Teeth Whitening Light: Does it Work?

There’s a lot of buzz going on around these at home teeth whitening treatments, also known as white light systems. They are commonly seen on social media and advertised by influencers and bloggers everywhere, but the ultimate question is, “do they work”?

What is a white light system?

A white light system claims to use “light technology” to whiten your teeth. One of the claims it makes is to bring your teeth from faded yellow to bright white in the blink of an eye. Inside of these white light systems, there are low powered UV lights made with LED or light-emitting diodes. When looking into this system, you can see that it is a different kind of equipment than what you find in a dentist’s office so that brings us to the question of “does it actually work”?

Does it actually work?

To determine if teeth whitening actually works, dentists do something called a split-arch study. One half of the patient’s mouth is whitened while the other is not. By doing this, the dentist can accurately see the effects of the whitening. On a recent study done by  highya, we were told that “Before split-arch studies, it was observed that UV lights did, indeed, help make teeth whiter. However, it wasn’t until dentists started measuring a patient’s treated teeth against their untreated teeth in follow-up visits that they realized the extra boost of a UV light faded away”. This happens due to the light dehydrating the patient’s teeth, but as the moisture comes back, the teeth quickly fade back to what they were. So, it turns out, this system does not actually work.

Is it Healthy?

Although this is a popular at-home alternative to whitening your teeth, it may not be the safest for your teeth. Amy Tribe tells us about “the research made by Doctor Bruzell’s team that involved the examination of 10-20 extracted human premolars and molars to commercial teeth-bleaching products and procedures. They discovered that exposure to UV light created more exposed grooves which made the enamel surface of the teeth more vulnerable to stress and other related damage.”  It is always wise to schedule an appointment with your dentist to properly whiten your teeth or prescribe a treatment that is safe to take home.

If you would like to get more information or schedule an appointment to whiten your teeth, you can make an appointment with Dr. Antonio Lopez-Ibarra at Tri-City Dental Care by calling (509)-579-0759.