Do you think teeth whitening is a new phenomenon? Ever wonder if those celebrity pearly whites are natural? Read on for eight fun tidbits about teeth whitening and learn some fascinating facts you probably never knew. The next time you're in the chair, you can occupy your mind and stump your dentist at the same time.

1. Teeth Whitening Is as Old as the Pyramids

Lest you think teeth whitening is a new trend, think again. As far back as 4,000 years ago the ancient Egyptians equated white teeth with wealth and prestige. They used a paste made of pumice and wine vinegar to brighten their teeth.

2. Be Glad You're Not a Roman

The ancient Romans also valued white teeth, but their methods were considerably less appetizing. They used human urine to bleach their teeth, the ammonia providing the whitening action. This practice was widespread and went on for centuries.

3. You Could Get Teeth Bleaching with Your Haircut

Dentists are not the only profession who have worked on teeth through the ages. During the 17th and 18th Centuries, barbers whitened teeth by filing them down and applying nitric acid. While this offered short-term bleaching, it was ultimately detrimental to the health of teeth, because it removed the enamel protection.

4. Foods Affect the Color of Your Teeth

Most people know that dark berries, coffee, and red wine can stain teeth. But did you know that certain foods can also help remove those stains?

Baking soda is a common ingredient in many brands of toothpaste, because it naturally removes surface discoloration from teeth. You can use baking soda right out of the box for the same effect. Foods like broccoli, nuts, and seeds have a scrubbing effect on teeth, while the bromelain in pineapple is another natural whitener.

5. Peroxide Changed Everything

Even in the 1970s, teeth bleaching was still accomplished with fairly abrasive polishes. However, in the 1980s, it was incidentally discovered that peroxide, used to treat gum disease, also whitened teeth. Various formulations of peroxide gel have been developed since then, the trick being to find a way to get the bleach to adhere to the teeth long enough to perform the desired whitening.

Over the last several decades, there have been many successful products that use trays, strips, and brush applicators to deliver safe, high quality whitening at home and in the dentist's office. While home applications are effective, the best and most long-lasting whitening is achieved with professional help.

6. Teeth Whitening Is in High Demand

It used to be that teeth whitening was almost the exclusive purview of cosmetic dentists, a specialty that has taken off in the last few decades. Now most dentists offer some type of whitening treatment, as the demand for it has grown exponentially. Even about one third of orthodontists are providing teeth bleaching services lately.

7. Not All Celebrities Were Born With Great Teeth

Not born with a perfect, glistening smile? Neither were many famous stars. Nicolas Cage, Oprah Winfrey, Tom Cruise, Victoria Beckham, and George Clooney are all commonly known to have had major dental work to improve their smiles, including whitening, veneers, and straightening. But perhaps one of the most stunning transformations was with actress Demi Moore, who had both structural and whitening work done on her A-list mouth.

8. What to Do When Teeth Bleaching Isn't Enough

Most people are happy with the results of their teeth whitening, especially if it's done at the dentist. However, should you feel like your smile isn't quite bright enough, you can always don this pair of custom dentures. Framed in gold, and encrusted with diamonds, this grill is sure to compete with the sun itself with its dazzling brilliance.