What we eat and drink in our daily lives takes a toll on our teeth. So much so, that our teeth can often stain and develop a yellow tint over time. To combat this, many people have turned to the popular trend of at-home LED teeth whitening kits seen on various social media platforms. With so many celebrities and social media influencers swearing by this convenient way to improve their smiles, we can’t help but ask: does it really work?
How it Works
Paid advertisers say that at-home LED teeth whitening kits accelerate the teeth whitening process to help improve your smile from the comfort of your own home. So what does it take to get that bright smile? At League City Elite Dentistry, we’ll break it down for you:
- It starts with a tooth-whitening agent, typically a gel of some kind, that is applied to clear mouth trays. (Depending on the kit, you may have to start by molding the trays to your teeth by placing the mouth trays in boiling water then in your mouth and biting down. Once they cool, you can apply the whitening agent.)
- Next, you place the trays in your mouth (top and bottom).
- Lastly, you turn on the LED light and place it under your lips so that you don’t have to hold it the entire time.
- Leave the trays in your mouth for the recommended time (usually 30 to 60 minutes) while relaxing or doing light chores.
- Once the treatment is done, rinse your mouth with warm water and brush your teeth.
The UV rays from the LED light is expected to speed up the whitening process over time. Most companies offering this product state that you should see results in four weeks or less.
To see the process in action, watch the video below.
Is a Teeth Whitening Light Effective and Safe?
The Nigerian Medical Journal (NMJ) found a series of conflicting studies that both supported and contradicted the effectiveness of UV lights in at-home LED teeth whitening kits. Depending on how yellow the teeth are before treatment and how long the bleaching agent was left on the teeth could make for mixed results.
The most dramatic results came from those with very yellow teeth that kept the bleaching agent on for longer. These patients typically saw more improvement. The light, however, did not prove to have any effect on results.
The NMJ states that the use of light “may not be justified due to the risks involved.” These risks include increased tooth sensitivity, gum irritation, the burning of soft tissue and pulp damage. Just as UV lights are known for being harmful to the skin, it may also be harmful to the mouth.
Want to know how to achieve or maintain a whiter smile after your orthodontic treatment is complete? Contact us for answers and references for the best course of action for your needs. Not every treatment is for everyone and we can help you make the best decision for your oral health.