You have probably heard a lot about at-home teeth whitening methods, so we want to break down the myth: can turmeric whiten teeth? There has been recent hype around this yellow powder being used in DIY toothpastes as a way to lift stains and whiten your smile. Beauty bloggers have been jumping on the trend as a “natural” teeth whitener but if you’ve ever cooked with turmeric you know just how easily it stains. If this is the case, does turmeric really whiten teeth?
What is turmeric?
First, it’s important to understand what turmeric is. It originated in India and is part of the ginger family. It’s widely used as a spice in Middle Eastern and South Asian cooking and is often what gives curry its distinctive yellow colour and flavour. It’s also the ingredient which gives American mustard it’s well-known hue. Turmeric has a mildly aromatic scent of orange and ginger but is known for its bitter-pepper flavour. Other than cooking, it’s been used for thousands of years in ancient medicine and continues to be used for home remedies. Some of the medical benefits of turmeric are claimed to be:
- Wound healing
- Weight management
- Supporting the brain and nervous system
- Arthritis relief
- Boosting immune system
- Diabetes control
- Promotes digestion
- Skin benefits
- Supporting liver function
The secret to turmeric toothpaste
Most of the DIY turmeric toothpaste recipes that you find online include sodium bicarbonate and coconut oil. The recipe: 2 parts turmeric powder to 1 part coconut oil and 1 part baking soda.
Pull up a YouTube search and you will see hundreds of videos trying out this method with varying results. The secret lies in the additional ingredients...
Sodium Bicarbonate is commonly used for teeth whitening due to its mild abrasive and absorptive properties. This will gently remove the surface stains from your teeth while you brush.
Coconut oil has been used as a traditional whitening method for years. Oil pulling attacks the bad bacteria in your mouth to minimise plaque build up.
So can turmeric whiten your teeth?
There is very little evidence to show that turmeric on its own holds any whitening benefits (you will probably just end up with a very stained toothbrush).
Although you won’t be getting whiter teeth by adding turmeric into your routine, some research suggests it has many other benefits for your oral health. Curcumin, the main compound in turmeric, can prevent gingivitis according to a 2012 study. They found that the anti-inflammatory properties in turmeric helped to prevent gum disease. A further study in 2013 then discovered that turmeric can even be used as a dental pain relief. So if you’re looking for a natural way to improve oral health, turmeric might be your answer!
Alternative whitening options to turmeric
As for the beauty bloggers getting a whiter smile, their DIY blend may not be the right concentration for your teeth, they choose a ratio of ingredients that is easy to remember and repeat, rather than one that is proven to have the best results. Instead, you can find a toothpaste that is designed for gradual whitening and oral protection.
The Day & Night Toothpaste works to protect against stains and plaque build up. There are millions of different bacteria in your mouth, some of these hold benefits and others are more harmful to your system. If left untouched, this bacteria creates a biofilm on your teeth leading to various problems including bad breath, gum inflammation, gingivitis and cavities.
A whitening toothpaste such as the Day & Night Toothpaste works is simple because your teeth need different things at different times of the day. In the morning, it adds a micro-shield wax onto your teeth to act as a barrier against bacteria. At night, the activated charcoal works to gently whiten your teeth as you brush.
If whitening your teeth quickly is your number one priority, there are some more effective methods available. Gel based teeth whitening kits have been found to whiten teeth quickly, but if you want a natural option, avoid those containing gelatine or peroxide such as our Teeth Whitening Kit which is vegan and cruelty free. It works to whiten the molecules in your teeth without any damage to the enamel or sensitivity to your teeth or gums.
Turmeric might be a good addition to your oral care if you’re looking to improve your gum health, but there’s no evidence to prove that it has the ability to whiten your teeth. DIY toothpaste is a cost effective option but if you’re looking for instantly brighter teeth, there are other at home methods available.