Many people have wondered what teeth whitening kits can do. Can you brighten your smile at home? Or does a professional dentist have to do it?
In this post, we’re going to cover the ins and outs of teeth whitening kits that use LED lighting.Creative Commons
How Does An LED Light Whiten Teeth?
Light Emitting Diode (LED) is a device that puts out an intense light, usually colored red or blue-ish. They’re typically cooler than other lights as they have designs that dissipate heat. They also don’t need a ton of power because they can be efficient for long periods of time. Plus, LED lighting does not cause cancer as it does not cause cell mutations because it’s a type of ionizing radiation.
Some people speculate that LED lighting doesn’t do anything for whitening teeth, but professional dentists even use lights and find them effective.
The light isn’t the thing that whitens your teeth — the gel does that. What the light does is accelerate the whitening process. The gel usually includes hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, both whitening agents. The latter is more of a slow-acting bleaching agent, which breaks down into hydrogen peroxide and urea (a waste product). The hydrogen peroxide then washes away stains and discoloration.
According to a study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information, using LED lighting makes the teeth whitening process faster, especially when used in tandem with whitening gels with a carbamide peroxide base (this fact is also backed by other studies). In previous years, UV light was thought to be the fastest way to quicken the whitening process, but now we know that LED light is much faster, more affordable, and easier to get.
How To Use A Teeth Whitening Kit With LED Light?
When you get a teeth whitening kit, you always want to follow the instructions to the letter to ensure you get the best results from that specific kit. However, below are the general steps for how to use a teeth whitening kit with LED lighting.
- Brush and floss your teeth to make sure all debris is out of the way, which will allow the whitening gel and light to make better contact with your teeth
- Put the whitening gel on the whitening tray as directed
- Place the tray into your mouth and wipe away any extra gel that oozes over the tray
- Get the LED light ready by plugging it in (if needed) and cleaning the mouthpiece
- Turn on the light and place the device into your mouth as directed (the light may touch the tray)
- Keep the device in place (usually with your lips) for the amount of time listed in the directions
- When the time is up (most devices have a built-in time), remove the light and turn it off and remove the tray
- Rinse your mouth and brush your teeth
- Wash the tray and LED light with a soft cloth
The Best Teeth Whitening Kits With LED Light
Let’s take a closer look at the top teeth whitening kits that use LED lighting technology.
The name of this whitening kit hints that it will make your smile as white as newly fallen snow. This FDA-approved teeth whitening kit requires no prescription and is an award-winning system. Even “top celebrity dentists” use this system and are pleased with it.
Snow Labs, a Harvard science research company, claims to serve more than 100,000 customers and counting. They seek to continue releasing whitening products, and they even donate a portion of their proceeds to provide dental care for children who can’t afford it.
This kit is about $300, which is far less than what you’d pay a dentist for a professional cleaning. With this at-home kit, you can get similar results for a fraction of the cost.
- Performs better than whitening strips or trays
- See results in about three days
- FDA-approved and no prescription required
- Snow has not always had the best customer service
- Price is a bit higher than other at-home whitening kits
Most Snow users are happy with the results, saying it whitens better, quicker, and easier than whitening trays or strips. Customers say results occur in a few days, but sometimes it takes up to 21 days to fully take effect. Most of the complaints are in regard to poor customer service, but those complaints were from earlier on in the company’s life.
AuraGlow is one of the best at-home teeth whitening systems on the market because it allows you to get a professional-grade whitening from the comfort of your home. Using a device that uses high-quality LED lighting technology and dental-grade gel, this AuraGlow system can whiten stains from years ago. The gel is the whitening agent and the light (which has a built-in timer) speeds up the process.
The whole kit comes with the light, five light bulbs, the gel, two 5mL gel syringes, a mouth tray, and a mouth tray case. The gel contains 35% carbamide peroxide, it’s gluten-free, kosher, and it’s made in the USA. And you can get all of this for $50 or less.
- Effective after just one whitening session
- Quick whitening and easy to use
- Dental-grade whitening at an affordable price
- Some users say the whitening process increases sensitivity in their teeth
- If not held in place, the mouthpiece can become disconnected from the light
For the most part, users are happy with Snow. Sensitivity is an issue for some, but most customers don’t run into this problem. Another common problem is that the light device is a bit awkward and can sometimes become disconnected.
GLO Science is an award-winning at-home teeth whitening kit that uses heat and blue LED light to brighten your smile. The idea is that this heat-light combo whitens your teeth without causing sensitivity. It requires whitening sessions that are just 8 minutes short, and users should see results after just five days.
In the kit, you get a mouthpiece and 10 GLO whitening vials (40 whitening sessions), GLO lip treatment, a mouthpiece storage case, GLO Control, a power cord and adapter, a lanyard, and a storage case for everything.
This whitening kit runs about $200, which sure beats the price of Snow and the cost of a professional whitening.
- Effective after just one day
- Little to no pain or sensitivity
- Poor battery life
Most users are very happy with GLO’s at-home kit. The results happen within a couple of days and people say there’s no increased sensitivity. Some folks reported that the battery can have a short life, but this doesn’t seem to be a common problem.
