Teeth Whitening: True Historical Facts about Getting a Brighter Smile
By Apple Valley Dental
June 11, 2014
Category: Dental Procedures
Teeth Whitening: Historical (and True!) Facts About Getting a Brighter Smile
The quest for a brighter smile didn’t start with Hollywood movie stars or politicians hoping to improve their appearance. In fact, tooth whitening dates all the way back to ancient Egypt and Rome. But their teeth whitening efforts are likely ones you may not be able to imagine incorporating into your own personal routine.
Natural Teeth Whitening
Egyptians whitened their teeth using a mixture of small pieces of pumice stone for exfoliating-type properties and wine vinegar. The Egyptians prized white teeth, believing they were signs of wealth. The ancient Romans went what we would term a less-desirable route: using urine to whiten their teeth. Although it’s hard to imagine urine as a working teeth whitening method today, the surprising truth is that urine contains ammonia, which does have teeth-whitening properties.
Teeth-whitening methods continued throughout history including when 17th-century barbers would file down teeth and apply nitric acid to make them appear whiter. While their patrons may have gotten results, they likely paid for it with increased dental decay because removing the dental enamel boosted the likelihood bacteria could take hold.
Modern Dental Whitening 1980 & On
While there are plenty of questionable whitening methods over time, whitening as we know it today began in the 1980s when dentists discovered applying peroxide to the teeth could whiten them. Prior to this, peroxide was actually used as a treatment applied to the gums because it has antibacterial properties in addition to its whitening properties. However, several details had to be worked out, such as how to create a peroxide-containing gel that would whiten stick on the teeth.
Today, tooth whitening is a highly popular cosmetic service, including at our Apple Valley dentist’s office. Professional teeth whitening offers significantly greater results when compared with at-home tooth whitening gels and strips. Dr. Kim offers both in-office and take-home whitening services, which means you can choose the best option for you based on your desired results and available time.
Thanks to the dental innovations that came before, Dr. Kim is able to offer his Apple Valley dentist patients a whiter, safer smile. For more information about how you can achieve a brighter smile, please call (760) 247-6007.