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The History of Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is one of the most common dental procedures performed today, but it’s not just a recent phenomenon. Its roots actually go back thousands of years! Let’s take a whirlwind tour through the history of teeth whitening and see how we got to where we are today.

Teeth whitening is one of the most common dental procedures performed today, but it’s not just a recent phenomenon. Its roots actually go back thousands of years! Let’s take a whirlwind tour through the history of teeth whitening and see how we got to where we are today.

Ancient Egyptians

Ancient Egyptians created a paste from ground pumice stone and wine vinegar to whiten their teeth. During this period, whiter teeth was linked to wealth and status.

Ancient Romans

This may seem a bit shocking, but records show that ancient Romans used urine to bleach their teeth (urine contains the bleaching agent ammonia!).

12th Century

During the 12th century, physicians suggested that people whiten their teeth with various pastes and powders, such as a sage and salt rub.

17th Century

Back when folks went to barbers for their dental needs, the barbers would file down teeth, making them a bit abrasive, and then apply a powerful nitric acid to whiten them. Unfortunately, this also meant severely damaging the enamel.

19th Century

In the beginning of the 19th century, the dental use of hydrogen peroxide, along with fluoride, became more popular.

20th Century

Teeth whitening practices made a few strides in the 20th century. First, dentists in 1918 found that using a heating lamp along with hydrogen peroxide would accelerate the process. Then, in the 1960’s, dental professionals found that allowing teeth to soak in peroxide overnight led to whiter results. Finally, opalescence carbamide peroxide, a type of whitening gel, was patented in the late 1980’s, and it remains the basic teeth whitening technique used to this day.

Modern Teeth Whitening

Fortunately, teeth whitening has come a long way since its early days, and now you have more options than ever to get a beautiful white smile. From take-home to in-office options, modern dental patients can choose a teeth whitening method that suits their budget and lifestyle. At Stratman Family Dentistry, we offer both types. If you’d like to learn more or are ready to book your teeth whitening appointment, contact our Tucson dental office today!

The Longevity of Porcelain Veneers

Ever dreamed of having symmetrical, white, picture-perfect teeth? It’s possible with porcelain veneers. Veneers can help even out the shape, color, and size of your teeth, giving you a red-carpet-ready smile.

What Are Porcelain Veneers?

Dental veneers are thin layers of porcelain that are bonded to your teeth. They can also be made of resin composite. They are individually shaped and colored to match your teeth, making them a very realistic-looking option.

Am I a Good Candidate for Veneers?

Veneers are ideal for people that have small gaps between teeth, chipped teeth, teeth with different lengths, misaligned teeth, or discolored teeth. They are permanent and require partial removal of your enamel in order to fit properly.

What Is the Veneers Process?

First, you’ll have a smile design consultation with Dr. Stratman to map out what your needs are. He will then remove some of your enamel so that your veneers fit properly. After this, we’ll take impressions of your teeth to craft the perfect veneers for you. Once your veneers are ready, you’ll return to our office for a final fitting. Dr. Stratman will check the look and feel, and bond them to your teeth.

How Long Do Veneers Last?

Dental veneers are fully functional and you can eat, smile, and talk with them as you would your own normal teeth. You can even brush and floss them like normal, too. When well taken care of, dental veneers last about 10 to 15 years, but some last even longer than that! Like regular teeth, porcelain veneers must be treated with care to avoid damage and discoloration.

We Can Give You Your Dream Smile

At Stratman Family Dentistry, we understand how important it is for you to not only have a healthy smile, but a beautiful one too. If you are interested in porcelain veneers, we’d love to see you here for a consultation.

Ways to Look Younger with a Beautiful Smile

Getting older is never easy. Between wrinkles and age spots, looking your best gets more difficult with each passing year. What you may not realize is that you can take years off your look with a younger smile. Healthy, strong teeth are a perfect way to look and feel better about your appearance. Here are three tricks that Stratman Family Dentistry can help you with to keep you smiling for years to come.

