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Can I Use a Tanning Bed for Teeth Whitening?

People with white teeth.
There are tooth whitening kits designed to work with ultraviolet radiation emitted by tanning beds.
A tanning bed.
Article Details
  • Written By: Kristeen Moore
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 04 April 2014
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Tanning and teeth whitening are two types of procedures that traditionally do not correlate. In the last decade, companies have produced special whitening kits that are activated with ultraviolet radiation emitted from tanning beds. The key element is the type of kit used, and not relying on the tanning bed for teeth whitening. To some extent, however, using a tanning salon regularly can make your teeth look whiter, due to the contrast in colors between your skin and teeth.

There are dental office procedures to whiten teeth, though more consumers are preferring the convenience of at-home whitening kits. Dentists use trays that are based on the unique shape of your teeth for the best results, compared to the one-size-fits-all style of trays used in drug store whitening kits. A hydrogen peroxide-containing gel is then applied in the trays before they are inserted into the mouth to bleach your teeth. Specialized kits, however, have been developed for use with tanning beds.

A tanning bed for teeth whitening is used with a program that often uses a stronger ingredient called carbamide peroxide that has a more significant bleaching effect. The ingredients in these kits are activated by tanning beds, although the trays can also be effective outside of a tanning salon. Companies market these types of products as a convenient way to whiten your teeth while tanning and promise results within a few weeks of use.

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There are potential risks to using any types of teeth whitening solutions, especially if you have sensitive gums. UV teeth whitening might pose an increased risk of irritation, because of the stronger type of bleach agents used in the kits. Patients are encouraged to see a dentist if side effects persist for more than a few days. Also, teeth whitening kits used for tanning beds cannot be used for tanning in direct sunlight, as the intensity of the sun can damage the trays.

Tanning beds themselves can also pose a health hazard since excessive ultraviolet ray exposure can lead to skin damage and even cancer. The aforementioned whitening trays are designed to be used while you visit the tanning salon, and are not meant to increase the number of tanning sessions. People with a history of skin cancer are strongly advised against using these products.

There are other natural results associated with a tanning bed for teeth whitening. Generally, people with darker skin tones have the appearance of whiter teeth due to the significant contrast in colors. If you are an avid tanning bed user, then your teeth might gradually appear whiter over time without special kits. Keep in mind that it is just an illusion, and tanning beds themselves are not directly linked to whitening the teeth.

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