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/ Source: TODAY
By Mary Ryu

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As a lover of coffee and wine, I’ve put some stains on my teeth over the years.

I’ve tried all the whitening strips and toothpastes that have been on the market for a while, but recently discovered that you can now get a professional teeth whitening treatment without going to the dentist.

I tried Intelliwhite's Cool Blue Platinum Teeth Whitening Kit to see if teeth whitening at home really works. Here’s what happened.

Intelliwhite Cool Blue Platinum Teeth Whitening Kit, $150, Amazon

The kit comes with everything you need: an LED light system, charger, mouth piece, whitening gel, and whitening amplifier. The whole kit retails for about $175. The product recommended at least 4 uses before seeing results. I spread out my sessions over the course of a month or so — roughly once per week/two weeks.

How do teeth whitening kits work?

I dried my teeth, applied the gel, followed by the amplifier, and then held the LED light to my teeth for 10 minutes as I watched TV. After ten minutes, the light turned off and I rinsed.

Courtesy of Mary Ryu

Will whitening make my teeth more sensitive?

I was nervous about tooth sensitivity, but nothing hurt or felt different during the process. The first time I drank ice cold water, I felt a little sensitivity, but nothing unbearable or different from what I felt with other whitening methods. This likely varies by person, so if you find yourself being sensitive to certain toothpastes, this may not be good for you.

Will it save time?

The kit contains way more than just a package of stick-on whitening strips. But, the whitening session itself (the time spent with the gel and mouthpiece) is a lot shorter. Each session is only 10 minutes. So in total, I still saved time, because whitening strips take about 30-40 minutes each.

Does LED actually make teeth brighter?

During my time using the whitening kit, my intake of coffee, red wine and tea stayed consistent. Because I did nothing else differently, I'd say it definitely works — I use a whitening toothpaste daily, but this seems to have made a bigger difference.

Before, during and after using the Intelliwhite tooth whitening system. Courtesy of Mary Ryu

Is teeth whitening healthy?

According to Dr. Alina Lane, DDS, “Current research shows that the use of LED whitening kits is quite safe when used infrequently, however it is extremely common to see an increase in tooth sensitivity and gingival irritation immediately after using these products.”

She also added that “using a LED light can also increase tooth surface dehydration, which can roughen and soften enamel. To help restore damaged enamel and reduce sensitivity, I recommend using a re-mineralizing paste, such as MI Paste, in conjunction with whitening treatments.”

Per Dr. Lane’s guidance, I will probably use LED whitening a few times a year for special events. Tooth sensitivity is a risk I’m willing to take for a DIY white smile.

Is it worth it?

At a significantly higher price point, you may want to stick to regular whitening strips. But the process is kind of fun, and made me more inclined to keep my dental routine in line. I found myself brushing and flossing a lot more regularly as part of the regimen.

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