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This Common Pantry Staple Will Whiten Your Teeth Fast, Experts Say

Experts say this one item could add some more sparkle to your smile.

Your smile is the first thing people see, so it makes sense you want it to look your best. But like any part of your body, it can go through some wear and tear. Perhaps you've fallen into bad habits and lapsed on your brushing or flossing routine, or you're dealing with stains from coffee, tea, or red wine. If you're looking for a more natural solution for a brighter smile, you're in luck. Read on to discover the common pantry staple that will whiten your teeth fast.

RELATED: Never Do This After Brushing Your Teeth, Doctors Warn.

Turmeric can help you whiten your teeth.

turmeric curcumin

While you might be used to using turmeric for curry or roasted vegetables, it can also be used for something else: to help whiten your teeth. According to wellness site Well + Good, brushing your teeth with turmeric and coconut oil can help brighten your smile.

"In Ayurveda, the coconut oil aspect gets more attention because of oil pulling," Trudy Collings, Ayurvedic expert and co-founder of Paavani Healing Company, told the site. "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." While turmeric helps with polishing your teeth, coconut oil eliminates bacteria and reduces plaque.

And according to Joseph Salim, DMD, dental practitioner at Sutton Place Dental Associates, the spice won't damage your dental enamel or irritate your gums.

The spice has other health benefits as well.

turmeric in a bowl

In addition to teeth whitening, turmeric can be beneficial to your health in other ways, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), the plant, which is native to Southeast Asia, has been used in East Asian medicine "for disorders of the skin, upper respiratory tract, joints, and digestive system." Now, it's used as a dietary supplement for conditions like digestive disorders, liver disease, depression, and arthritis. A 2018 study from The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry revealed turmeric also helped "improve memory performance in adults without dementia."

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However, not all dentists believe that turmeric is a great teeth whitener.

Woman looking at her teeth

While some experts swear by turmeric to help whiten teeth, other medical professionals don't buy it. "Turmeric has amazing benefits but it is not something you want near your teeth because of heavy staining," says Sharon Huang, DDS, MICOI, of dentistry practice Les Belles NYC.

Thomas J McCarthy, DDS, director of product development at dental retailer SportingSmiles, agrees. "There are no scientific studies that show turmeric does anything to help with teeth whitening," he says. "It's kind of the next fad."

There are other natural items in your household that can help polish your teeth.

Red ripe apples and cut apples on the cutting board
marigold-y / Shutterstock

If you're looking for something else in your pantry to help remove teeth stains, baking soda is a great product to use. "It may sound strange to brush with baking soda, but it is a safe and effective way to whiten your teeth," says Janet Coleman, co-founder of consumer trends site "Baking soda neutralizes acids in your mouth, helps remove stains and plaque, and polishes your teeth." Even better? It cleans between the teeth and along the gum line, where a toothbrush cannot reach.

There are also certain foods that will make your teeth shine. According to Salim, these include apples, celery, pears, almonds, and carrots. "They are high in fiber," says Salim. "When you chew them, they will have the same effect as a natural toothbrush." They also stimulate the production of saliva which neutralizes acids produced by bacterial food fermentation, he adds. Additionally, foods like cacao, cauliflowers, rhubarb, broccoli, spinach, carrots are rich in oxalic acid, which forms calcium oxalate and "creates a protective layer covering the tooth."

RELATED: This Is the Absolute Worst Time to Brush Your Teeth, Dentists Say.

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