enamel. I credit no cavities to eating lots of soup beans growing up. Looking forward to trying this for myself.

  7. Benjamin Roberts says

    Hey I have a question. Does oil pulling whiten your teeth or does it just help cleanse and regenerate them?

    • says

      Benjamin, we have seen some definite whitening, especially on my husband’s teeth which were coffee stained, even though he quit coffee over a year ago! The stains are gone, and he’s never had such a clean smile. 😀

  8. Kat says

    Hi! This article is very interesting. I’ve never heard of oil pulling before and I would like to try it! Just to clarify what I’m understanding to be your routine:

    1) You brush your teeth with just water.
    2) Oil Pull w/ Coconut Oil

    Please feel free to correct me if I’m mistaken. That being said, could you explain your regiment regarding your breath? Do you still use mouthwash? Do you use toothpaste on your tongue? Etc.


    • says

      Kat, it’s key to remember that the oral care I outline here goes hand in hand with a nourishing diet, as it is what we put in our bodies, more than what we put on them, that affects our tooth health. I have found that when I’m eating a balanced diet of whole foods, bad breath is not an issue. I do not use mouthwash, but do find the coconut oil leaves my mouth feeling very clean and fresh.

  9. Stephanie says

    Right now I have a very slight but difficult-to-get-rid-of oral yeast infection (thrush??) that I am getting rid of by eliminating sugar as much as possible and swishing hydrogen peroxide and adding probiotics through yogurt, etc etc. I also found a cavity recently that I would like to get rid of, but I am concerned that if I use coconut oil, it will kill the bacteria that I need right now to fight the fungal infection. Does anyone have any experience or knowledge about this? Should I wait to start this until after I get rid of the infection? I would really appreciate any help at all.

    • says

      Stephanie, I do not personally feel that coconut oil will interfere with healing from thrush, but I’ll also share what helped me the most the last time I had oral thrush: tea tree essential oil. Swishing with it tastes awful but it works so quickly. My blisters around my lips began to heal within hours of applying and swishing the tea tree. Hope you feel better soon!

    • says

      Marie, I honestly don’t know…there’s not a whole lot of information on the results of oil pulling—most people are in the ‘still trying this thing out’ stage. I’d recommend googling “can oil pulling harm fillings?” and see what shows up!

  10. says

    Hi folks,

    Very interesting conversation about teeth health. Thanks for your stories and info, Trina. Our 5 year old daughter was just diagnosed with 8 cavities last month. Needless to say, I was mortified upon learning that. We took her in to get them filled, but she wouldn’t sit in the chair (afraid of the “shot.” ) So the dentist referred us to another dentist. Good thing, because I started researching forms of treatment–both dentistry and nutrition–and, well the latter has so much more a promising outlook than the former (drill them 2 at a time in 4 visits or drill them all at once in one visit, while she’s put under. I can’t bear that for my girl.)

    So, we’ve started her on a teaspoon of cod liver oil (Garden of Life), and oil pulling (Garden of Life Coconut oil). She takes the cod liver oil fine, but it’s a little tricky to get her to swish for a long time. So far we’re up to 10 minutes or so, but sometimes she spits half of it out because her mouth gets so full of saliva. I’m looking for Butter Oil, but it’s a little tricky. I’d like to find something less expensive than Green Pastures’ brand. Also, we have her use a water pick. She likes that. (Swish in the morning, water-floss in the evening.) And we’re beginning to stop the toothpaste.

    My questions are about the supplements. For the cod liver oil, Garden of Life seems to be a good brand, but it’s not fermented. How much difference does that make? Is there any brand of Butter Oil out there less expensive than Green Pastures, and what exactly is the difference between “Butter Oil” and “Ghee?” Does the butter substance she takes need to be fortified with vitamins, or can she take a separate vitamin supplement?

    Thanks for taking the time to read my post!



    • says

      I’m delighted to hear your approach to healing your daughter’s teeth–good for you!

      I’ve heard debates on both sides as far as the fermented cod liver oil…I believe that even if it’s not fermented, it’s still very beneficial, you know? And if that’s what you can afford, I’d be OK with that.

