The History of Teeth Whitening
Majority of people have experienced dentists offering teeth whitening services at least once. Dentists offer a wide variety of options when it comes to teeth whitening. For more than 5,000 years people have been using whatever was around at the time to clean their teeth and keep them white. There were some surprising ways in which people throughout history have whitened their teeth! The practice of whitening teeth began 4,000 years ago in ancient Egypt. The way in which ancient Egyptians would whiten their teeth would consist of grounding up pumice stone and mixing it with white vinegar to produce this whitening paste. Throughout history white teeth have been considered a sign of both beauty and wealth. White teeth can be considered expensive and high maintenance depending on the method in which you whiten them. However, the ancient Egyptian’s method of teeth whitening wasn’t the most shocking. The Romans take the cake when it comes to that. The Romans used a variety of horrendous methods to obtain a bright smile. They used unsanitary products that contained ammonia. However, we today still use products with ammonia to obtain whiter teeth.
When the 17th century rolled around, it was considered socially acceptable to get your teeth whitened at the barber. It was common practice for the barber to also be a dentist. The whitening side of it was pretty nasty since the dentist/barber would first grind down the teeth before applying acid to whiten them. What nobody realized at the time was that while it gave you whiter teeth, it also ate away at the enamel which led to decay. Surprisingly enough, this technique of whitening was practiced until the 18th century. Around 1840 it was discovered that fluoride was an alternative method for brightening teeth. It was also used at the time to keep teeth clean which we still use today. As we near closer to modern times, fluoride is found in almost all toothpastes. Furthermore, bicarbonate in soda is found to whiten teeth as well. Bicarbonate is known only to whiten teeth temporarily such as after having a glass of red wine.
Ranging from bleaching to lasers it appears as though new teeth whitening techniques are arising every couple of years. Your dentist will test these and advocate which they feel are most beneficial and effective for you.