UV Teeth Whitening – Does it Work and is it Safe?
Whitening your teeth is now one of the easiest and most cost effective procedures you can do to improve your appearance. UV whitening is one of many different options for making your teeth look brighter, and making yourself look younger. It is becoming a more and more popular way for people to improve their smile. It is also considered to be a way to eliminate discoloring and staining, dramatically enhancing the whiteness of teeth.
UV whitening is one of the power or light-accelerating techniques used in conjunction with a bleaching agent- peroxide or carbamide peroxide – to increase its speed in whitening teeth. The idea is that light in the blue or ultraviolet spectrum excites the peroxide molecules without overheating the pulp of the teeth. The resulting break down of the peroxide molecules is thought to accelerate the whitening process.
Certain kinds of UV whitening treatments, such as the Celebrity Hollywood Whites UV Teeth Whitening Kit, and UVBleachBright are specially made to be used while you relax on a tanning bed. Solar Smile Teeth Whitening is also exclusive for Tanning Salons and is the Number one Whitening Product on the market. Many women find that these UV teeth whitening systems can be used easily while doing their hair, having a manicure or just relaxing.
However, it is the opinion of this author that you should think long and hard before considering any UV treatment, and consult your dentist before considering this procedure.
Ask yourself – “Is it safe, and does it work?”
A recent study in the “Journal of Prosthodontics”, found that light-activated and non-light-activated procedures did not differ significantly. In fact, another study in the journal “Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences” went even further. It found that UV exposure in these treatments can be four times the level in ordinary sunbathing and that the eyes and skin are not sufficiently shielded from this radiation. The FDA has received complaints of burned gums from these procedures. Repeated UV exposure can also cause abnormal growths in and around the eye – and even cataracts.
Teeth whitening procedures in general are legitimate cosmetic techniques, but they differ in speed and effectiveness. High-concentration peroxide applications will whiten your teeth even without the UV exposure. So why risk your health just for a little speed?
Dentists exclusively performed teeth whitening until about 1990, when home kits involving tray bleaching were introduced as a convenience. These kits generally have lower concentrations of peroxide and may take longer to obtain whitening results, but they mainly do work – without using potentially harmful UV light.