The Best Ways for Whitening Teeth with Turmeric

whitening teeth with turmeric

Why is mustard so yellow? 

Because it contains turmeric. 

This bright orange, spicy rhizome can stain pretty much anything it touches. 

​But... whitening teeth with turmeric

It’s also said to lift certain stains, which is why people use it ​for whitening their teeth.

At first, I found the prospect of whitening teeth with turmeric to be terrifying.

How could I be sure that it wouldn’t stain my (already slightly yellowing) teeth the color of cheddar cheese?

That is precisely the opposite of what we’re trying to accomplish here!

However, turmeric truly can help lift and loosen stains that have accumulated on your teeth.

And today, I’ll tell you all about it.

​Stay with me now…

We’ll figure out why going natural is best, why turmeric is awesome, and the best ways to whiten with it.

Why Whitening Teeth with Tumeric?

Of course, it’s hard to buy into natural methods when we are constantly seeing unnaturally white teeth.

whitening teeth turmeric

But bling-bling smiles aren’t cheap, nor do they come without consequences


...are they that costly? 

After all, you can cruise on over to most any retailer and get a box of whitening strips. 

The catch with these is that you don’t get professional results, which leads you into buying another box.

And this habitual peroxide whitening is potentially damaging.

One-month supplies of white strips are meant to be used just twice per year, maximum.

However, even with appropriate use, they can cause sensitivity.

To be fair, dentists and researchers alike will tell you that using OTC chemical whiteners are totally safe.

And they’re not wrong, exactly. 

​​What does that mean?

​In some ways, using these is like bleaching your hair.

If you use a quality formula or see a professional, all is well the first few treatments.

You love the results.

But over time, your hair becomes porous and damaged.

The price you pay for finally achieving the platinum blonde color of your dreams is the health of your hair.

And for so many of us, whitening strips do not provide the dramatic results we hope they will.

teeth stains

How do I know?

I’m going to level with you - I used to use whitening strips. Perhaps more than I should have.

For good measure, I even went ahead and bought the same brand’s most potent whitening toothpaste.

What happened?

Well, I found that the sensitivity was temporary. I didn’t like it, but I kept convincing myself that it would be worth it.

A few months in, I felt like I was developing an addiction to these things.

Why did I develop a compulsive need for whitening strips and toothpastes?

Because they actually started making my teeth more prone to staining.

Yes, after a few months, my teeth would yellow if I even looked at a cup of coffee.

As it turns out, I was wearing down the protective layer of the tooth’s surface.

My dentist’s advice was crystal-clear: back off of the whitening products.

dentist exam

These disappointing results, coupled with the risks involved, make natural methods much more appealing to me.

The natural beauty of a clean, white smile should not be painful.

The best thing about using natural methods to whiten teeth is that you can combine them without suffering side effects.

For instance, thinking about using whitening strips and other peroxide treatments together? 

You’re likely going to be in the kind of pain I was. 

But you can oil pull and use turmeric jointly with no ill effects to the health of your mouth.

In any given week, you can rotate natural methods to whiten.

The Many Benefits of Turmeric

The active ingredients used in commercial tooth whiteners are carbamide and hydrogen peroxides. I don’t think I have to tell you that these chemicals are not edible.

Aside from bleaching the teeth, carbamide peroxide is pretty much only used to dissolve ear wax. And hydrogen peroxide, of course, can bleach hair.

On the other hand, turmeric is good for your body, inside and out.


Use it on your teeth to whiten, use it on your skin to fade acne scars and discoloration.

And there’s a ton of potential for massive internal benefits.

Curcumin, the precious active compound within turmeric, may help improve or reduce the risk of the following:

Wow, right?

Of course, there are some considerations to be made before hanging all of your hopes on curcumin.

It’s not incredibly bioavailable, and it makes up a very small percentage of turmeric.

I’ve shared info all about that here, along with a lot of awesome ways to eat more turmeric.

Whitening Teeth with Turmeric                                                                                   - How Does It Work?

Okay, so turmeric is a super-healthy spice.

How in the world does that translate into whiter teeth?

And how did we all suddenly become obsessed with it?

The answer, as it happens, might be found in oil pulling.

Several years ago, oil pulling became very popular on blogs, on Pinterest - all over the internet. 

Most people learned that this was an ancient practice passed down in Ayurvedic teachings, often called gandusha.

The purpose, historically, was to detoxify the body and reduce oral bacteria. Oils like coconut and sesame are antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral.

coconut oil

But us Westerners couldn’t help but glom onto the fact that it truly does whiten teeth.

With a little digging, we discover that the use of turmeric is also a common Ayurvedic oral practice. 

The original intention, we assume, is to pile the benefits of turmeric onto the benefits of the pulling oil. Double the detox, if you will.

This dream team doesn’t just detox, though.

Fat-laden coconut oil binds to the surface of film that coats teeth, just like food and beverages that stain.

Add the friction from swishing, and you should see the coconut oil begin to uproot or lift those stains.

Brushing with turmeric gives us a similar, antibacterial clean.

But unlike oil, ground turmeric is powdery and granular.

Therefore, it provides mild abrasion that only serves to amplify the stain-lifting power of coconut oil.

In this case, turmeric is comparable to baking soda or activated charcoal. But just as with peroxides, turmeric is much healthier for our bodies overall.

In the end, I can’t help but feel like turmeric and oil’s whitening power comes from their exceptional cleaning power.

coconut oil turmeric

Combine these, and you can easily lighten teeth a shade by removing stains.

It will not... however, whiten teeth beyond the natural shade of your enamel. This is only done with professional treatments or, more likely, porcelain veneers.

Now, let’s get down to business.

