Some celebs rely on pricey whitening treatments to create a red carpet–ready smile, but Julianne Hough prefers a $3 jar of turmeric.
The star, who also recently made headlines for dying her hair a gorgeous fiery red, revealed to E! News that she’s been using the buzzed-about seasoning to brighten her smile at home. “You’d think it would be the opposite and it’d stain your teeth, but it actually makes them whiter,” she said.
But before you go buying a family pack of the orange-brown spice, know that not all white smiles are created equally. Beverly Hills, CA cosmetic dentist Kourosh Maddahi, DDS says that while we don’t know which form of turmeric the actress is using—it could make a difference in its properties—he generally hasn’t seen a whitening effect from the seasoning.
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“As for the spice’s power to fight bacteria, I believe that any oral-care product that alters the natural oral flora of the mouth won’t have a good long-term effect because resistive bacteria will end up developing,” Dr. Maddahi explains, adding that 99 percent of the bacteria found in our mouths is protective in nature. And though he’s not denying the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric that have been making its rounds on social media and medical journals, Dr. Maddahi also notes that these effects has yet to be tested in the mouth.
But, according to Hough, it’s at least worth a try. “Turmeric is the bomb,” she says. “Y’all should try it.” To keep your breath fresh and your mouth healthy, your best bet may be brushing regularly with your cavity-preventing toothpaste before following with the spice.