When I first heard a couple of years ago about the use of turmeric powder as an ingredient in a simple homemade toothpaste formula, I was intrigued, to say the least. Of all the things to use for cleaning one’s teeth, initially, turmeric seemed among the most preposterous. When used as a spice, such as in soups and whatnot, I knew its vivid yellow coloration would make its presence therein impossible to ignore. I had witnessed its use in various food products as an actual coloring agent, at which it invariably excelled. So, upon hearing the dead-serious recommendation of turmeric as a superlative component for the most basic task of everyday oral care, I could only imagine the resultant mouth full of bright yellow — to say nothing of the newly yellowed teeth inside, I envisioned.
What’s more, shortly thereafter I learned that inexpensive powdered turmeric, when combined in a certain proportion with preferably virgin unrefined coconut oil and mixed into a paste, has the strong potential to actually whiten one’s teeth, along with effectively cleaning them. As someone who consumes an ungodly amount of pure black coffee everyday (for its many health benefits, of course), well, let’s just say that any safe teeth-whitening method is one which I will readily investigate without hesitation.
It was not long before I was mixing up my own turmeric toothpaste, first combining it in various experimental ratios with the suggested virgin coconut oil, and later adding such optional ingredients as baking soda (for enhanced cleaning) and peppermint oil for flavor. I also experimented with substituting fractionated coconut oil, which is a virtually clear liquid at room temperature, for the virgin variety of coconut oil. Eventually I returned to using the unadulterated virgin oil, as I concluded it likely retained benefits the processed variety may have lost along the way. On one occasion one of my small quantities of turmeric-based toothpaste strangely turned an almost brick-red color; I never really discovered why this was, nor was I able to exacty replicate it again.
As far as cleaning is concerned, yes, I found that even the most basic two component version, using just turmeric and coconut oil in about a three-to-one ratio, did seem to clean quite well. And provided one uses a soft-bristled brush, there was very little of the gum butchery as might occur with a more abrasive formula, such as with baking soda. Both virgin coconut oil and turmeric tend to demonsrate anti-inflammatory actions, and so when combined, the effect would predictably be even more pronounced. When used as a teeth-cleaning substrate, turmeric is said to be just abrasive enough to clean, but not nearly enough to wear down tooth enamel.
To obtain the oft-desired “whitening” result, I learned, one has to leave the paste on the teeth, after brushing thoroughly, for anywhere from three to five minutes. Naturally I adopted this practice as an adjunct to my brushing, but have I found it to genuinely whiten my teeth, after rinsing out all the yellow? That’s a bit difficult to say. There are times I’ve felt it has done so, and just as many when I couldn’t conclude one way or the other. But regardless, I have to say I very much like using my homemade turmeric toothpaste. I believe in it, and I continue using it up through the present day.
I might add that, over the last couple of years spanning from when I first began using turmeric toothpaste to this immediate time of writing, I have very seldom since used manufactured toothpaste, which was usually when I was on vacation and preferred the convenience of simply packing a tube in my travel bag. When I did use tubed toothpaste, it was always fluoride-free, as per my personal choice (I will not debate the issue herein). I will happily disclose that my last three regularly-scheduled biannual visits to the dentist have found my teeth to be cavity-free. I can by no means guarantee the same bill of health for anyone who does as I have elected to do for my oral care, as there are many other important factors involved (such as diet, etc.), but assuredly, white teeth or not exactly, my faith in turmeric toothpaste has been all the more bolstered.