I have three excellent, effective ways to whiten your teeth with turmeric.

Which one do I think is best? 

You’ll have to read on to find out!

1. Turmeric Toothpaste

Turmeric toothpaste isn’t a replacement for your regular, cavity-fighting toothpaste.

Rather, use your turmeric toothpaste first. This is great, because it will further ensure there’s no yellow residue leftover from the turmeric.

Please note that you will need to use a separate toothbrush - not your usual - when brushing with turmeric. It WILL stain the bristles.

You’ll need:

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    1 teaspoon of virgin, unrefined coconut oil 
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    ​​¼ a teaspoon ground turmeric 
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    ​​Optional: 1 tiny drop of peppermint, cinnamon, or clove oil - Shop now at

In a small dish, mix your coconut oil and turmeric until it’s uniformly yellow/orange.

Next, carefully add a drop of your essential oil, and mix well to incorporate.

Dip your toothbrush in the dish, scooping as much of the paste on your brush as you can.


Next, brush the paste all over your teeth.

Instead of brushing for a full two minutes, stop when you’re sure you’ve scrubbed it onto every surface.

Now, let it sit for 3-5 minutes.

Rinse well, and proceed to brush with your regular toothpaste and brush.

2. Turmeric Oil Pulling Chews

So you want to add turmeric to your oil pulling regimen. Well, it doesn’t have to be as messy as you’d expect.

Making oil pulling “chews” ahead of time helps reinforce the healthy habit.

No daily spooning, measuring, or mixing - just pop it in your mouth and carry on​.

The ingredients are the exact same as the toothpaste, just in larger amounts.

You’ll need:

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    ½ cup virgin, unrefined coconut oil 
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    ​​1 -  1 ½ teaspoons turmeric 
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    ​​Optional: a few drops of essential oils 

Melt the coconut oil until it’s a clear liquid.

Stir in your turmeric and essential oils.

Next, take a candy mold or ice cube tray and pour the mixture in. Depending on the size of your tray compartments, you may not need to fill each to the top.

ice cube trays

Stick it in the fridge until it all solidifies. Pop them out and store in an airtight container in the fridge.

To use, place a chew or two in your mouth and let it melt.

It’s best to oil pull early in the day, on an empty stomach. Swish for 10-20 minutes. Spit the oil into the garbage, rinse well, and proceed to brushing. 

In my opinion, this is the best way to whiten with turmeric. It’s super-convenient, combining two natural whitening methods in one.

3. Chew the Root

There’s no substitute for brushing your teeth.

Still, chewing on tough, fibrous fruits and veggies, like apple and celery, cleans your teeth.

Cleaner teeth are always whiter teeth.

Therefore, you can get the whitening benefits of turmeric and chewing by simply chewing on a turmeric root​ - Shop now at

I like to chop my root into matchstick-size pieces and gnaw away.

The best part isn’t actually whiter teeth - it’s the energy!

The spicy kick gives me a temporary boost that makes it a great mid-afternoon ritual.


I’ve been around the block with turmeric.

I’ve been researching the best supplements and ways to incorporate it into your diet.

And now, I feel like I’m up to speed on whitening teeth with it.

But I encountered something worrying during all of that research. There are a lot of recipes out there that suggest you use acids in combination with the turmeric.

You should never use an acid, such as lemon juice, in combination with brushing.

lemon juice

You should also never use it with a gritty substance like ground turmeric or baking soda. Over time, combining them wears away at the enamel on your teeth.

Finally, don’t scrub with an abrasive daily.

Use your turmeric, charcoal, or any other natural whitener no more than three times per week.

BONUS Guide: Building an Oral Care Routine for Whiter, Healthier Teeth

Skip harsh peroxides and enamel-damaging products.

Get the cleanest, most naturally white smile you can by optimizing your daily dental practices.

What you need:

Your daily routine should include:

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    Morning: Scrape tongue 
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    ​​​Next: Oil pull with coconut oil 
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    ​​​Then: Brush with electric toothbrush for two minutes 
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    Evening: Floss 
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    Evening: Brush with electric toothbrush for two minutes  

Two or three times per week, use your turmeric oil pulling chews or paste in the morning, before regular brushing.

You may also wish to incorporate a saltwater rinse in the evening. I do this more ​often during cold and flu season

saltwater rinse

You might wonder why I use two different toothpastes.

It’s simple:

I just don’t think tons of fluoride is necessary.

It’s a very complex topic, but the bottom line is that it’s not the end-all-be-all in oral care.

Moreover, we get plenty in our water supply. It’s even in our beer.

I also note that constant fluoride use increases the sensitivity of my teeth.

So with approval from my dentist, I regularly alternate a non-fluoridated toothpaste with a fluoride formula.

You should try to avoid toothpastes with ingredients like triclosan and SLS.

Instead, look for things like aloe vera, xylitol, neem, and sea minerals.

When in doubt, always discuss with your dentist.

If I buy a new toothpaste, I bring it to my dentist during checkups, so she can have a look.

That’s about all the time I have for revealing my secrets on: 

Whitening Teeth with Turmeric

While on your quest for white teeth, you can become addicted to products that actually damage teeth or cause pain.

Health and cleanliness are the most important factors in an attractive smile, and clean teeth are always whiter.

Despite staining nearly everything it touches, turmeric can help us achieve a whiter smile naturally.

It’s antibacterial and lightly abrasive, loosening stains without damaging enamel.

Add in coconut oil, and you’ve got a one-two punch against regular stains from food and drink.

I’d love to know - are you going to try turmeric to naturally whiten teeth?

What do you think of whitening strips and paste?

If you know of any other safe and natural ways to whiten teeth, please share them below and we'll talk soon. 

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