History of the Toothbrush and Teeth Whitening Kits

Teeth whitening kits are advertised everywhere. You have probably seen ads in your local grocery store, on the internet, in magazines and even on television. Hundreds of thousands of people spend a lot of money on whitening kits that may or may not work for their particular situation.

Having a brighter smile has long been a concern of humanity. However, you may not know the humble beginnings of oral hygiene and the efforts made to get whiter teeth. The history of the toothbrush is an interesting one and you may be surprised at how it all started.

Getting a whiter, brighter smile actually started with the toothbrush, except it was not in the form found in today's market. It was a stick. It would be chewed at one end to fray it, and then brushed over the teeth. The first toothpaste was comprised of ground pumice stone and vinegar made with wine. Later, the Romans developed a paste that contained urine. Talk about having a dirty mouth! But the elements have real science to them. It is the ammonia that helped clean and whiten teeth.

Thank you modern medicine for eliminating the need for disgusting toothpastes. But what about making the teeth whiter? While most people recognize barber shops as places where men get their hair cut, it was once used as the local dentist. Individuals seeking a brighter, whiter smile would have the barber file their teeth and coat them with an acid. Whiteness would be the result, but ultimately the acid destroyed the enamel and the individual's teeth would begin to rot. This is definitely a far cry from the teeth whitening kits people store in their bathroom cabinets at home.

How do Teeth Whitening Kits Work

Many people elect to try to whiten their teeth at home with different varieties of a whitening gel. Most formulas contain a whitening agent, either bleach or baking soda, and work by applying a thin coat. The coating is left on for a set amount of time. The process is not immediate and may only lighten the teeth a few shades. For up to fourteen shades in whitening, a person would have to turn to a dental whitening regime, such as zoom whitening, at the dentist's office.

People no longer have to contend with barbaric methods to gain a whiter smile. Toothpaste and toothbrushes have advanced far from their prototypes and instead of that ammonia aftertaste, you can now let the pleasant aroma and taste of cinnamon or mint flavor your paste. Teeth whitening kits have come a long way from their early beginnings, and for the most part, you can count on them keeping your teeth and enamel in tact, all the while getting rid of tooth discoloration.

Page Updated: December 25, 2016
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