      Here’s a great article that ‘clarifies’ the differences between butter, ghee, and butter oil…http://blog.radiantlifecatalog.com/bid/56184/Butter-Ghee-Butter-Oil-Clarified

      I truly believe that focusing on a diet of nutrient dense foods is going to have more impact than a vitamin supplement.

      Do you have access to raw milk? I consider that key for a nutrient dense diet, especially for children.

      I’m excited for the steps your taking, and that she’s learning to oil pull! Please update me on your progress–your story is encouraging to anyone reading this post!


      • says

        Thanks for the reply, Trina. Good to hear from you.

        I’m going to read the butter article you mentioned, look for some raw milk, and keep you updated.

        Today, I took a picture of one of the cavities in my daughter’s mouth–a tinged grey spot–and we’ll hopefully have a record of her progress. We pulled the coconut oil for 18 minutes this morning. I decided to do two “sets” of 9 minutes each, allowing her to spit out the first batch and then take a second fresh batch so she can take a breather and talk for a moment. We pull our oil and watch YouTube ballet clips together (she loves ballet). This helps the time go by pretty fast for her!

        Thanks again and talk to you soon . . .


  11. avis says

    i recommended oil pulling to a friend and she said it works great…

    funny enough, i had a slight pain in my front lower tooth, so when i tried it, i got the sequence wrong…and made a HUGE difference. i oil pulled first thing in morning then would brush…even though the pain disappeared, i found the enamel hadnt whitened, and worst is after a week or so, my teeth became sensitive! i chopped on nuts and OUCH! i guess it was too abrasive to brush after oil pulling becoz when i googled it, people noted that oil pulling actually softens the enamels…so brushing after is actually SUPER BAD! wanted to slap myself for that one.

    now i’m trying magnesium oil + tooth powder (calcium carbonate) brushing, not sure how it’s going it’s already been a week and over…., i’m pretty bad at gaging the progress of things unless it’s very obvious….eating nuts seems ok, but sometimes my teeth still feels a bit “weird” when eating super hot or cold items…i cant seem to remember now how my teeth felt before all this just a month ago!

    i do know i’m deficient in magnesium and i’m still taking it orally and transdermally to help

    wondering whether now i also need to supplement with calcium!

  12. says

    I found you on Pinterest when a friend pinned this page. Wow! I thought I was doing well because I was “bold” enough to finally break away from fluoride. Ha! I have been using Toms and didn’t know about the problems with glycerin until I read the comments. I’m almost out of toothpaste so this is a perfect time to try oil-pulling! One thing I am so used to is that minty feeling in my mouth. What do you use to freshen up your breath?

    • says

      Peyton, I’ve recently found a toothpaste I really like–it’s Earthpaste. It’s made from bentonite clay and real salt. they have several flavors, I love the lemon. I brush now occasionally when I want that extra clean feeling, but the coconut oil really has made my mouth feel fresher over all.

  13. says

    I have tried this with olive and coconut oil. I would REALLY love to be able for it to work for me, any suggestions cause I’ve got a wicked gag reflex and haven’t succeeded in doing it for more than 2 minutes :(

    • says

      Sara…even two minutes would be beneficial! It can take a little while to work up to the 20 min. How about distracting yourself with TV or checking email while you do it? And find a real high quality coconut oil…olive oil would make me gag, too!

  14. Francisco says

    Hi all,

    I was wondering can this oil pulling really heal your teeth. I recently came down with gastroparesis and I don’t eat much but I am trying to take in plenty of supplements to get my needs met. My teeth in the process the are demineralizing and I am always in pain. Can this help them to really heal? My dentist wants to start pulling them but I am still a young man at 34 and want to try and keep them. Please help.

    • says

      Francisco, It sounds like you may need to address your intestinal health before you can heal your teeth…strong teeth can’t be built with supplements. I’d encourage you to look into the GAPS diet, which consists of easy to digest, nourishing foods that will help your gut heal. You can read my post about the GAPS diet here…http://trinaholden.com/why-and-how-to-start-gaps/

  15. says

    Hey Trina! Sorry if this was already asked/answered…..I think I read through all the comments and didn’t see it though. Do you have an opinion on doing this while pregnant? Specifically starting while pregnant? I would like to try this and am feeling especially motivated as I’m dealing with another sensitivity flare-up (which I’m really hoping isn’t another cavity)…. :-) But, I’m 9 weeks pregnant. In spite of a nutrient-dense diet and what not, I’ve always had teeth issues. :-/ Thanks!

