Teeth naturally turn yellow through general eating, drinking red wine and coffee, some medications and age. It’s unfortunately an avoidable change in the body that happens overtime. Fortunately though, there are heaps of ways to remove stains and whiten teeth back to their natural state.
Teeth whitening works by applying a whitening agent to the teeth, including Hydrogen Peroxide, Bicarbonate Soda and Carbamide Peroxide. To activate the whitening agent, sometimes a blue light is shone onto the teeth to speed up the whitening process. In the past, Ultra Violet (UV) light was used, however UV light is a form of ionizing radiation which can cause the mutation of cells and potentially cancer.
A safer and now more widely used alternative is Light Emitting Diode, LED.
LED light is a device which releases visible light when supplied with an electrical current. The colour of the light can range between red and blue-violet on the visible light scale.
Compared to other light sources, LED lights:
The LED light acts as a catalyst to speed up the reaction of a whitening agent. For an LED light to work and change the colour of your teeth, it needs to be used in conjunction with a teeth whitening agent. It will not work alone. The whitening agent is commonly hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, which are both active ingredients. Carbamide peroxide, for example, is a slow-acting bleach that when applied to teeth will react, breaking down into hydrogen peroxide and urea. Urea is a waste product, but the hydrogen peroxide removes superficial stains and deeper discoloration by altering their chemical structure.
With so many different teeth whitening procedures available, it is hard to know which one to choose. To help with your decision, these are the benefits of at-home LED teeth whitening:
LED teeth whitening is used by both dentists and during at-home procedures. It is completely safe to used an LED light at home. The use of an LED light source as opposed to older, UV light sources is much safer.
At-home teeth whitening can be done very safely with minimal complications. Whereas in the past, UV light had been used as a catalyst to speed up the time taken for teeth whitening to occur, LED light is now a much safer option.
Repeated tooth whitening in quick succession, and leaving the whitening agent on for too long can cause permanent damage to the teeth. It is recommended to always read and follow the instructions of the teeth whitening kit.
A side-effect of teeth whitening is temporary sensitivity. This is usually not permanent, and you can look after your teeth by using toothpaste for sensitive teeth. Typically the higher concentrate of peroxide in the whitening gel, the more sensitivity will occur. In Australia, the legally safe limit of hydrogen peroxide is 6% and carbamide peroxide is 16%.
Your gums may become irritated if the whitening agent comes into contact with the delicate tissues of the mouth. Cell turnover in the mouth is quick, so the irritations will not usually last long. This is why a teeth whitening pen is a great way to apply the gel rather than using messy trays- the pen applies the gel directly to the teeth.
Nothing lasts forever
Whilst we are biased fans of at-home, LED teeth whitening, remember that no teeth whitening is permanent. Teeth yellow at different rates, depending on lifestyle factors, what you eat and drink and genetic disposition. The natural thinning of enamel and pigmentation of the internal dentin that no matter what whitening method you choose, your teeth will continue to turn yellow. This may take weeks, months or years.
The benefit of an at-home teeth whitening kit is that you can do regular touch-ups of your teeth, whenever you want in the comfort of your home.
No tooth whitening method should be done too often or for longer than the instructions say. This is because if left on or repeated too soon the acid in the whitening agent can damage the tooth enamel which can lead to sensitivity and other future problems. Prevent damage by closely following the instructions.
Teeth whitening kits should not be used on children’s teeth. You should instead consult your dentist if you are worried about the colour of your child’s teeth.
Teeth whitening will not work on restorative dentistry, for example, crowns, veneers and bridges. These materials will not whiten and so using whitening products on teeth around these materials will cause uneven colour throughout the mouth.
If you are pregnant, trying to get pregnant or nursing a baby, it is best to delay whitening your teeth. There has been little research into teeth whitening during pregnancy to assess the safety. Therefore, the best option is to wait until you have had your baby and finished breastfeeding.
Teeth whitening procedures at the dentist vary greatly in price depending on the dentist and the whitening method you choose. Laser whitening, while very effective, can set you back over $1000, while other methods can be between $200 – $1000. A much more affordable and convenient option it at-home LED teeth whitening kits. Check out our Advanced Teeth Whitening Kit now!