General Safety of Zoom! Teeth Whitening

My dentist has some big old machine called a “Zoom!” that makes your teeth around 5 shades whiter, which I think would be nice to have done. From what I was told, not necessarily correct, they put some peroxide gel on your gums, and put some shield on your face, to act as sunscreen, then shine ultraviolet light on your teeth for 2 or 3 20-minute sessions. The techs there said the gel stings your gums so you have a sore mouth for a day, but then you’re good.

I have Googled quite a bit to no avail to find out some information before I would feel entirely safe with this. I couldn’t even find the procedure out, I only got various sites that were selling the procedure, and often were not even dentists, which puts me at non-ease.

  1. Why don’t they coat your entire mouth innards with the sunscreen gel? It would sting more I guess, but I wouldn’t want either a sunburn on my tongue, or blistering, or worse.

  2. How long does the whitening last before it has to be done again, if one does not engage in any coffee or cigarette usage, and only about one can of soda pop a day?

  3. I’m guessing this isn’t FDA approved or anything, as this is not medical or anything. I don’t know though. Is it?

Basically the whole idea of submitting to a ‘tanning bed’ for my mouth makes me nervous. I’ve never heard of it before, so I don’t know if it has been around long enough to ensure safety of users.

If anyone knows of a good website about the procedure, or has done it, or anything, information would be appreciated. I tried to ask my dentist but he was too busy, and I am not sure I trust the hygienists’ words (one once told me that using Scope instead of Listerine would give me oral cancer)…since what little I was able to glean online, the gel is put on the TEETH, and the Zoom! light ‘activates’ the gel.

Just some very general information. Tooth whitening is VERY common and has been for a number of years now. I am surprised you have never come across it before. You don’t think all those Hollywood celebrities were just born with blazing teeth do you? Major cities like Boston even have chains that do nothing but teeth whitening. The percentage of dentists that do some form of it is also high. In other words, this is some mainstream stuff rather than something sketchy or exotic. That doesn’t prove that it is perfectly safe of course but most patients don’t report anything untoward.

They even sell weaker, consumer versions of the same thing like Crest White Strips. I have used those and they do work although they aren’t as powerful as the stuff the dentist uses. They main complaint some people have is increased tooth sensitivity but not everyone gets that.

Well, I had come across the strips and stuff, the chemicals, etc., just not the ultraviolet radiation type, which is in my concern area.

That kind has been around for a number of years as well. The dentist uses protective gels and dams to protect the gums. Most of these types of products are certified by the American Dental Association. Like any treatment of that type, some people have suspicions and there are a small number of cases where the treatments were suspected in damage or disease. The ADA seems to think they are pretty safe when applied by a competent dentist.

If you’re uncertain about the big machine, try Ionic White. Gels in mouth tray, tray lights up with a blue light to whiten. VERY easy and quick. When I did my first round I went along with my son to the dentist and looked at the tooth color samples for matching crowns to your teeth. My teeth were at the very top of the scale. Dentist hadn’t heard about the product, but he said that my teeth were quite white using this product and that I’d be disappointed with Zoom since it costs so much and I had virtually gotten the same or better results with a $30 online purchase.