    • says

      Brianna, I oil pulled all through my last pregnancy, and enjoyed the healthiest gums I’ve ever had in pregnancy! I don’t believe there’s any danger at all in doing this while pregnant.

      • says

        Thanks! From further reading, it looks like the possible concern would be in experiencing a detox from it. I think I’m going to try it, though, considering we are already very healthy, I’ve never experienced detox effects, etc……I think I should be a good candidate. I already tried it this afternoon, and was super happy with how my teeth felt afterwards! :-)

    • says

      Jazz, if you can talk him through swishing but not swallowing, I would think it would be fine. I haven’t started my own kids on oil pulling yet, as they don’t have any cavities.

  16. nicole says

    Do you have any recommendations for young children that are to young to oil pull? I cant buy raw milk in my state. I can buy organic, would that help?
    I noticed a white spot on my toddlers tooth and its dark behind it. I did just purchase Cod liver oil. So we’ll see if that does anything. How long before I see improvements? I really don’t want to have to put her under at the dentist.

  17. says

    Trina, I read this when you originally posted it, but just started doing it about 2 weeks ago. I only have 1 cavity (that I can’t even see or feel), but I have a lot of gum problems due to long-term treatment for a vasculitis disease. I’m hoping this helps! I go back to the dentist in about 2 months, so that’s a pretty good trial period, I think!

  18. says

    Trina, this is amazing article. My husband and I use YL Thieves toothpaste so the plaque and tartar are at a minimum but he has a fistula that formed in his lower jaw due to a root canal. According to the dentist this is common for a tiny piece of the drill to remain behind – are you kidding me!!! And his dentist said he has “soft teeth” and they will only get worse – to which I replied – are you going to sign up for this thought to become yours? Love, love, love coconut oil – I eat a tablespoon with my hot cereal in the morning or sometimes I take and warm the oil, mix with organic cocoa and then place in mini baking cups and put an almond sliver on top and pop in freezer for a snack and its like almond joy only healthier.

  19. john smith says

    What kind of coconut oil do you use for oil pulling, any particular brand?
    I have heard people using neem oil for oil pulling but then some people say it is kind of poisonous and can harm gums and also cause some degenerative disease but thats only with neem oil so i just wanna be sure about the coconut oil. Also i have got one of my molar tooth removed and i am really very upset and the dentist has recommended an implant, i wish i could have read this earlier saved my tooth.

  20. Terry squire says

    My daughter just told me about oil pulling. It sounds really good. IM going to mention it to my wife who has an inherited disease which makes her gums recede causing her teeth to

    become loose &she loses them. Its to late for
    me as iv lost all mine. God bless. Terry Bristol

  21. Hannah says

    Hi I found this very interesting indeed, I’ve never had a cavity but do suffer terribly with sensitive teeth and would definitely consider oil pulling as an option, the only issue I have is the nutritional side of things, as a strict vegan neither raw milk or cod liver oil are an option for me, do you think the oil pulling would be beneficial to me without also following the diet recommendations or would I be better sticking with toothpaste? Thank you for your help.

    • says

      Hannah, I don’t think oil pulling would hurt! you could add it to your routine (pull in the morning, brush in the evening?). Also, have you thought about whether a lack of nutrient dense foods in your diet has anything to do with sensitive teeth? From my own experience, both times I’ve been without raw milk for an extended period, my teeth have become sensitive, and I’ve had to build them back up again.

  22. Cass says

    All of the coconut oil I’ve seen is solid at room temp. How do you prepare it so you can swish it?

    • says

      Cass, I just hold it in my mouth till it melts. It has a very low melting point (lower than other solid-at-room-temp oils).

