Have you seen the latest trend on how people are whitening their teeth an LED torch-like device? It has been widely marketed and trending all over social media and even endorsed by top celebrities such as UFC champion fighter Conor McGregor and the Kardashians themselves. This blog will explain all about LED teeth whitening and whether it really gives you a celebrity-like smile.
What LED teeth whitening?
To start off, teeth whitening with light technology has actually been around for a while now; with UV whitening practices being used by dental offices shortly after the patent of carbamide peroxide whitening gel in 1989. Fast-forward to modern day, the popularity of over-the-counter teeth whitening led to the production of different kinds of at-home whitening treatments including LED teeth whitening. This technology has since started a global trend and are being mass produced all over the world.
If you have not heard or seen it before, this whitening method essentially uses a small device that is placed into your mouth; over your teeth and emits blue LED light that is supposedly meant to whiten your teeth. In the past, it was widely commercialised using UV light; however, there were concerns of risks involved with UV radiation on sensitive tissues that can cause oral cancer. This practice has since been limited after a safer alternative was developed using blue LED light which did not emit radiation. This source was also much more efficient as the process was quicker due to LED light having no warn-up time allowing it to be at its highest intensity as soon as it is turned on.
How does LED whitening work?
There are two factors that come into play with LED whitening. From broad sight, it is commonly misunderstood that the LED light is the main cause-of-effect that whitens your teeth; however, the light is only used as a reactor. The main source of the whitening comes from the whitening gel agent that is applied to your teeth which breaks down the stains. The LED light is only used to speed up the reaction of the agents and will not whiten your teeth if it is used alone. Also keep in mind that LED whitening cannot replace your regular oral care as you will still need to brush and floss your teeth everyday to keep your teeth from discolouring or decaying.
Is it safe?
In general, LED teeth whitening can be very safe however, instructions must be followed to avoid any complications. As the agents used in the whitening gel are usually bleaching agents such as hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, there can also be short-term side effects. These include symptoms like tooth sensitivity and gum irritation which typically lasts a few days. If you are a person with sensitive teeth or reactive gums, it is best to firstly consult your dental practitioner before going forward with LED treatment. Finally, it is advised the treatment should not be used more than once a day as overusing can permanently damage your teeth.
How do you use it?
There are different instructions for every whitening kit, but they all usually follow a similar process. Bianco Smile offers an LED whitening treatment with our Teeth Whitening Kit which uses a safe dose of carbamide peroxide, or you can go the extra mile with charcoal gel which combines both activated charcoal with whitening gel.
- Start by washing your mouthpiece in hot water for about 10 seconds to get rid of any residue; making it clean for your mouth. Doing this will also soften the mouthpiece so you can mould it to your teeth when you put it into your mouth.
- Gently push the mouthpiece tight around your upper and lower teeth using your fingers as well as your tongue if needed.
- Once the mouthpiece is firm, place a small amount of whitening gel in the upper and lower mouth trays.
- Take the LED light provided and turn it on. If the light isn’t turning on, make sure the small piece of plastic between the battery is removed. Place it into your mouth and leave it for around 20-30 minutes.
- Enjoy a cleaner, brighter, “Bianco” Smile.
Now, the big question is, does this whitening method work? The answer is yes depending on the severity of your tooth stains. LED teeth whitening is most effective for surface stains such as from smoking, wine, alcohol and other teeth staining food/beverages. If your teeth are stained under the surface, you may require an in-office clean by a dental practitioner as there are not many at-home treatments that would be able to do this. If you are unsure, check with a dental practitioner on your available options.
If your teeth are discoloured and you are looking for a solution that doesn’t involved spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars getting them professionally whitened, LED whitening treatment can definitely be a viable option. Keep in mind that most at-home treatments only work for surface tooth stains, so you should speak to your dentist if you are concerned whether this is an option you can take.