Our ancestors were also concerned about whiter teeth. They used different methods to achieve a shining smile. The ancient Egyptians around 4000 years ago started the process of teeth whitening. They were very much concerned with appearing beautiful and wealthy. Thus they mixed wine vinegar with ground pumice stone in order to create a white paste which they applied to their teeth.
The ancient Romans used urine as bleach to whiten their teeth. It was the ammonia in the urine that contributed to a bright smile.
The Greeks of old times applied strange mixtures and chemicals to their teeth which they extracted from leaves.
During the 17th century people used to go to their barber to whiten their teeth. The barber filed the teeth and rubbed nitric acid to them. Unfortunately this practice, left people with a few or no teeth at all because they decayed.
The Europeans of the Renaissance applied bleach to their teeth. They had whiter teeth for a limited period but as time passed their enamel started to wear away resulting in tooth decay.
In the early 19th century, fluoride was discovered in order to maintain healthy teeth. On the other hand an excessive use of fluoride caused teeth staining.