  23. john says

    I eat a spoon of coconut oil for health. I guess I can swish it around for 15-20 minutes, then swallow it. Do you see a problem with swallowing after swishing? or must it be spit out??????????????

    Many thanks for some advice, John.

    • says

      John, it’s not recommended to swallow the oil after swishing, as it now carries bacteria it has pulled from your teeth! I’d spit and then grab another spoonful for swallowing :)

      • Dan says

        But you’re digestive system deals with that same bacteria constantly and with ease. Besides that coconut oil mixed with saliva should make the bacteria unable to reproduce on teeth or anywhere else.

  24. TAnia says

    I really enjoyed reading this article until i’ve read about how god created our bodies..ufff that just makes me go right pass it. What a shame, the religion has to always get into everything

    • says

      yup–15-20 minutes, but it goes by in no time if you’re multi-tasking. Just this morning I did mine while fixing breakfast and reading my devos–it becomes quiet habitual.

  25. says

    Hi Trina,
    I don’t like raw goat’s milk much, and I used to drink raw cow’s milk, until someone called my attention to the fact that dairy in the United States (organic, raw, or not) is all filled with Fukushima radiation. Apparently, it’s in the rain, and therefore goes into the grass, and into the cow’s. They are finding HUGE amounts of radiation mostly in the milk and milk products – not as much in the meat just yet. So we drink mostly Almond Milk now.
    Anyway, I wonder if this would make a difference on the effectiveness of the coconut oil on the teeth if you’re not drinking the raw milk. Your thoughts?
    Oh, and for anyone who’s worried about all the radiation we’re being exposed to, this is a great article for that: http://www.ultraculture.org/foods-naturally-protect-fukushima-radiation/

    • says

      Hi, Lori–thanks for stopping by! I read the article you shared and noticed that it was mainly pointing at areas of the country that receive rain from the Pacific Ocean…so, I guess whether you choose to eat animal products would have to be based on what area of the country you’re in. I’m on the east coast, so I’m gonna keep guzzling milk. 😉

      I don’t think that Almond milk has nearly as much to offer as raw dairy. If you don’t have raw dairy, then I’d definitely look into supplementing an otherwise nutrient dense diet with an high quality cod-liver and butter oil product such as what Green Pastures carries.

  26. says

    I am so sorry if this has been asked previously. I tried to read through and find it but could not. How much oil do you use to “pull”? Our 8 yr old has 2 “black spots” as he calls them. :( I am so encouraged by your story and can’t wait to try it out. We have been using Jason toothpaste but if Coconut oil will clean and heal the toothpaste can go in the trash! Thank you for sharing your stories!

  27. Madison says

    Hi, Trina. Thank you SO much for this information! I’ve been battling with cavities and super senstive teeth lately, and I refuse to go to the dentist when all they want to do is drill bigger holes into them. I don’t have dental insurance anymore either, so I couldn’t afford it either way.
    I have a question, though. You stated in an earlier comment that you don’t brush with toothpaste–only water. Do you floss? I would assume that flossing is still pretty essential, right?
    I’m not too familiar with organic anything, even food, so this is a big change for me. It’s much needed, though, because I’ve been doing my research and am just crazy overwhelmed with what I’ve learned. What’s good for you and what’s not. My whole live I’ve been eating/washing/etc. like a regular person not really questioning what all that it’s made of. Do you have anymore information that could lead me in the right direction?

    • says

      Hi, Madison! I’m so glad my post gave you hope for your teeth! 😉
      I floss on an as-needed basis, not every day. When I attended the healthy mouth summit thingy (that I link to as a resource at the end of the post) I heard some interesting perspectives on flossing–how the act, which often makes you bleed, can then introduce bacteria from your mouth into your blood stream, and some other stuff. It was enough to make me look again at this dentist-encouraged habit and consider alternatives. I have found that the oil pulling even gets popcorn kernels loose, so flossing is becoming rare and unnecessary in my daily routine.
      As to resources to nourishing your body well, did you see my ebook, Real {Fast} Food? It’s a pretty basic approach to cooking and eating more nutrient-dense foods that would help strengthen your teeth, among other things. Also, watch my blog as I’m planning a great series for October about little ways you can make a big difference in your health with food choices. I hope it will be helpful to you!

