Teeth Whitening System Discovered
Way back in the mid-90s, I was an early adopter of tooth bleaching, as they called it back then.Who doesn’t LOVE white teeth?
Those were the pioneer days for Cosmetic Dentistry and whitening teeth was such a novel thing. Everyone walked around with discolored teeth back then, and a smile quickly revealed one’s age.
Extensive crowns and veneers were the only means to enhance a smile. Very expensive, very exclusive.
I found out about Teeth Bleaching (as it was called back then) in a dental journal. I was eager to know if it actually worked. So I decided to use myself as a guinea pig to make sure it was safe and effective before I recommended any Teeth Whitening System to my patients.
I ordered the product from California – ground zero for Teeth Whitening – and began my journey.
Easy, Fast and While You Sleep
Those gooey first-generation products were a bit messy, but I was still impressed by the fast results. It was so easy, and felt great to have people notice and compliment my smile. I began to wholeheartedly recommended a Teeth Whitening System to my patients.
Back then everybody had dull, yellowish teeth.
It was so convenient wearing the custom-fitted trays at night while I slept. I would wake up with whiter teeth. How brilliant is that?!
In the beginning I had whitened only the top ones and used the dramatic contrast with my bottom teeth as a live demonstration. After about 6 months of that, I grew tired of having a two-tone smile, and whitened the bottom teeth to match the top ones.
Having white teeth was a real attention-grabber. By today’s standards, my teeth would have seemed normal. Back then everybody had dull, yellowish teeth. So by contrast, my smile practically glowed.
Most people I met were amazed how bright my smile looked. Like that Friends episode where Ross bleaches his teeth – my teeth were almost glowing in the dark. Maybe I’m exaggerating a little, but back in the 90s my smile was unusually bright by comparison.Wouldn’t you like a whiter brighter smile?
Shockingly White Teeth
Not long after whitening my teeth, I ran into some dental school classmates at one of our Dental Conventions. This was before Teeth Whitening was known in our profession.
I’ll never forget how they stopped dead in their tracks when they saw my smile. They were shocked how white my teeth were.
A few dentists thought it was amazing and immediately jumped on board to make Teeth Whitening part of their own dental practices. Others thought it was dead wrong to have such “unnaturally-white” teeth.
“Wow” I thought to myself, “How could some dentists be so excited by Teeth Whitening, and others be so disgusted?”
Here’s the thing. Some dentists strictly focus on dental diseases, not on the benefits of a beautiful white smile. It’s still like that today.
Some dentists just don’t get it regarding Smile Beauty and the benefits of Cosmetic Dentistry. Personally, I believe health and beauty go hand in hand.
High School Reunion
A few years after whitening my teeth, I though Teeth Whitening had become mainstream. The Teeth Whitening process had literally revolutionized Cosmetic Dentistry – making an attractive smile accessible to almost everyone.
So many yellow teeth in the crowd!
Teeth Whitening was so easy, effective and affordable I couldn’t understand why anyone wouldn’t have it done. Let me add non-invasive to that list of benefits. Other cosmetic options, like Crowns and Veneers, require that your natural teeth would be compromised by the reduction of healthy tooth structure.
As a Teeth Whitening Dentist, I’ve helped thousands of people achieve whiter brighter smiles. For many years, I was one of the top-producing dentists Canada-wide in terms of Teeth Whitening.
So here I was at a high school reunion in 1998 – the year I turned 40 – and it was my turn to be shocked. So many yellow teeth in the crowd!
But then I remembered, these people were still patients of older dentists who weren’t exactly hip to Cosmetic Dentistry and Teeth Whitening Systems. In fact, “good old Doctor Bob” probably just stuck to plugging holes in teeth with that nasty mercury-based amalgam.
Acceptance of Teeth Whitening Systems
It took years for Teeth Whitening Systems to be widely accepted within our profession. Even then it was driven more by consumer demand. So many dentists had taken a hard-line anti-cosmetic stand in those early years it would literally take a new generation of dentists to evolve our profession.
Fortunately the evolution did happen. You can now get your teeth whitened through almost any dental office, and other countries are quickly catching up. That’s not to say every office will give you an equal result. There are differences in product and technique that give better results with less sensitivity. Experience helps.
In closing, what was once so rare (a bright white smile) has become routine. And that’s a wonderful thing.
About the Author: Dr. Joe Bulger is a West Toronto dentist. He’s also the founder of Royal York Dental – a respected dental clinic serving Etobicoke since 1950.