The History of Teeth Whitening

The History of Teeth Whitening

The Ancient Practice of Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is not a modern phenomenon but has a long history dating back to ancient civilizations. Here are some notable milestones in the history of teeth whitening:

The quest for whiter teeth is as old as civilization itself.  With various cultures employing more and more ingenious methods to achieve whiter, brighter smiles. 

Sit back for a few minutes and let's embark on a journey through history to explore the evolution of teeth whitening techniques and practices:

Ancient Civilizations (3000 BCE - 400 AD)

  • Egyptians: Ancient Egyptians are believed to have pioneered early dental care practices. They used a mixture of ground pumice stone and wine vinegar to scrub and whiten their teeth.

During tis era, white teeth were a mark of beauty and a sign of the wealthy. This concoction sounds terrible enough, but it isn’t the most disgusting thing ever used for teeth whitening

  • Romans: Romans turned to urine – yes, urine! They believed that the ammonia in urine could effectively bleach teeth. Wealthy Romans even employed professional urine collectors for this very purpose.  Thank goodness for progress and we still do not need to depend on tis method.  
  • Greeks: Hippocrates, often hailed as the father of modern medicine, recommended a mixture of alum, vinegar, and honey to whiten teeth.


Middle Ages (500 AD - 1500 AD)

  • Dental hygiene took a backseat during the Middle Ages, with few advancements in teeth whitening. Some individuals resorted to using abrasive materials like crushed bones and oyster shells to scrub away stains, albeit with limited success.

Renaissance and Early Modern Era (1500 AD - 1800 AD)

  • During the Renaissance, Europeans began experimenting with various teeth whitening concoctions. Ingredients such as crushed coral, lemon juice, wine vinegar and even sage leaves were popular choices.
  • In the 16th century, bristle toothbrushes started appearing. This started in China, with the toothbrushes made of bone or wood. For the bristles, hog’s hair was used. People found that this cleaned and whitened their teeth better than their original methods. The bristles got between the teeth and cleaned there as well as the surface of the teeth.
  • During the 17th century, people would visit their local barber shops for none other than a haircut and a teeth whitening!  Barbers during this time period also performed tooth extractions.  For a whitening, the barber would file down the teeth and apply an acid to the teeth which would whiten them.  
  • In the 18th century, the introduction of abrasive powders and pastes became prevalent. These products often contained ingredients like cuttlefish bone and charcoal, which helped to scrub away surface stains.

Industrial Revolution and Modern Era (1800 AD - Present)

  • The Industrial Revolution brought about significant advancements in dental care. In the 19th century, toothpaste emerged as a popular dental hygiene product. However, early formulations were abrasive and often caused damage to tooth enamel.
  • In the late 19th century, hydrogen peroxide was discovered to have bleaching properties. Dentists began using hydrogen peroxide solutions to bleach teeth, although the process was harsh and often led to tooth sensitivity.
  • The 20th century saw the development of safer and more effective teeth whitening techniques. In the 1960s, carbamide peroxide became widely used as a bleaching agent in dental treatments. This paved the way for professional teeth whitening procedures performed by dentists.
  • Over the years, advancements in dental technology have led to the introduction of various teeth whitening methods, including at-home whitening kits, laser whitening treatments, and the use of whitening strips and gels.

Today, teeth whitening has become a mainstream cosmetic dental procedure, accessible to people of all walks of life. 

Whether through professional treatments or over-the-counter products, individuals have more options than ever before to achieve a whiter, brighter, more confident smile. 

As technology continues to evolve, the future of teeth whitening holds the promise of even safer, more effective, and accessible solutions for dazzling smiles.

As technology has continued to evolve, you have seen WhiteBrights® introduce innovative teeth whitening products such as TwinPower® Teeth Whitening Foam which both cleans and whitens smiles.  Lip Plumper required a rather long needle as well as an out patient treatment to perform it in.  Low with a few swipes of PoutOut® Lip Plumper, you can achieve brilliant results without the needles.  SmileSerum® offers a plethoras of features and benefits with it comes to creatively offer oral beauty in a safe, adorable, fast effective, and tear free manner.  

WhiteBrights® believes that the future of teeth whitening holds the promise of even safer, more effective, and accessible solutions for dazzling smiles.


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