According to historical records, Man’s desire for white teeth isn’t a new occurrence. It turns out that, although primitive in its execution, teeth whitening has been around for quite some time. How did it develop into the sophisticated versions that are available today? Continue reading to get the full scoop!
Teeth Whitening in Ancient History
Archeologists and anthropologists have discovered that the ancient Egyptians had an affinity for white teeth. It was considered to be a symbol of virility, wealth and sensuous appeal. Legend has it that pharaohs were so fascinated with having white teeth that they used a special toothpaste made of wine-vinegar, pumice stone and ground oxen hooves. There is also evidence of them chewing certain sticks that were believed to clean the teeth and remove stains.
How the Romans Whitened Their Teeth
It’s no secret that vanity was at the center of Roman civilization. Thus, the people were quite concerned about the appearance of their teeth. Similar to the Egyptians, the Romans used a special type of chew stick for brushing their teeth and preventing plaque development. According to some documents, they even brushed their dentures with urine so that the ammonia would help maintain a white smile.
Teeth Whitening in Europe
In Europe, there is evidence of a group of Nomadic people applying acid to their teeth and then filing them to achieve a white smile. While they were able to brighten their teeth, it came at the expense of the precious enamel.
The Emergence of Modern Teeth Whitening
Like most great discoveries, modern teeth whitening was stumbled upon by accident. Searching for a remedy for teenagers who had swollen gingival tissue after having their braces removed, a group of dentists came up with the idea to use an over-the-counter product called Gly-Oxide. Designed to treat sores in the mouth, they added the compound to prefabricated application trays that fit over the teeth and gums. To their surprise, the Gly-Oxide made the teeth appear lighter.
The dentists would go on to discover that the compound lightened the teeth because it contained carbamide peroxide. After years of trial and error, a refined version of the whitener was introduced. It would spawn a host of new products, including teeth whitening strips, whitening toothpaste, whitening mouthwash and others.
At the end of the day, the best results are achieved from professional teeth whitening, whether conducted in-office or with a take-home kit. Either route ensures that you’ll receive custom and safe care that brightens your ivores by as much as eight shades. With your newly whitened teeth, you can finally smile with confidence!
About the Author
Dr. Frank Michitti earned his dental degree from The Ohio State University College of Dentistry. Since then, he has remained an avid learner, completing the necessary coursework to be rewarded Mastership status in the Academy of General Dentistry. Dr. Michitti has received additional advanced training from the Dawson Academy in Florida. He provides an array of services, which includes teeth whitening at Lifetime Dental, and he can be reached for more information or to schedule a visit through his website.