If you’re one of the hundreds of millions of people who use Instagram every day, you’ve likely seen the new trending selfie. Celebrities are swapping smizes for LED light kits, all in an effort to have a whiter smile and promote an interesting product. From Jersey Shore’s Snooki to Lindsay Lohan and the entire Kardashian clan, these LED whitening selfies have been infiltrating all of our Instagram timelines. Bustle even curated a list of the 21 most ridiculous LED whitening selfies.

Yet the question remains: Do the kits actually work?

Beautiful woman standing on a bridge showing off her great smile

What Actually Is This Thing?

One of the kits, which retails at $70, comes with a teeth whitening brush pen as well as the LED light itself, an egg-shaped device designed so that one end, the LED end, sits inside your lips and rests on your teeth. Users are directed to brush on the whitener like any typical at-home whitener, then shine the LED light directly onto the teeth. The company claims the LED light speeds up the whitening process without any of the sensitivity other whitening kits can cause.

However, you can feel comfortable saving your money; you’re not missing out on anything groundbreaking. Though the selfies may be a new trend, this type of LED light for teeth whitening is not.

A 2012 study compared at-home LED treatments to whitening treatments you can receive from your dentist, and no surprises here; the most significant whitening came from the in-office visits, with insignificant changes in tooth brightness from the at-home treatments. The LED device had little effect on the perceived whiteness of the teeth, while the teeth whitening brush pen, which contain either carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide – the same ingredients you get in other at-home whitening trays – had the greatest effect on tooth whiteness. Tooth sensitivity did increase after application of the at-home LED light, but only marginally.

So What Is an Effective Tooth Whitening Strategy?

While it is always disappointing when a trend turns out to be smoke and mirrors, achieving a brighter smile can be relatively easy. At Marzban D.D.S., we offer a few options to help you feel more confident in your smile.

For patients looking for the convenience of a one-visit whitening, with Opalescence Boost Teeth Whitening, Dr. Marzban will enable you to walk out of a one-hour appointment with significantly brighter teeth.

For an even brighter smile, Opalescence Take-Home Whitening offers a greater degree of customization, from the flavor and strength of the whitening gel to how long you wear the trays. It also has the added convenience of whitening your teeth from the comfort of your home. Finally, because the take-home kit whitens your teeth gradually, the system draws less attention than the one-hour in-office visit.

Ready for a Brighter, Whiter Smile?

Searching for a product that will reliably brighten your smile? You can ignore the celebrity advertisements on your Instagram timeline and skip right to what you know will work. With the help of experienced dentist Dr. Marzban, you can choose a whitening plan that fits into your lifestyle and helps you feel more confident.

If you’d like to get fitted for Opalescence Take-Home Whitening dental trays or schedule a one-hour Opalescence Boost Teeth Whitening visit, call Dr. Pamela Marzban in Northern Virginia to book an appointment at 703-323-8200.