Victory With Veneers

Aging is a part of life. Each year gives you subtle changes in your appearance and sometimes they are not for the better. While a few small scars on your skin usually make for good stories, imperfections in your teeth are something you may want to keep hidden. Cracks, stains, and chips in the enamel can make anyone feel a little self-conscious. Veneers are thin, custom-made shells that a dentist can apply to the outer part of a tooth. You can get one to cover up a single flaw, or get them applied to your whole mouth for a whole new smile. It is a safe and effective way to make your teeth look ten years younger.

Teeth Whitening

Over time, teeth lose their natural whiteness leading to an unflattering yellowish tint. Whitening toothpaste and mouthwash will only work to a certain point. Stubborn and deep-set stains can only be relieved with professional help. If no home remedies seem to work, call us today. We provide professional teeth whitening to take years off your teeth. By using this whitening method, you make sure your teeth get the love and care they need to ditch the yellow color for good.

Adult Teeth Straightening

Many adults have had crooked teeth their whole lives. Whether they did not have the time or the money to get braces when they were younger, always remember that it is never too late to do something about it. Adult braces may not be something you want, however, there are other options that can be used to straighten out your teeth. Six Month Smiles cosmetic braces offers braces that are practically invisible. As opposed to metal braces, Six Month Smiles use ultra-thin wires and tooth-colored brackets to seamlessly blend into your teeth. If you have struggled with your crooked teeth all your life, check out Six Month Smiles. These practically invisible braces will be able to fix your smile and your confidence at the same time.

There are certain parts of the aging process that we simply cannot get around. Some of it is easy to deal with, and some of it is not. Thankfully, there are many ways to make your teeth look younger. Fixing imperfections, whitening, and straightening your teeth are all within reach with a simple trip our office. By talking with a professional, you will have a better grasp on what you can do to get your teeth back in the game.

Whiten Your Teeth Naturally

Nature provides us with many substances that whiten teeth naturally and harmlessly, with no extra steps beyond eating and drinking necessary to achieve the often long-lost, naturally white state of our teeth! Some foods contribute to overall dental health by providing minerals necessary for strength, and encouraging production of anti-inflammatory agents that fight infection; strong, healthy teeth tend to be naturally whiter than teeth with damaged enamel or surrounded by diseased gums.

foods that can whiten your teeth naturally

Most of these tooth-whitening foods many of us eat, or would like to eat, every day, without even suspecting that they have the power to remove stains on our teeth. These foods include many fruits, dairy products, vegetables, fish and other enjoyable items.

The best fruits for maintaining or restoring dental health and whiter teeth include:


Apples contain a lot of the enzyme malic acid, which serves to increase the production of saliva. Saliva actually cleans teeth, and aids in stain removal. Malic acid is so effective it is one of the ingredients in a few brands of toothpaste. Even just biting into an apple and chewing provides enough scrubbing to cleanse the teeth. An added bonus of eating apples is their ability to prevent bad breath by killing the bacteria that causes it.


Strawberries not only contain malic acid, they also contain antioxidants known as ellagitannins, which decrease inflammation in the mouth by decreasing tooth-staining bacteria. Strawberries also have a lot of Vitamin C, a natural anti-inflammatory which helps to fight and prevent periodontal disease and inflammation of the gums, both of which contribute to dulling the teeth. One author even suggests brushing your teeth and flossing after a five minute mashed strawberry treatment that entails rubbing mashed up strawberries on your teeth!


Among the vegetables that help maintain tooth health and color are broccoli, celery and carrots. These vegetables also stimulate the production of saliva, the mouth’s self-cleaning agent”, and as such help to remove stains on tooth enamel. They are hard and crunchy enough so as to be effective tooth scrubbers, and prevent bad breath by killing acid-producing bacteria. The high fiber content in broccoli contributes to fighting inflammation in the body, including the mouth. The high iron content in broccoli also protects tooth enamel from stains and cavities caused by bacterial acid by acting as a protective wall. 