  28. Betty adrean says

    The dentist told me my one and only wisdom tooth that came in, half way has a cavity and they want to pull it. I’m so nervous I don’t do we’ll with pain or medication. I also have a chipped tooth beside it that is half way gone so I have agreed to allow them to pull it. The pain from the infection was so bad, I would rather give birth. Today I go in for the chipped tooth and I’m going to ask them to give me two weeks on the wisdom so I can try coconut oil. Thank you and I will post to let you know how it works. Betty

  29. Beckwith4 says


    I find all of this very fascinating and look forward to trying it out. I do have a question. My husband has recently gotten his braces off because his teeth were rubbing each other and causing the teeth to wear down. The next step is for him to get crowns on his bottom 4 front teeth and his top two teeth. There is noticiable wear on the bottom and some chipping on the top. We have hesitated to get the crowns because of the fact that they grind your teeth down even more to put these things on. Does anyone have any suggestions or is it best to just get the crowns? Thanks!

    • says

      hmm…are crowns mainly for asthetics, and could you hold off while you do more research? And maybe, if it’s simply asthetics at this point, you could let it go entirely and focus your energies on strengthening the teeth with nutrition and oil pulling?

  30. Bethany Shoemaker says

    I just oil pulled for the first time this morning…..so excited.
    20 minutes is very doable.
    Thank you friend.
    Warmest regards,

  31. Cynthia says

    Oh Trina, I cannot thank you enough for this post! Six months ago my dentist told me I had a cavity that needed to be treated. I convinced her to let me increase my care level at home and see if it made a difference. After 5 months of daily flossing, constant brushing (5 or more times a day) and listerine, my mouth felt rank all the time and I was certain there was still no improvement. With only four weeks left before my appointment I was desperate and figured that oil pulling was worth a try. Beginning with 5 minutes and adding a minute each night I worked my way up to 15 minutes of vigorous swishing. My mouth felt fresh and I didn’t feel a need to brush nearly as often. You can imagine my delight yesterday when my dentist informed me the cavity was gone!!! What you might not imagine is that she had never heard of oil pulling and was quite skeptical that it could produce the results she saw before her. I know my body better than anyone else, and I’m convinced that swishing coconut oil every night as I indulge in a movie is the best habit I’ve formed in years!

      • Cynthia says

        I would describe myself as eating a clean diet. I love cooking from scratch so we buy very few packaged items and include loads of fresh veggies and fruit in each meal. I also limit my sugar consumption.

  32. Ashley says

    Hey Trina!
    Its nice to hear a sucess story from someone I know. :) I started making my own toothpaste from the Bulk Herb Store and gave it to the rest of my family, and we have had excellent results! I think I shall add oil pulling to my routine to give that final push of excellent health. : ) My mom oil pulls and she has been on me to try it…I think I shall : )

  33. Heather says

    So, are you saying that I just need to swich coconut oil in my mouth for 15-20 mins a day to seriously help my teeth out? I feel like that’s too simple. Am I missing something? please let me know! Also, any brands you would suggest? I’d appreciate any suggestions. :) Thanks!

    • says

      Heather, from what I’ve learned about tooth health, our diet is the biggest factor in strong teeth. I believe you’ll see the best results if you try the oil pulling in conjunction with a nutrient dense diet of real food. You can check out what we eat in my book, Real Fast Food! My favorite brand of coconut oil is green pastures, but any extra virgin, cold pressed, organic coconut oil will do.

  34. Mary says

    This is an answer to prayer ~ truly. I brush, floss, do everything I thought I was supposed to do and I have so many cavities ~ I am just sick of it. I want to try the oil pulling but have a question that may seem totally stupid ~ I thought the coconut oil was a solid? I’ve gone to the Tropical Traditions site and I can’t tell if there is a liquid version or not. Sorry for being a knucklehead! Thanks for sharing your story.

  35. says

    Ok, you got me! I’ve been doing much of Ramiel’s protocol after I saw it work wonders in my daughter’s mouth, but I have been frustrated with my own teeth. I have a couple of new cavities that are painful and I am definitely going to go back to low grains and up my CLO, but now I think I’m going to add oil pulling. I’ve been holding off forever cuz it sounds icky (which is hilarious considering the other things I willingly do), but you’ve convinced me.

