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2. History

People have been trying to find ways to whiten their teeth for thousands of years. Even ancient Egyptians saw white teeth as a symbol of wealth. Perhaps the strangest method of teeth whitening belongs to the Ancient Romans. They discovered that urine could remove tough stains from their laundry and eventually began to use it to whiten their teeth. During the 17th century, barbers would file down dirty tooth enamel and apply an acid, which would whiten teeth. Whitening mouthwashes became popular in the late 1920s. Almost four decades later, Dr. William Klusmeier introduced custom tray bleaching, which has become one of the more standard methods of teeth whitening.

whitening tray bleaching MartinPrescott / Getty Images
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