Exploring the History of Teeth Whitening

Several studies reveal that the history of teeth whitening dates back to the period of first human existence on this beautiful planet Earth. We all want our teeth to be healthy, clean and bright – it’s nothing new. However, the procedures used differ from age to age.

With the advancement of technology today, teeth whitening patients can achieve desirable results with just one-hour treatments at a dental office. While people didn’t always have it easy, it was never the case of lack of trying.

History has witnessed people using a variety of teeth whitening and cleaning tools. Ancient people used frayed branches to scrape the unwanted food particles from their teeth. Chewing and rubbing the end of the stick over the teeth not only helps remove food particles and plaque, but also keeps the teeth clean and healthy. The procedure is so effective that some less developed cultures around today still use this ancient teeth whitening method.

The Evolution of Teeth Whitening

The first ever bristle tooth brushes was documented in the 16th century China. Ancient Chinese used hog’s hair for the bristle that allowed them to brush between the gaps in the teeth and their surrounding surface. Since then the design, look and usability has evolved over time.

First Toothbrush

Dupont's toothbrush

Credit: Qualitydental

The first person to develop the toothbrush was Dupont in 1938. He knew the consequences of using hog’s hair type of toothbrush and campaigned very hard against it, warning people about the potential dangers of infection and animal germs from its use. His nylon-bristle toothbrush failed to garner much attention at the initial stages as the extremely hard nylon caused more damage to the teeth. The dentists were reluctant to recommend them to their patients. Upon receiving heated argument from the people, Dupont created the first soft vinyl toothbrush about 10 years later which drove significant positive response from the users.

First Account of Teeth whitening

The ancient Egyptians were the first to formulate a whitening paste with white vinegar and ground up pumice stone about 4000 years ago.

On the other hand, ancient Roman considered urine as the primary teeth whitening method. They adapted this primitive method after recognizing the active ingredient of ammonia in the urine. This scientific principle of ammonia content in toothpastes is still being used today.

In the 17th century, teeth whitening was quite the rage with barbers performing dental duties such as tooth extraction and bleaching treatment. Other than giving haircuts, the barber would rub “whitening” acid on the teeth of the customers. While the method was abundantly successful in removing dental stains, it also led to erosion of the tooth enamel and caused tooth decay and therefore failed to persist after the 18th century.

Teeth Whitening Today

All these primitive methods and tools have vanished and given way to modern techniques that clinically approved, are effective and offer safer and quicker results.

To learn how teeth whitening can help you enhance the quality of your smile, speak to us at Affordable Dentist in Grand Prairie. Contact us today at (817) 200-7086 and schedule an appointment.

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