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June 22, 2017
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This piece originally appeared on PureWow.

If over-the-counter whitening products are a tad aggressive for your sensitive teeth, head to your spice rack. Turns out that turmeric--the trendy ingredient that’s been popping up in all sorts of recipes lately--can also brighten your smile naturally.

What you need: A jar of coconut oil, a bottle of turmeric, a small mixing bowl, your toothbrush and your everyday toothpaste.

What you do: Combine 1 tablespoon of coconut oil with 1 teaspoon of turmeric in your bowl. Using your toothbrush, mix the two ingredients together to form a paste. Next, brush your teeth with the mixture as you normally would, but instead of spitting immediately afterward, let the paste sit on your teeth for a few minutes. Right about now, your mouth will be an alarming shade of yellow--trust, it’s only temporary. Then, using your regular toothpaste, give your teeth one final brush and rinse thoroughly. 

Why it works: Similar to baking soda, turmeric has a slightly abrasive texture that removes plaque and stains caused by the things we love, like coffee…and Merlot. Plus, it’s naturally antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, which helps to improve your overall oral health.

What you should watch out for: The process can be slightly messy, and it is a bit stubborn to get the stuff off your teeth initially. But the extra brushing and rinsing is well worth the effort once you see how much brighter your smile looks. But if you really can’t stomach the peppery taste of turmeric, try a banana peel instead.

Related: 7 Tricks for Whitening Whites

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