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What is LED Teeth Whitening?

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.

How Does LED Teeth Whitening Work?

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 whitening 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. 

How Does an LED Light Make Your Teeth Whiter?

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.

Are LED Teeth Whitening Lights Safe? 

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.

Pros and Cons of Blue Light Teeth Whitening

Blue light LED teeth whitening offers many benefits, including:

  • Whiter teeth
  • The convenience of whitening teeth at home versus having to go to a dental office
  • Affordability
  • Free from UV radiation 
  • Less painful than whitening at the dentist's office

Blue light LED teeth whitening also has some downsides, including:

  • Varying results based on the cause of discoloration
  • Gradual results versus a professional teeth whitening, which has immediate results
  • Increased tooth sensitivity
  • Burning and gum irritation, caused by the bleaching agent coming into contact with the mouth's delicate tissues, such as the tongue or gums
  • Permanent damage from overuse caused by excessive tooth whitening treatments, using too much whitening agent, or leaving the whitening agent on for too long can cause permanent damage to the teeth

Why Trust Us? How We Choose Products

All medical content on this site, including this guide and other product reviews, is written by our team of experienced writers and researchers. All NewMouth writers vet products that are recommended and reviewed in the industry. In cases where this is not possible, our team will:

  • Compare positive and negative reviews on the products
  • Talk to company leaders to ensure their products are safe and effective
  • Look into costs to ensure customers are getting the best quality products at reasonable prices
  • Read research studies to compare the pros and cons of each product

Every piece of content is heavily reviewed before publication. All content on NewMouth is also medically reviewed by a licensed dentist, specifically any content where we recommend products.

Our dentists are told to flag any recommendations they don’t agree with. Any products that don’t meet their professional standards are removed.

Many of the products we recommend have the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance. These products are proven to be effective in preventing gum disease, cavities, and other oral health conditions.

When we recommend products that do not include this seal of acceptance, we conduct further research to ensure reputability. This may include speaking with company leaders, reading hundreds of customer reviews, and ensuring they provide quality customer service.

Best At-Home LED Teeth Whitening Kits of 2022

Everything We Recommend

Best Overall (Editor's Pick)Snow At-Home Teeth Whitening All-in-One Kit

Best for Sensitivityhismile PAP+ Teeth Whitening Kit™

Fastest ResultsGlo Brilliant Teeth Whitening Device

Best on a BudgetAuraGlow Teeth Whitening Kit

Best All-in-One Whitening BrandColgate ® Optic White Advanced LED Whitening

Snow® At-Home Teeth Whitening Kit

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.

snow kit

Snow All-in-One Whitening Kit

Best Overall (Editor's Pick)

This dentist-approved teeth whitening kit was designed for sensitive teeth and is safe for gums and enamel.

Each whitening application only takes 9 minutes per day. According to Snow’s website, 97 percent of customers see results after just one use (consumer study). 

Cost: $$

hismile PAP+ Teeth Whitening Kit™

hismile's teeth whitening kit uses three powerful, enamel-safe ingredients to provide instant results without any sensitivity:

  1. Hydroxyapatite (nHAp) rebuilds the protective layer of teeth and replaces lost minerals.
  2. Phthalimidoperoxycaproicacid (PAP) is clinically proven to whiten teeth without sensitivity or gum irritation.
  3. Potassium citrate helps relieve pre-existing sensitivity and provides long-term protection.
hismile PAP+ Teeth Whitening Kit™

hismile PAP+ Teeth Whitening Kit™

Best for Sensitive Teeth

hismile's teeth whitening kit is an effective and safe peroxide-free alternative. Peroxide as a bleaching agent can cause sensitivity, gum irritation, and the demineralization of teeth.

hismile uses PAP, nHAp, and potassium citrate to whiten teeth without sensitivity. These ingredients have also been clinically proven to remineralize teeth.

Cost: $$

GLO Brilliant Teeth Whitening Kit

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.

GLO Brilliant Deluxe Teeth Whitening

GLO Brilliant Deluxe Teeth Whitening Device Kit

Fastest Results

GLO Brilliant uses LED lights as well as heat to give you faster results. This kit is for people who want white teeth quickly. Applications only take 8 minutes.

They suggest completing four back-to-back applications each day for five straight days, or until you’re pleased with the results. This is a fast and effective whitening process, but it is the most expensive item on our list.

Cost: $$$

AuraGlow Teeth Whitening Kit

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).

AuraGlow Teeth Whitening Kit, LED Light

AuraGlow Teeth Whitening Kit

Best on a Budget

AuraGlow is an easy-to-use home tooth whitening system that uses an advanced 35% carbamide peroxide whitening solution and led lights to give you whiter teeth.

There are approximately 20 treatments included. Use daily for 30 minutes to remove discoloration and gain optimal brightening results.

Cost: $

Colgate ® Optic White Advanced LED Whitening

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.

colgate led teeth whitening kit

Colgate Optic White Advanced LED Whitening

Best All-in-One Whitening Brand

Colgate's advanced teeth whitening kit only requires 10 minutes of your day. After just 10 days of use, you'll have noticeably whiter teeth.

If you want to use the same brand for all of your oral care needs, Colgate also has the leading whitening toothpaste and mouthwash on the market.

Cost: $$

How Long Does LED Teeth Whitening Last?

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:

  • Stay hydrated – Water rinses away compounds from dark-colored foods and drinks that can stain enamel.
  • Rinse your mouth – Rinse with a glass of water after drinking acidic beverages like coffee, soda, or wine. 
  • Use a straw – Drink dark-colored liquids through a straw when possible to prevent them from staining the teeth' surface.
  • Brush with a whitening toothpaste – Proper oral hygiene keeps teeth clean and bright.
  • Schedule a cleaning – Regular dental exams keep teeth healthy.
  • Avoid tobacco products – Cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco can cause staining

All types of bleaching — whether over-the-counter, take-home kits, or in the dental office — are temporary, requiring touch-ups at some point.

How Often Can I Whiten My Teeth At Home?

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.

Last updated on January 12, 2022
9 Sources Cited
Last updated on January 12, 2022
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
  1. 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
  2. Carey, Clifton M. “Tooth whitening: what we now know.” The journal of evidence-based dental practice vol. 14 Suppl : 70-6. doi:10.1016/j.jebdp.2014.02.006 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4058574/
  3. “GLO Brilliant Teeth Whitening Device.” GLO Science, GLO Science, https://gloscience.com/products/glo-brilliant-personal-teeth-whitening-device
  4. 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 : 143-7. doi:10.2174/1874210601206010143 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3466022/ 
  5. 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
  6. “SNOW® AT-HOME TEETH WHITENING ALL-IN-ONE KIT.” TrySnow.com, Snow Cosmetics LLC, www.trysnow.com/pages/snow-teeth-whitening-kit-special-offer
  7. “Teeth Whitening Kit.” AuraGlow, AuraGlow, https://auraglow.com/products/teeth-whitening-kit
  8. “Teeth Whitening.” HealthLink BC, www.healthlinkbc.ca/health-topics/ug3150  
  9. 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
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