Our teeth have been fundamental to the survival of mankind. Not only are they used for biting, chewing, ripping and other eating methods, they also have an important social role to play. The display of the teeth, either by smiling or in anger, are some of the most demonstrative displays we are capable of as humans. For almost as long as there have been humans there has been a desire to protect our teeth.
One of the most primitive yet brilliantly simplistic methods of dental care involved chewing on sticks. Not only did this physically remove dirt and keep teeth clean, but certain trees contained chemicals and antibacterial agents which helped to preserve teeth.
For those who are afraid of the dentist now, consider the alternative in the middle ages. Barbers not only doubled up as surgeons but also as dentists. Fancy having a haircut, an amputation and a tooth pulled all on the same day. These barbers also mistakenly used nitric acid to whiten the teeth. Unfortunately this acid, although whitening the teeth also eroded the enamel and caused massive tooth decay.
As the age of the industrial revolution sparked a new era in technological progression so the fields of medicine and dentistry also advanced in the 19th century. Dentistry for the first time became a reputable profession in its own right and with the discovery of fluoride in Italy, the first genuinely viable alternative to the destructive nitric acid became commercially available.
As in all other fields, dentistry has been transformed by the advances in technology over the past 30 years, to the point where it is almost unrecognizable from its rather archaic and brutal past. Tooth whitening procedures have been a part of this great leap forward and you can now purchase tooth whitening pastes and kits in any pharmacy in the developed world.
However, if in the past it wasn’t wise to let someone else try and whiten your teeth, especially if he said he was a barber, today it is much wiser to leave it to the professionals. A London W1 dentist will be able to offer you the state of the art whitening procedures and there won’t be any nitric acid in sight.