  36. Bethany Shoemaker says

    Hello Trina,
    Oh my goodness, I just happened to Google you today (nothing to be afraid of), and I think I could just read your fun stuff all day!
    What´s a good amount of Coconut oil to use…..a tablespoon? I´m not sure that I read everything thoroughly enough to see if you already said something about that. Does it do anything to the color of your teeth? So good to ¨see¨ you again :)

    • Trina says

      Hey, girlfriend! Lovely to have you visit!
      Anywhere from a tablespoon to a teaspoon works, and yes, this method can work well for improving your teeth’s appearance…Jeremy’s teeth are the whitest they’ve been since I’ve known him!

  37. says

    I had done oil pulling for a few months two years ago and really need to get back to that. Loved reading about your experiences.

  38. Rea says

    OK thx! We do eat fairly healthy. But growing up I did not take care of my teeth. My husband was wondering if you use any baking soda or anything to brush your teeth. Or do you just swish.

    • Trina says

      I don’t use anything–I just brush with water, but Jeremy likes a little something, so this month we’re trying Redmon Clay’s Earthpaste.

  39. Kristin Teed says

    This SO works!!!!! I am normally skeptical when it comes to alternate methods but Mr Holdens testimony really convinced me to give it a shot. I was amazed at how well it worked! No more pain and my mouth feels much better =)

  40. S says

    I am just curious. i’ve tried oil pulling before and would love to go natural with this, but swishing it around in my mouth really irritates my TMJ and my jaws ache so badly I can’t do it for more than a few minutes at most. Do you suppose I could make a toothpaste out of it and just brush with it? If so, what do you think would be best in that? cinnamon?

    • Trina says

      S, I have had severe TMJ since I was 8, so I understand the pain that can come from any repetitive motion in the mouth. However, I feel that it is the presence of the oil, as much as the swishing, that is having the cleansing effect, so even if you simply hold it in your mouth, or swish gently occasionally, I feel you could find a way to make this work for you. I usually experience some discomfort in my joint after about 10 min, but then it fades. I also don’t swish that vigorously, but still enjoy a nice, clean feeling when I’m finished.

  41. ariann walker says

    Hey there Trina! Was wondering, with so many different types of coconut oil out there what type is recommended?… Where do you get it locally?

    • Trina says

      Hi, Ariann!
      You can find good coconut oil locally–Wegmans carries a good brand, but you will pay a lot more than if you find a source online. Anywhere under $50 a gallon is a good price, so you can compare to that when price checking. I look for a brand that is
      -Cold pressed
      -SMELLS like coconut (It will not smell strongly of coconut if it’s been over-processed)
      I use Green Pastures Virgin Coconut Oil, and buy it by the case with a few other gals so we can save on shipping (I get a gallon at a time and it lasts us about 6 months) I also recommend Tropical Traditions, which offers free shipping once a month.

  42. says

    I was just thinking about this today and then saw your post come up in my feed. I have bad teeth as a result of epilepsy meds I was on for years. Also have very sensitive teeth. My question is this: What kind of coconut oil should I buy? Aren’t there raw and cold-pressed and several different kinds?
    Also, any success in getting kids to do it without swallowing? My 7 year old also has bad teeth. It’s from my pregnancy with him where we both nearly died. He seriously lacked nutrients. Yet our dentist insists it is caused by sugar, which can’t be because we eat most things organic and use sugar sparingly.
    Any tips?

    • Trina says

      Leah, just keep feeding your child a nutrient-rich diet (lots of good, raw milk!) to build strong adult teeth!
      Look for a coconut oil that is
      Cold pressed
      SMELLS and TASTES like coconut (if it lacks that distinct smell/flavor, it’s been over processed)
      I recommend Green Pastures and Tropical Traditions for brands. Anything under $50/gallon is a good price. I order mine online with 3 other gals so we get a case and save on shipping.

