Modern teeth whitening is the culmination of millennia of ancient practices that came before it. Many cultures from around the world valued white teeth and came up with different ways to achieve it. Some were far more unique than others.
If you’d like to learn more about the historical roots of teeth whitening, continue reading. Below you’ll find several examples of ancient treatments from around the world.
Ancient Egypt and Rome
The ancient Egyptians valued beauty in all things. It’s no wonder, then, that they were one of the first to come up with a solution for whitening teeth. They used a mixture of ground pumice stone and wine vinegar to scrub away stains.
Similarly, the Romans concocted pastes made from ingredients like…well…urine and goat milk to lighten their teeth. While it worked for them, I think you’ll be glad to know that science has come a long way since then.
In ancient China, a blend of ginseng, herbs, and salt served as a primitive teeth whitening treatment. The Chinese were pioneers in recognizing the aesthetic value of white teeth and developed methods to achieve it using their abundant natural ingredients.
Europe in the 17th Century
As you get closer to the modern era, 17th-century Europe saw the introduction of more unconventional teeth whitening methods. Barber surgeons were dentists, surgeons, and also happened to cut hair and shave beards.
The popular whitening practice they invented involved using files to scrape the outside of teeth before using acid solutions to bleach them. While effective to some extent, these methods often resulted in enamel damage.
The modern era of teeth whitening has been one of giant leaps in progress. By the 1980s, hydrogen peroxide became a common ingredient in over-the-counter whitening products. This made them safer and more accessible to a wider number of people.
Now, dentists offer in-office treatments, using advanced technologies like LED lights to enhance the effectiveness of whitening agents. Additionally, at-home whitening kits with custom-fit trays allow individuals to brighten their smile in the comfort of their homes.
As you can see, whitening treatments have come a long way! The next time you go to the dentist to remove those bothersome stains from your teeth, you’ll know how much work went into getting there.
About the Author
Dr. William Poe is a professional and highly skilled dentist who enjoys getting to know his patients. He received his dental degree from the University of South California School of Dentistry and has since then expanded his knowledge and skill through training seminars, and continuing education courses like the renowned Las Vegas Institute. To schedule a teeth whitening consultation, call (562) 594-5067 or visit the website to explore other services.