One of the latest DIY dental trends floating around the internet is a homemade whitening concoction made of coconut oil, baking soda and turmeric. Turmeric, a member of the ginger family, is a goldenrod-colored spice often used in South Asian and Middle Eastern cooking.
Proponents say that applying the mixture to teeth and letting it sit for five minutes results in instantly whiter teeth, with even more impressive results after several days of use. And it allegedly does so without the sensitivity that tends to come with traditional whitening methods.
The verdict: Don’t trade your whitening toothpaste for a jar of spices just yet. Turmeric’s whitening powers haven’t been scientifically verified, and anyone who uses the DIY concoction as a replacement for fluoride toothpaste is harming their teeth by removing the enamel-protecting mineral from the equation. However, using turmeric as a supplement to fluoride toothpaste probably won’t hurt anything but your toothbrush: Turmeric is known for producing yellow stains, so use a toothbrush you don’t mind trashing after your experiment. Remember, it’s always best to talk with your dentist before starting a new oral health regimen.