  43. says

    Really fascinating! Thanks for the post, and I absolutely believe it… Yay for the benefits of Coconut oil! I”ve been putting in on my skin for several years and love it.

  44. says

    I’ve been making homemade toothpaste for over a year now (recipe from Bulk Herb Store). Tried mixing black walnut powder with water and swishing it but the globs it makes make me want to gag and so I haven’t been good about that. (Wow I sound like a big baby.) I read about oil pulling this winter and keep meaning to try it. Need to stop putting it off and write it on my daily docket!! I just keep thinking my mouth will get too tired from constant swishing! I have a problem with receeding gums – I am hoping oil pulling will help.

    • Trina says

      Lisa, it took me about a week to work up to 20 min.–and I don’t swish vigorously the ENTIRE time, but just having the oil in contact with my teeth is good, I figure. I do my morning routine while I swish, so sometimes I forget about my mouth lol

  45. Anneloes says

    Very interesting! But 20 min.sounds awfully long… what do you do, stand in front of the mirror all that time. Chores? I’m interested how you incorporate a good habit in a busy day.

    • Trina says

      Good question, Anneloes! No, I don’t stand in front of a mirror. I grab my coconut oil and then rush about doing all the things I have to do first thing in the morning: dress myself, start breakfast, make a smoothie for my husband, get the kids dressed–the tricky part is I can’t talk for that 20 min. But the kids have gotten used to this, and if they are up I just point to my mouth and they smile–they think it’s a joke that mommmy can’t talk for a few minutes. If I get up a bit before them, I love to swish and work out at the same time, doing a 10 or 20 min. video from fit2b.us! (info and coupon in sidebar) Now that is some awesome multitasking! I feel so good when I complete a workout and a swish at the same time! 😉

  46. Rea says

    How long do you swish for? 15-20 min or sec. I have bad teeth and would be so happy if this works for me.

    • Trina says

      Minutes, Rea–15-20 min. you may need to work up to this, but it is possible. Jeremy was skeptical the first time he tried it, but it only took a few days till he was doing it the full time. At first, your saliva glands may overreact, filling your mouth beyond capacity, in which case, you can spit some extra out. But I found after a while my mouth got used to that, too, and I can go the whole 20 min. swishing while I start my morning routine.

      Don’t forget, this is just one aspect of healthy teeth–good nutrition is key. We eat a fairly healthy diet, with lots of raw milk, which Ramien Nagel says is key for building strong teeth. I believe that is why we saw such good results so fast with healing Jeremy’s cavity. But even if you are just starting on a nourishing path, the coconut oil should benefit.

      • Rea says

        OK thx! We do eat fairly healthy. But growing up I did not take care of my teeth. My husband was wondering if you use any baking soda or anything to brush your teeth. Or do you just swish.

  47. says

    I have been sooo frustrated with all of our teeth’s rate of decay, regardless of how much we brush and brush with flouride toothpaste.

    I think diet is a big key factor (and I love cookies! :( ) Thankfully I’m reeling in my diet and making my journey towards more whole foods NOW! I sure hope to see a decline in decay because it sure gets discouraging when you do “everything right” by the dentist and still need fillings. :( And my babies, too. They shouldn’t be dealing with that at all.

    • Trina says

      I just want to encourage you, Christin–you’re on the right track! Have you found a local raw milk source? That is one of the key aspects of building healthy teeth, and one of the easiest whole foods to add to your diet, because you don’t have to prepare it, you just pour you (and your babes!) a big glass full! So yum!

      • says

        No, I have not found a local raw milk source and honestly, I’m afraid my kids won’t like it. I’m not a big milk drinker either. :/

        • Jeremy Holden says

          You might find that your kids will like it raw. I can remember as a child not liking milk at all until we started getting it from a friends bulk tank.

  48. says

    for the past 3 years I’ve been DIYing my toothpaste with primarily CO (with bentonite clay, a bit of castile soap, wintergreen oil, and a couple pinches of xylitol), but I still had cavities and got them filled. This year I bought a Berkey, upped the amount of swish time post brush, and just finished my first bottle of cod liver oil. I have a dentist appt. in a couple of weeks and I am REALLY hoping to avoid the 2 fillings that are scheduled. I think you just convinced me to “pull” in earnest!