Dairy Products

Dairy products, such as milk, yogurt, and especially cheese, also help keep teeth white and bright in several ways, including stimulating saliva production. The lactic acid in these products is thought to assist in protecting teeth from decay. The high calcium, protein and phosphorous content in cheese and milk protect against the erosion of tooth enamel by serving to buffer acids. It is also thought that the minerals found on the surface of the teeth are strengthened by eating these foods. Chewing on hard cheese can whiten teeth by cleaning out leftover food and bacteria, and the proteins found in yogurt are thought to “bind to the teeth” and stop cavity-producing bacteria on the spot.

Fish Oil

There are other substances that naturally whiten teeth, such as baking soda, an ingredient found in many brands of toothpaste (and used in baking, deodorizing and as an antacid), sugar-free gum and even sugar-free drinks (which can just wash or ‘chew’ away food particles). Fish and flaxseed contain nutrients, including Omega 3 fatty acids (which have powerful anti-inflammatory qualities) which are particularly strengthening, and strong teeth are more resistant to the dulling of bacterial acidity. Even cocoa is thought to have anti-inflammatory properties, and as such can help keep our teeth white by helping to prevent gum disease and tooth decay (remember to brush!). Last but not least, is water; drinking lots of water is perhaps the easiest way to ensure a good flow of saliva, and drinking water after eating has the rather obvious benefit of washing away food particles stuck in teeth and plaque that has come loose.

In light of the many natural ways to cleanse and whiten the teeth (apart from simply brushing and flossing), it does seem possible to avoid harsh tooth whiteners and the accompanying pain. Eating an apple or an orange, for many, might be a more pleasant way of whitening their teeth.

Schedule an appointment at Stratman Family Dentistry today for a dental check-up or a dental cleaning. Discuss any questions you have about professional teeth whitening with our friendly staff.

Top Causes of Tooth Discoloration

Many Americans suffer from some form of tooth discoloration, whether it is severe or slight. Teeth are susceptible to many different elements that we put them through in our daily lives. The good thing is, most of the time it is preventable! If you are wondering why teeth are prone to staining and becoming dull over time, read on! Today we’re going to talk about the top causes of tooth discoloration.

top causes of tooth discoloration

Food and Drinks

Unfortunately, food and drinks take the front-runner for the top reason our teeth stain over time. Soda, coffee, and red wine are some of the better-known culprits, but did you know that certain fruits and veggies also could stain your teeth? Blueberries, pomegranates, and cherries are particularly harsh against your pearly whites.

Dental Hygiene

This one might seem obvious to you, but it has to be included. Since food is one of the top causes of discoloration, brushing the remnants away is extremely important! Certain foods will stick to and in between your teeth, and if left to linger will not only cause stains, but cavities too. Every dentist probably sounds like a broken record, but brush and floss daily!

Certain Medications

This one isn’t as easy to simply give up when you are required to take them, but some medications will cause teeth to lose their white sheen. Some antibiotics, such as tetracycline has been linked to causing tooth discoloration, especially in younger children who’s teeth are still forming.

Your Age

The older you get, the more your teeth are exposed to staining elements. But also, the natural enamel covering your teeth will slowly erode over time. The enamel covers your tooth’s dentin, which is naturally yellow and shows more prominently if the enamel isn’t thick. The good thing is positive oral hygiene and routine dental examinations (and treatments) will help to prevent this from happening!

Your Genes

No matter how much you rebelled when you were younger, you can’t get away from your family’s genes. Fortunately for some, you inherited strong, bright, and white teeth. Unfortunately for others, you inherited week teeth prone to become dull.

In the end, if your teeth aren’t as white as you want them to be, we can absolutely help! We offer professional whitening in our office as well as take home, custom whitening treatments. We can help you achieve the dazzling smile you’ve always wanted!