Request Request Appointment Patient
Download Our Forms
Like us on Facebook
Call Give us a Call Map View our Map

A Brief History of Teeth Whitening

October 13, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — tntadmin @ 10:21 pm
Woman shows off smile

While you might have thought that dentists only invented teeth whitening a few decades ago, the truth is that people have used various methods to bring their smiles to a whiter shade since ancient times. The methods people used in earlier eras weren’t quite as safe, clean, and effective as they are today. Here’s a brief history of teeth whitening to help you appreciate just how much cosmetic dentistry has advanced.

In Ancient Times

One of the earliest recorded methods of teeth whitening was used by the ancient Egyptians around 4,000 years ago. They made a rudimentary whitening potion by mixing wine vinegar with ground pumice stone. While white teeth were considered a mark of beauty then as they are today, they were also considered a sign of wealth in ancient Egyptian society.

A while later, ancient Romans made use of a readily available and all-natural teeth whitening solution that most people today would find incredibly unpleasant. They would use human urine as mouthwash. While the ammonia that urine contains did have a bleaching effect on the teeth, it didn’t do any favors for Caesar’s or Marc Anthony’s breath.

The Medieval Era

In medieval Europe, dentistry and surgery were considered the domain of the local barber. A popular whitening treatment at the time had the barber applying a few coats of acid to a patient’s teeth. While this did have the desired whitening effect, it also had the unpleasant side effect of eroding the enamel layer and making the teeth more vulnerable to decay. Since it doesn’t quite make sense to whiten one’s teeth in a way that makes them eventually fall out, this method is no longer used.

The Rise of Modern Whitening

Eventually, dentists figured out that hydrogen peroxide could effectively treat gum disease while also having a whitening effect on the teeth. In 1918, dentists discovered that after applying this handy compound to the teeth, exposing it to a heat lamp would accelerate the lightening effect. Things got even better in the 1960s when dentists realized that soaking the teeth in peroxide overnight made them significantly whiter.

In 1989, teeth whitening treatments began to take their modern forms. A modern dentist might perform an in-office teeth whitening treatment that can be completed in an hour or two. Otherwise, they might provide a patient with a take-home kit that includes customized dental trays and professional-grade whitening gel. A patient just has to apply the gel to the trays and wear them over their teeth for an hour every day for two weeks. Both these methods deliver results far superior to those of any product you can buy from the store, leaving teeth up to ten shades whiter.

About the Practice

Epic Family Dentistry of Carrollton delivers the best of everything when it comes to dental care. Led by Drs. Afshin Azmoodeh and Sohee Kim, the staff provides patients with one-on-one attention using the latest methods and technology. Areas of expertise include preventive, restorative, emergency, and cosmetic dentistry such as teeth whitening treatments. For more information, contact the office in Carrollton, TX online or dial (972) 820-7294.

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.