  49. says

    I actually had a similar story, except I used black walnut instead of oil pulling. I went to the dentist and had 2 small cavities. I was horrified because I’ve never had any– so I went home and did major research and ended up with this black walnut stuff from Nature’s Warehouse. It’s a “mouth wash” that you can swallow.

    When I went back THREE WEEKS LATER they could not find one cavity and had to search very hard for the larger one. I decided that was it, no more cavity searching for my dentist. I’ve been using it ever since and my teeth have been great.

    My husband has very bad teeth, which cause him a lot of pain. He started brushing with the black walnut instead of tooth paste and almost overnight the pain from his teeth left.

    I will try and talk him into doing oil pulling! Maybe that will help heal up the teeth more than just take the pain away. :)

  50. says

    Wow, this is amazing! Thank you so much for giving this testimony. I’m in the middle of this journey as well, and I experience some panic attacks once in a while, thinking, “What am I doing!?”

    I use licorice root to clean my teeth, and also to help ease the pain of my wisdom teeth growing in. I’ve increased my magnesium and calcium and different mineral intakes by taking a magnesium supplement and blackstrap molasses. After taking the molasses I rinse my mouth with sodium ascorbate. I’ve oil pulled with coconut oil, but I’m going to seriously involve that into my regimen now. Might switch to sesame oil, though.

    Along with my wisdom teeth coming in, I have a small cavity on one of my molars, and possibly some more. I’ve had an increase of teeth sensitivity as of recent. One motivation to follow a more natural routine for my teeth is for the health; but the second reason is due to my lack of dental insurance, lol.

    I hope I have as much success as you’ve had! I hope I can make a post like this on my blog in the future! LOL

    • Trina says

      Um, yeah–lack of dental insurance is one of our big motivators, too! LOL

      I experienced the increased sensetivity/weakness in my teeth after the months we spent down south last summer without raw milk in our diet. I totally believe the two are connected! I recommend looking to add a big glass of milk to your tooth care routine!

      • says

        I’m definitely going to give it a try! I have some friends who own goats, and I could get raw goats milk from them. Still working on a good source of raw cows milk, though.

        I had my first glass of raw cows milk a couple of months ago. It was heavenly! Haven’t had a glass since, though.

        Thank you so much for your help. :]

        • Trina says

          Moriah, they say goats milk is even better for humans than cows–so, sounds like you’ve got a good thing going! If I can ever not purchase raw milk, I plan to get a goat over a cow. 😉

          • says

            Adult goats don’t drink milk, Why should humans? I understand that cows milk has too much protein and therefore causes us to produce excess urea which therefore causes tooth decay. Is goats milk lower in protein or healthier?

          • says

            Well, we humans do a lot of things differently than goats, don’t we? 😉
            In all seriousness, Justin, my family has been consuming raw milk for years and never experienced negative side effects. People have drank animal milk for thousands of years and it’s been a key element in many ancient people’s diets. It’s true that many people in our modern culture have trouble digesting milk, but often this is resolved when they switch to raw milk, or spend sometime healing their digestive tract, like Cara did here…http://www.healthhomehappy.com/2013/06/i-healed-my-dairy-allergy-in-6-weeks-with-the-gaps-diet.html

        • Amy Simmons says

          My dhubby’s name is Moriah too I haven’t seen or heard anyone else with that name before now! Just thought I’d comment on your name!

    • says

      And we use a Tom’s of Maine toothpaste, that is Myrrh and Propolis, no fluoride. It’s made with stevia and Xylitol.


  1. […] The benefits of coconut oil, however, are not as controversial. The “oil-pulling” method is actually one that has been used by humans for thousands of years for mouth care. The oil causes the bacteria to bind to it, effectively removing bacteria from your mouth. Also, coconut oil is known for its anti-microbial/ anti-bacterial properties, so it also kills harmful bacteria and can help prevent plaque, mouth disease, and tooth decay. You may read about the method on WebMD. There is also a popular article/blog by someone that swears they have actually healed cavities using the oil-pulling method. You can read that article here. […]