Thursday, January 2, 2014

Ever Wondered How Teeth Whiteners Came to Be?

Throughout much of history, people invented various ways to make their teeth whiter. Two of the most widely-used agents in teeth whitening today are hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide, but thousands of years ago people didn’t know about these.
The earliest teeth whiteners were, to say the least, abrasive or corrosive in nature.

Back in the day, urine was like a multi-purpose ingredient, being used for making gunpowder to making whites whiter.
The keyword is “ammonia,” one of over 3,000 chemicals present in urine (there could be others contributing to the whitening effect). Technically, the ammonia in question refers to the urea, which comprises about 9.3 grams per liter.
Today, health experts no longer recommend urine in any medical or dental treatment. However, ammonia still remains a widely-used active ingredient for teeth whiteners.

In ancient times, other people used “
chew sticks”, which refer to any known species of plants that contain abrasive ingredients to help whiten teeth, among others. The choice of plants depends on geography; the saltbrush (or the atriplex genus) is widely used in the Middle East, while West African locals utilize the sticks from orange and lime trees.

Experts still recognize the whitening properties of chew sticks in addition to its health benefits. In fact, they’re still popular in the said locations where locals prefer to preserve their way of life. 


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