Tooth whitening is any process that lightens the color of a tooth. Whitening is accomplished by either the physical removal of the stain or a chemical reaction that lightens the tooth color.
LED teeth whitening is the process of using a tooth-whitening agent, such as hydrogen peroxide, and an LED (light-emitting diode) light to whiten teeth.
Americans spend $1.4 billion annually on nonprescription teeth whitening products to get a brighter smile. Cosmetic tooth bleaching is a global industry, with people spending $3.2 billion to brighten their teeth worldwide.
During the LED teeth whitening process, users first treat the teeth with a chemical agent that has bleaching properties. LED light is used to activate the lightning agent and start the chemical reaction.
When this interaction happens, the blue LED light penetrates the enamel and lifts existing stains.
LED lights are highly efficient and last a long time compared to other light sources. They do not have a warm-up time and switch on at their highest intensity straight away.
LED light works with a tooth-whitening agent to whiten teeth by activating the whitening agent and starting the chemical reaction.
An LED light will not change the color of the teeth if used alone. It acts as a catalyst to speed up the whitening process's reactions when combined with a whitening agent.
The most commonly-used whitening agents are hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide.
LED teeth whitening was developed to be safe for at-home use. Current research shows that LED teeth whitening is safe and effective when users follow the manufacturer's protocols.
LED as a light source is a safer alternative to ultraviolet (UV) light, which can cause the mutation of cells. An LED light does not cause cell mutations and speeds up the whitening reaction without UV light risks.
You should talk to your dentist before whitening your teeth. Teeth whitening does not work for everyone. Teeth whitening results depend on the user's lifestyle and the cause of their teeth discoloration. LED teeth whitening works better on yellowish teeth compared to brownish or greyish-hued teeth.
Blue light LED teeth whitening offers many benefits, including:
Blue light LED teeth whitening also has some downsides, including:
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The four best LED whitening kits based on our research include:
AuraGlow is more affordable than many other products on the market.
This teeth whitening solution comes with trays and a LED light to whiten both the top and bottom teeth. It also features 35 percent carbamide peroxide, close to the level of whitening agent used by dental offices (most dental offices use a 40 percent peroxide formula).
For best results, AuraGlow should be used for 30 minutes a day.
The patented GLO Brilliant Device combines LED light and Guided Light Optics (GLO) warming heat technology to accelerate safe hydrogen peroxide whitening formulation for faster, easier, and more effective whitening.
With the GLO tooth whitening system, you can whiten both top and bottom teeth simultaneously with fast 8-minute pre-timed applications. The device is hands-free so that you can whiten easily as part of your regular beauty or grooming routine.
GLO is used in thousands of professional dental offices and is clinically proven to get your smile 5X whiter without sensitivity.
GLO is FDA-registered. The whitening gel is vegan, gluten/latex/cruelty-free, and made in the USA.
Snow® is a popular teeth whitening system, with one product sold every 47 seconds. The brand's most advanced formulas deliver a professional-level whitening experience that's enamel-safe for those with sensitive teeth and gums.
Each application is only 9 minutes long, and 90% of users get a whiter smile after just one use.
Cost: $149 to $200
Colgate's Optic White At-Home Teeth Whitening Kit combines LED whitening light with blue LED light technology to activate the stain-removing hydrogen peroxide gel that's applied to the teeth via its rechargeable tray.
This tooth whitening system is also enamel-safe and was specifically designed to whiten teeth without causing sensitivity.
Each application is 10 minutes long, and most users see results after ten days.
The results of a whitening treatment depend on the user's diet and lifestyle. Several factors can impact tooth discoloration, including eating certain foods, smoking, certain medications, age, and genetics can impact teeth whitening. These factors are why results can vary after using an LED tooth whitening system.
To maintain a whiter smile after treatment, follow these steps:
All types of bleaching — whether over-the-counter, take-home kits, or in the dental office — are temporary, requiring touch-ups at some point.
Before whitening your teeth at home, have your teeth checked by your dentist for any tooth problems which could cause the pulp to become irritated during whitening. This can cause temporary sensitivity and discomfort.
You should ask your dentist which teeth whitening products they recommend, based on your personal needs and dental history.
When using a home whitening system, follow the manufacturer's instructions for as many treatments as it takes to reach your desired shade of whiteness. Each whitening kit is different, so be sure to read the directions carefully and follow the guidelines.
Once you've achieved your desired shade, you can transition to whitening maintenance depending on your diet and homecare.
Barrette, Lori. “DIY Teeth Whitening: Too Good to Be True?” URMC Newsroom, URMC Newsroom, 24 July 2020, www.urmc.rochester.edu/news/publications/health-matters/diy-teeth-whitening-too-good-to-be-true
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“GLO Brilliant Teeth Whitening Device.” GLO Science, GLO Science, https://gloscience.com/products/glo-brilliant-personal-teeth-whitening-device
Hayward, Roche et al. “A clinical study of the effectiveness of a light emitting diode system on tooth bleaching.” The open dentistry journal vol. 6 (2012): 143-7. doi:10.2174/1874210601206010143 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3466022/
Neighmond, Patti. “Navigating The 'Aisle Of Confusion' To Whiten Your Teeth.” NPR, NPR, 14 Aug. 2017, www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/08/14/542830158/navigating-the-aisle-of-confusion-to-whiten-your-teeth
“SNOW® AT-HOME TEETH WHITENING ALL-IN-ONE KIT.” TrySnow.com, Snow Cosmetics LLC, www.trysnow.com/pages/snow-teeth-whitening-kit-special-offer
“Teeth Whitening Kit.” AuraGlow, AuraGlow, https://auraglow.com/products/teeth-whitening-kit
“Teeth Whitening.” HealthLink BC, www.healthlinkbc.ca/health-topics/ug3150
Webster, Emma Sarran, and Kaleigh Fasanella. “The Best At-Home Teeth-Whitening Kits, According to Dentists.” Allure, Conde Nast, 1 Dec. 2020, www.allure.com/story/best-drugstore-at-home-teeth-whitening-kits