Early Cosmetic Dentistry Techniques


According to the AMA, Colgate and your East Greenbush Dentist, tooth whitening was the fastest growing Cosmetic Dental procedure in the United States back in 2002, and is still one of the most requested today, and although tooth whitening may seem like a new procedure, archaeological evidence shows that it has existed for thousands of years.

The earliest toothbrushes were made from twigs and known as chew sticks. In fact, some civilizations still use chew sticks today because of the antiseptic qualities in the wood.

Today tooth whitening in East Greenbush is generally used for aesthetic reasons, but centuries ago, royalty and those in the upper classes would resort to some pretty disgusting tactics to whiten their teeth.

Some of the earliest evidence goes back to 4,000 BC and the ancient Egyptians who would mix up a paste made with wine vinegar and crushed pumice stones to whiten their teeth as a sort of status symbol. This early toothpaste was combined with chew sticks to keep teeth shiny and white.

Much is known about the ancient Romans including the fact that they would whiten their teeth using their own urine. Roman doctors were convinced that urine was the best thing to use for tooth whitening as ammonia is a natural bleaching agent and urine is loaded with it.

A shave and a haircut wasn’t the only thing you would get if you walked into a barbershop from the 12th to the 16th century. Dentist barbers would apply acid to teeth that had just been filed to whiten and brighten, and it did work. Unfortunately, it also caused tooth decay from enamel erosion. However, it didn’t stop the practice completely as those who wanted to portray a certain status did so despite the consequences.

The Italians discovered the effect of fluoride on tooth decay. In fact, within ten or twenty years, dentists began recommending that their patients make a habit of sucking on fluoride lozenges. The upside of fluoride in water, mouthwash, toothpaste, and lozenges was less cavities, but the downside was tooth discoloration and staining.

Things have certainly changed over the years with Cosmetic Dentistry becoming more affordable and less invasive, and if you have been thinking about tooth whitening or any other general or cosmetic dental procedure, schedule an appointment with the Best Dentist in East Greenbush, Dr. J. Craig Alexander.