Tooth whitening is one of the most popular reasons for patients to visit the dentist. In fact it is involved in one-third of all cosmetic procedures, but when did this modern phenomenon all start?
Tooth whitening actually has a very long history which can be traced back as far as ancient Egypt and Rome! The Egyptians mixed pumice stone and wine vinegar, which they applied using their chew sticks, while the Romans were convinced human urine was the best whitening agent!
In the 18th century barbers were responsible for looking after hair and teeth. Teeth were filed down with a metal apparatus and then nitric acid was applied to make them shiny and white. This technique wore down the enamel and lead to decayed teeth. Despite this, it was still popular as whitening had become a status symbol.
Italian dentists discovered the positive effects of fluoride on teeth preventing cavities in the early 19th century. Within a few decades fluoride progressed to become a common ingredient in toothpaste, mouthwash, and ultimately the water supply. Although this worked well for decreasing decay, excessive amounts of fluoride stained and discoloured teeth.
Today’s tooth whitening techniques are much more sophisticated! The safety of tooth whitening agents using hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide has been documented in numerous studies and no adverse affects have been noted.
Home whitening kits are available from your dentist to suit whatever your lifestyle or tooth sensitivity. This gradual method allows you to be in control of how you want your treatment to work, with whiter smiles achievable in as little as 2 weeks!
If you are interested in whitening your teeth and would like to book a consultation with us email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 08443878268