Teeth Whitening: What's The Difference Between Blue and Red Light Therapy? - Men's Health Magazine Australia

Teeth Whitening: What’s The Difference Between Blue and Red Light Therapy?

And how beneficial either can be. - by Nikolina Ilic

There are a number of ways to get your chompers rivalling The Rock’s, especially now with the abundance of at home whitening kits. And while we – for the most part – understand the function of blue LED lights in those kits, red light remains as the lesser understood therapy.

So to find out more, and the difference between the two, we spoke to Doctor Clifford Steven from Racecourse Road Dental.

What is the difference between red and blue light therapy?

Red light has longer wavelength, enabling it to penetrate deeper into the skin than blue light.

A part of your cells called mitochondria, the “power generators” of your cells, soaks up red light and makes more energy. Some experts think this helps cells repair themselves and become healthier. In dentistry LED light phototherapy causes various parts of the tooth and gum to regenerate whilst reducing the amount of negative bacteria. It disperses doses of low-level red light at particular wavelengths to improve blood flow, encourage cellular turnover, increase circulation and repair damaged tissue.

Blue light therapy treats other types of skin disorders. It can be used to improve skin texture and reduce sebaceous hyperplasia or enlarged oil glands. It can also help with removing sun spots, acne, and even scars that were originally caused by acne.

When it comes to at-home use, Advanced Whitening is one of the few teeth whitening kits that uses dual led light – both blue and red light, while halogen & LED are the two different types of curing lights used by Dentists.

Can red light therapy help prevent gum disease?

There is speculation that the process can help treat tooth sensitivity. It can also help remedy gum inflammation & issues associated with tissue damage in the gum.

Is there any down time (to either type of light therapy)?

No there is no down time required after a treatment. You can go straight back to living life like normal.

Are there any side effects?

No, light treatment is widely considered safe & painless, and it is very rare for anyone to experience any level of discomfort.

How often should you do light therapy on your teeth (at the dentist)?

This really depends on your unique circumstances and what your goals are. For teeth whitening we’d recommend starting with once a fortnight or once a month.

Is at-home light therapy beneficial?

The strength of in-chair whitening performed by a Dentist is more effective than take home kits. Take home kits are ideal for those who enjoy whitening their teeth daily at the end of the day. The results are not immediate like in-chair whitening, but yes, they can certainly achieve excellent results.

How often can you do at-home LED therapy?

This can be performed daily, every other day or weekly. It all depends on your budget and lifestyle.

How does at home LED teeth whitening differ from in-chair whitening at the dentist?

In-chair whitening uses a much higher concentration of light which provides immediate results. For this reason, in-chair whitening requires detailed preparation before each session ensuring the gums are protected. Patients receiving in chair whitening are required to wear special orange-coloured glasses to protect their eyes.

At-home whitening kits are less powerful so it will take longer to achieve results, but it also means that anyone can use the kit safely and without administration by a dentist.

What is the aftercare for teeth whitening?

Aftercare in the case of in-chair treatment is white foods and white liquids for 48 hours to maximise the whitening effect. You are also provided with a comfort gel to maintain a soothed mouth. At home whitening is much more casual and generally doesn’t require specific aftercare, but it is always best to check the product recommendations.

By Nikolina Ilic

Nikolina is the former Digital Editor at Men's Health Australia, responsible for all things social media and .com. A lover of boxing, she has written for Women's Health, esquire, GQ and Vogue magazine.

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