This USA-made teeth whitening kit claims to have clinically proven results, removing stains in seven days and whitening your teeth by up to eight shades. Each whitening session — which involves a tray full of gel — should last 10-30 minutes, thanks to the LED light with a built-in timer that speeds up the process.
If you’re worried about ingesting chemicals, the CaliWhite Kits is vegan, organic, kosher, gluten-free, and has no GMOs, PEG, PPG, sulfates, or parabens. They also say it’s “dentist approved.”
The kit includes two 5ml gel syringes, a universal whitening tray, two thermoform whitening trays, a tray case, and an LED device with five blue light bulbs.
And the fact that this kit is under $40 is like the cherry on top of a delicious cake.
- Affordable price
- All-natural ingredients
- Can whiten teeth up to eight shades
- Not the most durable lighting device
- Can cause sensitivity
For the most part, user reviews show CaliWhite Kit to be effective. Although some people noted that the LED light died after a certain amount of time. Also, some customers complained of teeth and gum sensitivity after using the whitening system.
The makers behind the Active Wow Teeth Whitening Premium Kit say you can see results after just the first whitening session. They even say your satisfaction is guaranteed or your money back. This USA-made kit requires one 15-minute session every day on consecutive days.
They claim “dental-grade results” and that their kit is “more effective than other whitening options.” The kit has customized whitening trays that mold to the shape of your teeth. It seems best to start with shorter sessions to make sure your teeth and gums aren’t too sensitive to the solution.
The kit includes two whitening syringes, two remineralization gel syringes, three thermoform whitening trays, the LED light that accelerates the whitening process, and a tray case. And this all comes in a package for just $40.
- Can see results after just the first whitening session
- Affordable price
- Custom whitening trays mold to your teeth
- Whitening trays may not fit snugly
- Can be harsh on the gums
Most of the reviewers loved the Active Wow whitening kit, saying it worked as advertised and can easily be compared to that of a professional whitening. Although some users did point out that the trays may not fit perfectly. This can lead to gel leaking onto the gums, which can cause sensitivity or pain.
Pros & Cons Of Using LED Tooth Whitening Systems
We want to make sure you’re aware of the ways LED teeth whitening can benefit you as well as other things you should be aware of. So here are the pros and cons of using LED light as a part of teeth whitening.
- Very affordable: a decent teeth whitening kit with LED lighting usually costs under $100 — much cheaper than professional whitening services
- Super convenient: you can whiten your teeth from the comfort of your home while you watch TV or scroll through social media
- Effective: when used correctly, at-home teeth whitening kits can be very effective
- Safe: LED light is much safer than the previously used UV light
- It’s not permanent: teeth become yellow even after whitening — this is true even if you got a professional teeth whitening, but the results of at-home kits don’t last as long
- Can’t be used while pregnancy: if you’re pregnant or trying to become pregnant, you shouldn’t use teeth whitening kits as it’s not clear what the effect is on pregnancy
- It can be overdone: you shouldn’t do teeth whitening for too long or too frequently as it can damage your enamel — it should only be done as instructed by the kit
- Whitening does not work on fake teeth: things like dentures, crowns, and veneers will not be whitened by at-home whitening kits
Side Effects Of LED Teeth Whitening
You should also be aware of some potential side effects of teeth whitening kits that use LED lighting. Many users do not experience these symptoms, but many do, so it’s possible you may also.
Side effects can include:
- Sensitivity: this is when your teeth or gums become more sensitive post-LED whitening. This isn’t typically a permanent side effect, but it can be quite uncomfortable.
- Irritation of the gums/tongue: if the whitening gel gets on your gums or tongue and stays on for long periods of time, it can make the sensitive tissues irritated and uncomfortable.
- Enamel damage: if you whiten too often or for too long, the whitening process can, over time, damage your enamel, which is the protective outer layer of your teeth. And this is permanent damage, so it’s very important to follow the instructions included with your whitening kit.
Cost Of LED Teeth Whitening
If you were to get your teeth professionally whitened by a dentist, it will cost you several hundred dollars. And if you choose to go with laser whitening — which is very effective — you could end up spending $1,000 on one session.
Contrast that with at-home teeth whitening kits — you can spend less than $100 (usually in the $30-60 range) for a complete system that whitens your teeth just as effectively. Yes, the results may not last as long as a professional whitening and you may have to touch up your teeth, but it’s still much more affordable.
Whitening your teeth — whether by a professional or using an at-home kit — is not a replacement for good oral care. The best thing you can do to prevent yellowing and stains is the brush your teeth twice a day, floss, and try to cut back on food and drinks that stain your teeth, like coffee, wine, and sugary foods and beverages.
But if you’re taking good care of your teeth and still experiencing discoloration, LED teeth whitening is probably your best option if you’re on a tighter budget. The investment is low (under $100), the risk is low (if you follow the instructions), and the reward is high.
You can have a brighter smile and a brighter life.