The Interesting History of Teeth Whitening

Smiling White Teeth CoupleClean, white, gorgeous teeth are not just a modern trend. A nice looking smile has always been associated with youth and good health. Understanding the history of various dental procedures helps us make improvements for patients. The modern understanding of infections such as gum disease and cavities have shown us that whitening requires a healthy foundation so further damage isn’t done. This was not always common knowledge.

Ancient Tooth Whiteners      

The earliest recorded formula for a whitening powder dates back to the 4th century A.D. The document was found in Egypt, showing a a recipe for a tooth whitening powder. The formula included rock salt, mint, dried iris flowers, and pepper. All of the ingredients were ground together and then rubbed onto teeth. The abrasiveness of salt and sensitivity of tooth enamel was obviously not a concern at the time. Other ancient tooth whitening formulas included ground pumice stone, vinegar, goat’s milk, and even urine. While these recipes sound bizarre, most of them did contain proven whitening ingredients. Even the most shocking additive – urine – contains a high concentration of ammonia which is a whitening agent.

Popular Whiteners in the 18th and 19th Centuries

Emerging from the Dark Ages, tooth cleaning and teeth whitening formulas advanced beyond urine. Powders were still considered the way to whiten, with ingredients such as honey, powdered myrrh, sage, and cinnamon. Many of these powders included an abrasive agent such as ground bones or charcoal for scrubbing the surface stains of enamel. Whole foods such as fresh strawberries and burned toast were popular do-it-yourself remedies for dull smiles. Strawberries are still used by many people today, mashed and mixed with baking soda.

Teeth Whitening from Comfort Dental Spa

Zoom! In-Office Whitening System offers long term whitening in under an hour. The KöR Whitening Deep Bleaching system is very powerful. Both are available from Dr. Askari. If you are interested in finding out which professional teeth whitening systems can enhance your smile, call our Comfort Dental Spa office at (248) 474-6434 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Aziza Askari today. We serve patients from Dearborn, Novi, Livonia, Farmington Hills, and the surrounding Detroit neighborhoods.