Oil Pulling vs the LISTERINE® Brand

According to the American Dental Association, the benefits of oil pulling don’t match the benefits of using a mouthwash.

What Is Oil Pulling?


The practice of oil pulling

Oil pulling—swishing oil in the mouth—has recently made headlines in the news for its perceived benefits on oral and overall health. Supporters of oil pulling claim that it not only boasts health benefits but also aids in whitening teeth as well. Oil pulling originated as an ancient folk remedy from India and southern Asia, as a holistic method of maintaining oral health.1 The practice consists of placing a tablespoon of edible oil (like sesame, olive, sunflower, coconut) inside the mouth and swishing the oil around. The amount of time can vary, depending on personal preference, with some proponents believing one minute is enough, and others continuing the process for up to 20 minutes or longer.2

How effective is oil pulling?

Existing studies done on the potential health benefits of oil pulling are unreliable for many reasons, and no scientific studies currently exist that prove whether or not oil pulling reduces dental caries, whitens teeth, or improves oral or general overall health.2

The ADA does not recommend oil pulling 

Oil pulling as a supplementary oral hygiene practice or replacement for a standard oral hygiene regimen, is not recommended by the ADA; however, the ADA does strongly recommend the practice of twice-daily brushing with a fluoride toothpaste, as well as flossing once a day. For those who need more help in reducing gingivitis, the ADA supports adding an ADA-accepted antimicrobial mouthrinse, like LISTERINE® Antiseptic, shown to reduce plaque and gingivitis, to a daily oral care routine.2 The ADA specifically highlights LISTERINE® Antiseptic mouthrinse as a product that carries the ADA Seal of Acceptance, citing the fixed combination of 4 ESSENTIAL Oils formula, contained in LISTERINE® Antiseptic as antigingivitis and antiplaque active ingredients.2

ADA Seal of Acceptance

LISTERINE® Brand Antiseptic mouthwashes carry the ADA Seal of Acceptance on the bottle.

ADA Recognizes the Benefits of Rinsing

Brushing and flossing are both important parts of good oral health, and the ADA recognizes the benefits of rinsing.


References: 1. Singh A, Purohit B. Tooth brushing, oil pulling and tissue regeneration: a review of holistic approaches to oral health. J Ayurveda Integr Med. 2011;2(2):64-68. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3131773/. Accessed July 22, 2015. 2. American Dental Association. The practice of oil pulling. Accessed July 31, 2015.