While skin-evening creams, skin-lighteners, skin-brighteners, skin-whiteners, skin-toners, fading creams, fairness creams, and whatever else companies choose to brand them as  are a fairly clear artifact of white supremacy, I wonder about the role of similar whitening products, like those for teeth.
In 1922, Pepsodent marketed a tooth paste  that not only sought to whiten people’s teeth but did so via the discourse of Orientalism —Western exotification and fetishization of Asian peoples. That is, by playing upon people’s notions of the ‘Orient’ and other cultures as inferior, backward, and uncivilized and saying that “Even the Orient” whiten their teeth by using Pepsodent, then the targeted audience is made to feel not modern. Indeed, “Old ways of teeth cleaning proved disappointing.” In addition, this mirrors how “images of white beauty sell an entire lifestyle,” including modernity .
What’s more, white teeth and it’s role as beauty capital  was tied in a 1943 ad  to the social endeavor of finding a husband. Specifically, it details steps on how to catch a husband, with the answer being using Pepsodent tooth paste. In other words, beauty capital (in the form of white teeth) is used to access social capital (in the form of a husband) and economic capital (in that the husband is “a bank account with pants”).
Furthermore, in these ads, science, in tandem with pathology, is used as a legitimizing discourse in order to sell their product. In other words, film on teeth pathologizes a lack of white teeth and “dental science has now found two ways to fight that film,” providing a solution to this pathologization. Looking at advertisements today, these very discourses continue.
Of course, one should take care of one’s teeth and ensure their health. However, at what point does this health intervention become a cosmetic intervention? Or is it both at once? (I’m reminded of glasses as an aesthetic element.) Furthermore, what differentiates dental work as body labor  from a pedicure? That is, what allows dentistry to be legitimized and substantiated in a way that nail artistry is not? Moreover, considering that both are mutable features, what leaves teeth relatively unraced but hair incredibly raced and politicized?
Further reading & material:
Rising out of this socio-historical landscape, Zadie Smith wrote the book White Teeth.
Fairly Oddparents, Chip Skylark’s “Shiny Teeth and Me”
 Margaret Hunter, “Buying Racial Capital: Skin-Bleaching and Cosmetic Surgery in a Globalized World,” The Journal of Pan African Studies 4, no. 4 (2011): 148.
 “Beauties of All Races,” Ad*Access, 1922, https://repository.duke.edu/dc/adaccess/BH2344.
 “Even the Orient,” Ad*Access, 1922, https://repository.duke.edu/dc/adaccess/BH2343.
 Edward W. Said, Orientalism (New York: Vintage Books, 2004).
 Margaret Hunter, “Buying Racial Capital: Skin-Bleaching and Cosmetic Surgery in a Globalized World,” The Journal of Pan African Studies 4, no. 4 (2011): 144.
 Meeta Rani Jha, The Global Beauty Industry: Colorism, Racism, and the National Body (New York, NY: Taylor & Francis, 2016), 4.
 “How to catch a husband,” Ad*Access, 1943, https://repository.duke.edu/dc/adaccess/BH2349.
 Miliann Kang, “The Managed Hand: Race, Gender and the Body in Beauty Service Work,” (University of California Press, 2010).