The Spice That Can Help You Get Brilliant White Teeth (Really) May 23, 2017 12:45

This memory- and weight loss-boosting spice can also work wonders for your teeth.


Even though turmeric is a game-changing skin booster and inflammation-fighting super food, you have to be careful handling it--because it turns everything it touches into that signature yellow-orange shade. But the one thing it doesn't stain is your teeth--in fact, it actually whitens them (completely counter intuitive, but yes). 

After beauty DIY blogger Farah Dhukia posteda video about how brushing your teeth with turmeric plus coconut oil instantly makes your pearly whites more white than off-white, I had to get an expert's opinion as to whether it really works (because it sounds too good to be true).

turmeric teeth whitening

Turns out that in ancient Ayurveda, holistic gurus have known about it all along.

"In Ayurveda, the coconut oil aspect gets more attention because of oil pulling," says Trudy Collings, Ayurvedic expert and co-founder of Paayani healing company.  "But once you infuse herbs, you get the properties and benefits of the base oil but also each individual herb which helps boost your oral health." (She notes that charcoal works whitening wonders, too.)

Specifically, turmeric reduces gum inflammation, has antibacterial properties, and helps with whitening, she adds. "And coconut oil reduces plaque and fights the bacteria that contributes to cavities and gum disease."

turmeric for teeth

Even dentists can get behind the more woo-woo whitening method (kind of). "The fatty part of the coconut oil adheres to the fatty outer cell layer of tooth bacteria and pulls it away," says Victoria Veytsman, DDS, a cosmetic dentist. "It removes stains from your teeth. I'd say it's mostly the abrasive quality of turmeric that'd help with that as well, but I'd recommend baking soda instead."

The best part is that the two superstar ingredients are totally affordable (if you don't have them in your pantry already)—and they don't have harmful side effects, which certain white strips can't say (cough). "Over-the-counter whitening methods make your teeth feel weak and achy," says Collings. "They can also lead to receding gums because of the chemicals used, whereas coconut oil helps with receding gum lines."