women smiling after using teeth whitening light

Is A Teeth Whitening Light Effective?

Have you noticed a change in the color of your teeth? Are they not as white as they used to be? Coffee, soda, red wine and other elements in life can all play a role in the brightness of your smile. Whether you are trying to turn back the clock or are preparing for a special day, it has never been easier to have whiter teeth.

What Teeth Whitening Treatments Are Available?

There are many options, including over-the-counter treatments and prescription strength treatments professionally recommended that may be applied in-office by your dentist or by yourself at home. These types of treatments include everything from whitening toothpastes to products that incorporate teeth whitening lights.

There are primarily two types of lights used in teeth whitening: UV and LED. UV teeth whitening works with ultraviolet light, a form of magnetic radiation that comes from the sun. It heats up. LED stands for Light Emitting Diode. This process emits a blue light that increases the teeth whitening process without emitting heat to the teeth.

As UV and blue light apply to teeth whitening, the difference between the two is visibility of the light, energy emitted by the light, and the wavelength as a measurement of the two forms of light.

UV light contains more energy than that of blue light. Since blue light holds less energy which turns to heat, it holds less risk than that of UV light teeth whitening. Meaning the two forms of light therapy are different, and in result blue light is able to be equally effective without the safety concerns of UV light.

Does Light Teeth Whitening Work?

Teeth light whitening methods researched by both the Journal of American Dental Association as well an independent study from the American Chemical Society show us both forms of teeth whitening lights do provide results for a brighter, whiter smile.

Both UV and blue lights, used in teeth whitening, may incorporate a hydrogen peroxide solution applied to the teeth. By combining the energy emitted by blue light or UV light with peroxide, teeth whitening lights are proven to significantly lighten the color of teeth compared to the results of peroxide alone.

Is Light Teeth Whitening Safe?

There are many opinions and studies on the safety of using these types of lights for teeth whitening. UV light is considered a risk. It may cause burning of soft tissue, gum irritation, damage to teeth and increased tooth sensitivity. Comparatively, the American Chemical Society performed a study that tested the activation of blue light on the teeth whitening process and found no significant damage to the teeth’s enamel.

If you have questions about the application of teeth whitening light, have a conversation with your dentist about the treatments available. Your dentist will have the latest information on existing treatments, understanding of how to apply teeth whitening light safely, and help you decide what’s the right treatment for you.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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