Oil Pulling Can Prevent Yellow Teeth: A Simple (But Complete) Guide

Oil pulling can prevent yellow teeth

Written by Dr. Radhika Gadge

Medically reviewed by  Dr. Vidhi Bhanushali Kabade BDS, TCC

Last updated Apr 16, 2024

Written by Dr. Radhika Gadge

Medically reviewed by  Dr. Vidhi Bhanushali Kabade BDS, TCC

Last updated Apr 16, 2024

A regular practice can make a difference - Oil Pulling Can Prevent Yellow Teeth

Ever noticed anyone or probably your closed ones having yellow teeth? It gives an unpleasant feeling, right? If their oral hygiene is not up to the mark does it make you question their overall hygiene habits? And you ever wondered what if you had yellow teeth?

Yellowing of teeth is a gradual process and does not happen overnight. It hampers your look even if you made all the attempts to look nice. But in this new era of prevention studies have found a simple way to prevent the yellowing of teeth. We use face washes and face creams daily to prevent pimples and aging of the skin. Similarly, the use of one such method can now prevent your teeth from turning yellow— Oil pulling. But does oil pulling help whiten your teeth? Let’s dig into it.

What causes yellow stains on your teeth?

The staining of teeth is a result of various factors. There are many factors and reasons for yellow teeth. Most of them are pretty much related to —

  • Diet– We like to start our day with a cup of tea or coffee or sometimes lemon juice in the summers. Moreover, on weekends, or meeting an old friend, alcoholic drinks are preferred. Frequent consumption of these beverages can cause the wearing away of enamel. Also, drinks like Pepsi or popsicles contain coloring agents which can stain your teeth yellow.
  • Plaque- Teeth plaque is a soft yellowish layer that attaches to the tooth and causes the accumulation of bacteria. Just like dust that settles on a surface and makes it appear dull, plaque stays on the teeth and makes them appear yellow.
  • Calculus– This is a hard stone-like layer that forms on the outer surface of teeth due to plaque that stays for a longer time on the teeth. This can appear yellowish-brown when looked in the mirror, making your teeth appear more yellow than before.

Plaque picks up food stains


If you don’t brush your teeth regularly, you can see initially see a white-colored thin film-like coating (tooth plaque) covering the outer surfaces of the teeth. It contains food particles, debris, and innumerable colonies of bacteria.

Traditional Indian food is a combination of spices, oils, and coloring agents that can stain your teeth yellow. This temporary staining of teeth is due to food coloring agents in the food we eat. Similarly, the outer white layer of our tooth can easily pick up the food stains and in turn appear yellow. These stains can become dark and more difficult to remove over time.

Yellow plaque forms a layer on the tooth

Yellow plaque forms a layer on the tooth

When plaque first starts forming on your teeth, it’s very thin like a film—it’s almost invisible! It’s when you don’t properly clean your teeth that the problem occurs. Improper and vigorous brushing habits do not effectively clean all the surfaces of teeth but unnecessarily scrub your teeth causing wearing off of enamel.

When you don’t clean the teeth effectively, plaque continues to grow more and more on your teeth, such that, you can see a thick yellow layer around your teeth.

If you fail to maintain proper oral hygiene practices, this layer can turn hard into a calculus.

More plaque, more yellowing

Have you ever wondered what if you don’t bathe daily? Your body starts smelling bad. Also, the skin appears dull and dark because of the sweat and dirt that accumulates on it. In the same way, not brushing the teeth regularly and effectively can cause more and more plaque to attach to the teeth and result in more yellowing of teeth. This plaque is however extrinsic and can be removed with teeth cleaning and polishing procedure.

However, people ignore cleaning and polishing their teeth every 6 months, and keep wondering why their teeth appear yellow. We try out vigorous brushing, whitening toothpaste, DIY, youtube ideas, and WhatsApp forwards only to result in nothing. Whitening toothpaste does not work in such cases. But there are no studies to prove that whitening toothpaste can magically turn your yellow teeth to white. They are best used for already white teeth or teeth with minimal external stains.

Ayurveda suggested method – of oil pulling is a natural way to prevent the yellowing of teeth.

Oil pulling to reduce plaque levels

coconut-oil-with-coconut-oil-pulling- Oil pulling to reduce plaque levels

Oil pulling is a traditional method of squishing coconut oil in the mouth for 10-15 min and then spitting it out. This removes harmful bacteria and promotes oral health. Studies have shown that oil pulling is beneficial in reducing plaque and calculus and has a similar effect to mouthwashes.

How does oil pulling help reduce your plaque levels?

  • Oil pulling results in the saponification process that helps to flush out the toxins.
  • Oil has a viscous nature. Thus it can prevent plaque and bacteria from attaching to your tooth surface.
  • Also, Oils are rich in antioxidants which prevent the damage caused to the teeth due to the release of toxins from the microorganisms.

Just as applying fair and lovely won’t brighten your face, oil pulling cannot whiten your teeth but instead prevent the yellowing of teeth.

Less plaque less yellowing

As mentioned above oil pulling can cause a reduction in plaque levels on the teeth. Less plaque levels mean you have a less bacterial load in your mouth. Thus, no toxins are released which can turn your teeth yellow. Moreover, the antioxidant effect of oil pulling neutralizes the toxins that can still be released from fewer bacteria. Plaque can no more attract bacteria and grow on your teeth. As a result, you can see less yellowing of your teeth.

A regular practice can make a difference

You need to remember that oil pulling is a preventive measure for the yellowing of teeth. You might be wondering does oil pulling really work to whiten teeth? Well, studies are still going on to show that oil pulling can be beneficial for your yellow teeth to turn white but they are not definite.

Regular practice of squishing oil for 10-15 min in the morning can help keep your mouth healthy and is a natural way to prevent yellow teeth. Choosing this natural method over all the whitening toothpaste, DIY and WhatsApp forwards is a better way to prevent the yellowing of your teeth.

Similar to bathing and brushing teeth daily, oil pulling should be considered a routine oral hygiene practice to create a marked difference in preventing yellow teeth.

Bottom Line

Nowadays, on social media, It is easy to get a pop-up message or video explaining how to prevent yellow teeth. However, they bring along with them the risk of damaging your teeth. Oil pulling is dentist recommended natural proven and safe method to prevent the yellowing of teeth. Next time you come across any DIY for yellow teeth— try considering oil pulling instead.


  • Yellow stains on the teeth are commonly seen in people with inappropriate diet and oral hygiene practices.
  • Yellowing of teeth is a gradual process. Hence, it has a chance on prevention.
  • Plaque and calculus act as carriers for the yellow stains on the teeth.
  • Oil pulling is a natural way to prevent the yellowing of teeth by decreasing the plaque accumulation on the tooth.
  • It has proven to be as effective as mouthwashes.
  • Regular practice of oil pulling for 10-15 minutes every morning can prevent your teeth from turning yellow.
  • Oil pulling only prevents the yellowing but does not cure already yellow teeth.
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