If you've opened up Instagram in the last few weeks and taken a look at almost any celebrity's page, you may have seen them advertising whitening gel that comes with a small blue LED light, which they claim enhances the whitening effects of the gel. You may think to yourself, "well it's similar to the blue light they use at the dentist's office, so why not?" ...
First of all, it is NOT the same blue light that is used at the dental office. The lights that can be purchased online, to any given customer, are not FDA-approved, are manufactured relatively cheaply, and are broken very easily. The lights that are ordered and used in the dental office are only available through dental supply companies, are FDA-regulated and are quite expensive.
The primary ingredient in teeth whitening gel is generally Hydrogen peroxide or a close derivative called carbamide peroxide. These molecules are made up of hydrogen and oxygen. As the molecule interacts with your teeth the hydrogen and oxygen break apart causing a deep cleaning action. The molecules will become active when exposed to your teeth, higher temperatures, or Ultraviolet light (UV). This is the reason that normal hydrogen peroxide (for cleaning wounds) is sold in a brown bottle (eliminates sunlight penetrating the bottle) and the instructions say to store in a cool place
Ultraviolet (UV) light is a frequency of light that is proven to accelerate the whitening process. UV is a frequency of light most often associated with light from the sun, tanning bed lights, greenhouse lights, and in-office dentist "laser" teeth whitening. All of these create the UV frequency known to speed up the activation of hydrogen and carbamide peroxide.
The LED lights sold online or advertised through celebrities are simply, well, blue LED light bulbs. They have no effect on whitening gel. The best option is to have either in-office whitening treatments (often known as Zoom whitening) or custom-made bleaching trays fabricated with whitening gel.
If you still choose to buy whitening products online, make sure you do some research on the company, the variety of products they sell, and the brands that they use.