What is LED Teeth Whitening and How Does It Work? : University Buzz : University Herald

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what is led teeth whitening and how does it work - What is LED Teeth Whitening and How Does It Work? : University Buzz : University Herald
(Photo : What is LED Teeth Whitening and How Does It Work? )

The yellowing of teeth is an extremely undesirable outcome of aging that is often sped up by lifestyle habits such as drinking and smoking.  Fortunately, we now have a wide range of teeth whitening methods that can help restore the natural color of our teeth. Though many of these whitening techniques are quite effective, more and more people now prefer using LED teeth whitening kits that can be used in the comfort of our home without any supervision by a dentist.   

Principles of Teeth Whitening: Most teeth whitening techniques utilize a whitening agent to treat teeth. Following this treatment, the reaction is accelerated by shining a blue light source on the teeth being treated. Previously, UV light was the most commonly used light source. However, there has been an increased concern all over the world about the use of UV light for this purpose. It has been scientifically established that this form of ionizing radiation is responsible for causing cell mutation as well as cancer. Given the extremely sensitive nature of oral cells, this is certainly a serious concern. 

LED Light: The shorter form of Light Emitting Diode, LED is referred to as a device capable of releasing visible light in the presence of electric current. Often times, this is a single color light within the red and blue-violet wavelengths on the scale of visible lights. These lights are extremely intense and brighter compared to traditional halogen or incandescent lamps. Owing to their efficient heat-dissipating designs, LEDs are also much cooler.   

In comparison to other sources of light, LEDs require considerably less power but provide higher efficiency for a longer duration of time. These lights can start delivering their highest intensity immediately after switching on because there is no warm-up time whatsoever. Moreover, being a form of visible light and not ionizing radiation, they are not capable of causing cell mutations or cancer. Therefore, LED   these days as a healthier alternative to UV light for teeth whitening treatments.  

Teeth Whitening Using LED: Please note that LEDs are used for teeth whitening in tandem with whitening agents. Used alone, LED light does not have any whitening effect on teeth. However, when used alongside a whitening agent, it functions as a catalyst to accelerate the reactions. Hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide are two of the most commonly used whitening agents. A slow-acting bleach, carbamide peroxide breaks down into urea and hydrogen peroxide when it is applied to the teeth. Hydrogen peroxide alters the chemical structure of discolorations and stains to remove them.   

Accelerated Teeth Whitening with LED:  Many advanced studies have now established the fact that the teeth whitening process is significantly accelerated in the presence of LED lights. This is particularly effective while using a combination of LED activator light and carbamide peroxide-based whitening gels. Previously, similar acceleration was triggered using UV light. LED light now offers a much safer and easily accessible alternative. 

LED Teeth Whitening Safety: LED teeth whitening is an advanced dental procedure that has been designed to be used safely at home. Compared to the previously used UV light sources, LED light sources are much safer. However, we must not ignore the fact that the procedure does involve putting bleach inside the mouth. Therefore, the instructions provided with every whitening kit must be followed meticulously. 

Our oral tissues are extremely sensitive.  Care must be taken to ensure that the whitening agent is not applied directly on the gums because this can lead to irritation and sensitivity. Similarly, temporary sore throat is another common problem caused by accidentally swallowing the agent.

Benefits of LED Teeth Whitening:

  • Compared to in-office teeth whitening in the presence of a dentist, LED teeth whitening kits are much more affordable. While these kits may not last for a long time, they are capable of delivering excellent results. 

  • The most important benefit of LED teeth whitening is the flexibility and convenience of using the kits at home.  It can be a great last-minute arrangement without having to wait for a dentist’s appointment.  

  • When used correctly, LED teeth whitening kits are capable of providing a highly satisfactory outcome.  The results are often achieved straight away and last for quite some time. With comprehensive instructions available on all packs, the kits can be used effortlessly.   

  • By avoiding exposure to UV radiations, LED teeth whitening can help individuals remain safe from cellular mutations.

Limitations of LED Teeth Whitening:

  • Regardless of how brilliant the results are, no teeth whitening procedure can provide permanent results. Depending on genetic disposition and lifestyle factors, different individuals will experience rates of teeth yellowing. 

  • LED teeth whitening should be avoided by all expectant mothers and those nursing a baby. There has not been much research to evaluate the impact of LED whitening on pregnancy. Therefore, it is better for mothers to wait until their baby stops breastfeeding. 

  • It is extremely important for every individual to ensure that he or she is not applying this method too long or too frequently. This can cause serious damage to tooth enamel, leading to sensitivity and other issues at a later stage.  

  • Please note that it not advisable to use LED teeth whitening techniques on children. Similarly, this procedure is not suitable for individuals that have already undergone restorative dental procedures such as crowns, veneers, and bridges.  

Tips to Prolong LED Teeth Whitening Results:  

  • Please remember that whitening can never be the substitute of maintaining proper dental hygiene. Brush and floss your teeth thoroughly twice a day for the removal of food residue and to prevent the build-up of tartar. 

  • People that smoke is more likely to experience teeth yellowing within a shorter span of time. Therefore, LED teeth whitening results can be prolonged significantly by quitting smoking.

  • Avoid foods such as tomato sauce, curries, sweets and beverages such as coffee, red wine, and tea.

  • If you drink beverages that cause staining of the teeth, use a straw. 

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