Chances are you’re familiar with the popular at-home products floating around Instagram that promise to whiten teeth in a matter of days. It’s a simple process that costs about 1/7 of the price in comparison to getting your teeth professionally whitened at the dentist, so it’s no wonder people are jumping on the bandwagon.
But are they too good to be true? What are some things we should be weary of? Here, we consult one of Sydney’s leading dental specialists, Dr. Fadi Yassmin, who helps shed some light (ha, see what we did there) on what you need to know when it comes to using LED teeth whitening products for yourself at home.
“The main thing to be weary about is where these products are manufactured and under what standards, Dr Fadi tells Sporteluxe. “If you are placing a product in the mouth it is only recommended that you use TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) approved materials.”
“All products that are dispensed or sold by dentists have this, but there is no guarantee that materials bought online or over the counter have passed stringent testing. The other issue with over the counter or online products is they are not custom-fitted so material can spill over and excess gel over the gums.”
“The most serious damage is ulceration or irritation of the gums,” explains Dr Fadi. “In extreme cases, excessive use can cause wear and pitting of the enamel.”
“Some products are effective in the long run, provided they are lower strength and contact the teeth evenly. An example of these is the whitening strips which have shown promising results out of the over the counter products.”
“What you need to understand is which teeth can be whitened. It is important to know teeth that are capped or have large fillings placed on them will not change colour. This is best assessed by the dentist, after which the most suitable system can be recommended.”
The basics like gum health and any decay need to be treated prior. There is also the importance of assessing receding gums prior to any whitening treatment to avoid sensitivity.”
“The best way is by a professional system delivered by a dentist and only after an assessment confirming suitability. This can either be an “in chair” or a take-home kit with custom trays.”
“The effects of the blue lights have been documented and proven to be not any more effective in activating the gel. It has been shown to cause heat generation and as result cause tooth sensitivity.”