History of Teeth Whitening

History of Teeth Whitening

Custom-fitted Tray Bleaching Received an Unusually Enthusiastic Reception in Dentistry Nationwide in 1989…

…A peroxide gel placed in a tray was recommended for whitening teeth by doctors Haywood and Heyman in March of that year, and by the end of the year, a half-dozen companies had begun marketing products to supply dentists in the then burgeoning new field of cosmetic dental whitening. Dr. George’s company, M&M Innovations, Inc. was one of them.

This newer technique was much simpler and more comfortable than the previous power vital bleaching technique, done only in dental offices, that used a much stronger concentration of hydrogen peroxide (35%), hydrochloric or phosphoric acid, and sometimes applications of heat or light. Dentists had to take impressions of ones teeth, form a cast stone model, and vacuum form a sheet of plastic over the model. The dentist then removed this sheet, cut it out, forming a tray. All this took time, necessitating a substantial fee.

Manufacturers did not seek FDA approval nor felt the need, since dental whitening is a cosmetic procedure; and the FDA does not get into the approval of cosmetics. The FDA has though, given tentative approval for 3.6% to 5.4% hydrogen peroxide concentration solutions, only as oral wound cleansers.

In November 1989, the basic formula of Dental White, under a different trade name, was developed and marketed by Dr. George, and was the first 5.4% hydrogen peroxide solution. It was therefore 50% stronger than the other five brands, making it the world’s first concentrated dental whitening gel. It was sold only to dentists. Then as now, it contained no acid, was pH balanced, mint flavored, and was worn for 30 minutes per dose, 3 doses per day, in sequence.

By December 1989, the Newsletter : “Teeth Bleaching, Home-Use Products” by Clinical Research Associates (a pre-eminent research group composed primarily of dentists), compared dental whiteners. It was reported, “Profoundness of bleach depends on:… bleach contact time on teeth; & amount of available active ingredient in bleach.” This made Dr. George’s formula more profound than the other five whitening formulas then on the market, all of which were marketed to dentists only. He marketed his kit, with its custom fitting, boil and bite trays to dentists and his own patients.

Dr. George conducted a clinic the following Spring at the prestigious Hinmann meeting (an annual trade show for dental professionals) in Atlanta, GA. He shared knowledge which he had gain through extensive research on the subject. At the show, the then world’s largest distributor of dental whitening products began distributing Dr. George’s formula and “warm and form” / “boil ‘n bite” tray to dentists. A number of dental schools across the country (located in Virginia, Louisiana, Texas, Ohio, Oregon, Iowa, Michigan, and Minnesota) conducted research on the formula. Along the same time (early 1990), Dr. George began distributing his process over-the-counter to independent pharmacies.

At the 1991 Hinmann meeting, a prominent Doctor gave a lecture there and stated that there had been no more sensitivity with Dr. George’s concentrated formula; and that it was quicker than the other gels. By the end of that year the professional process had been promoted by telemarketers and by mass merchandisers.

Dr. George continued to distribute his unique process to dentists across the USA as well as abroad. And in December of 1991 he was awarded a patent on the process by the U.S. government. In 1993, after years of testing and use by dentists, pharmacists, and others, a TV infomercial began. “Dr. George’s Dental White” was seen 3-4000 times per week during December ’93 and January ’94. View the historical infomercial here: Dental White video. By the end of 1994, throughout the U.S.A., most national chain drug stores, mass merchandisers and some grocers were distributing the product – selling nearly 4 million units that first year. Retail establishments in foreign countries also “began getting on board”.

After being distributed by different distributors, Dental White has now been improved -increased flavoring and increased viscosity – and is being distributed by Dr. George’s original company, M&M Innovations Inc., located in Brunswick, GA. It is also manufactured by M&M Innovations Inc., an FDA registered manufacturer, in accordance with the “Good Manufacturing Practices of the FDA”.

As of the year 2001, Dental White was the number 1 selling teeth whitener in the U.S.A., at retail outlets where it was sold according to scanned sales data, and it founded the Teeth Whitening category. It was not until the year 2002, after 2 years of distribution by Procter & Gamble, that Crest White Strips’ sales overtook Dental White’s sales. It has now become the best selling whitening kit of all times, with over 8 million sold.