A teeth whitening pen is a fast and simple way to brighten your smile while on the go. It’s a thin plastic tube that contains teeth whitening gel. The brush tip allows for quick applications so you instantly get whiter teeth.
Like many teeth whitening products, you can purchase it over the counter. It has a compact size so you can bring it anywhere with you. Should you need brighter teeth, all you have to do is pop it open and brush your teeth with the gel. This should remove teeth stains within minutes, leaving them a few shades whiter.
Teeth can lose their natural pearly color for several reasons:
The whitening gel used in teeth whiteners dissolves stains so they become lighter. After applying the gel with the brush tip, do not rinse your mouth. This will allow it to continue lightening teeth stains.
Teeth whitening pens contain hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. These are peroxide-based bleaches that act directly on teeth stains.
Hydrogen and carbamide peroxide are equally effective at whitening teeth. How they work is slightly different.
Carbamide peroxide releases 50% of its whitening effects in the first 2 hours of application. These effects can last for 6 more hours afterward.1 Hydrogen peroxide breaks down faster than carbamide peroxide and lightens stains in as little as 30 to 60 minutes. But it doesn’t produce much effect until the next application.2
However, the end result of both ingredients are the same. Studies show that while carbamide-based teeth whiteners produced dramatic effects in the first 14 days of teeth whitening treatment, hydrogen peroxide produced the same results by 21 days.3
Yes. Teeth whitening pens produce instant results. But they continue to whiten teeth for several minutes to hours after application. Treatment with a teeth whitening pen usually lasts for 7 to 10 days. You will continue to see visible effects throughout the process.
Most manufacturers recommend using a teeth whitening pen at least twice daily — once in the morning, after breakfast and brushing your teeth; and once in the evening, after dinner and your oral care routine.
Pro tip: Avoid rinsing your mouth, eating food, or drinking beverages within the first 30 to 60 minutes (if using hydrogen peroxide) or within 2 hours (if using carbamide peroxide) of use.
Teeth whitening pens containing hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide are proven to be safe and effective. While bleaching can cause tooth sensitivity, it is unlikely to happen with a whitening pen if you follow the recommended use.4
Bleach-based whiteners work on extrinsic or external teeth stains, which are caused by environmental factors. Based on studies, they produce visible effects in the following situations:4
However, they do not work on intrinsic or internal teeth stains caused by age, genetics, medications, and other health problems.4 Below are some scenarios where teeth whitening pens can be ineffective:
Teeth whiteners also don’t work on stained caps, crowns, fillings, or veneers. Unlike natural teeth, they lack organic compounds that bleach can bind to.4
Some studies suggest that bleaching can lead to tooth sensitivity. However, this only applies to aggressive bleaching methods — such as power bleaching, where high concentrations of hydrogen peroxide (30 to 50%) are used to whiten teeth.5
Most whitening pens contain 10 to 30% hydrogen peroxide, making them safe for daily use.
Applying 35% carbamide peroxide has also been shown to damage tooth enamel. When the enamel is damaged, teeth become sensitive and stain more easily. However, enamel damage only occurs with 14 days of consecutive use.6
Although many carbamide-based whitening pens have the same 35% formulation, manufacturers only recommend using them for 7 to 10 days which are within the safe range.
Pro tip: Consult your dentist before using a teeth whitening pen. This is especially true if you have sensitive teeth, dental restorations, dark teeth stains, a single dark tooth, or fillings and crowns.
Best Overall Whitening Pen — AuraGlow Teeth Whitening Pen
Best Whitening Pen for Sensitive Teeth — VieBeauti
Best On-the-Go Teeth Whitening — AsaVea Teeth Whitening Pen
Best-Tasting Teeth Whitening Pen — SweetWhite
Best Fast-Acting Whitening Gel Pen — Colgate Optic White Overnight
Best Budget-Friendly Teeth Whitening Pen — Ecco Pure Gel Pen Kit
Best Teeth Whitening Pen with LED Light — iSmile Teeth Whitening Kit
Best Vegan Whitening Pen — Cali White Professional Teeth Whitening Pen
There are all kinds of teeth whitening products on the market. Besides whitening pens, there’s mouth rinse, chewing gums, toothpaste, trays, and strips.
All of them are available over the counter and contain hydrogen or carbamide peroxide as whitening agents. However, teeth whitening pens has several advantages over these products:
At-home whitening products such as toothpaste, trays, and strips are more convenient than the teeth whitening procedures offered by your dentist. Unfortunately, you can’t carry them with you.
A teeth whitening pen comes in a sleek package that you can easily slip into your pocket or bag. Its travel-friendly size allows for daily use and ensures that you can follow the recommended treatment even when you’re busy.
Since the gel is tightly sealed in a pen, it won’t leave a sticky mess in your bag or pocket — unlike teeth whitening chewing gums which sometimes get opened while in their foil packaging.
Whitening trays have to be left on for 1 to 2 hours or overnight, so it can disrupt your sleep and schedule. Strips must stay on for 30 minutes to an hour. Then, you have to remove it.
A teeth whitening pen is so much easier to use than at-home products. You just have to apply it on your teeth and go about your daily routine.
Other products bleach all of your teeth, including those that don’t require whitening. A teeth whitening pen allows you to target stained teeth and leave out pearly whites.
Most over-the-counter (OTC) teeth whiteners are either abrasive or expose most of the gums to peroxide. This can cause sensitive teeth and gum irritation.
Whitening pens use bleach to give you a brighter smile. Unlike whitening toothpaste, which usually contains abrasive ingredients, bleach is non-abrasive, so it doesn’t strip off the protective enamel of your teeth. Since you can control the coverage of the whitening gel, you can stop just before the gum line to prevent irritation.
At-home teeth whiteners contain 3% hydrogen peroxide or 10 to 22% carbamide peroxide. Though effective, it takes longer to see results.
Teeth whitening pens have higher concentrations of bleach. They contain up to 30% hydrogen peroxide and up to 35% carbamide peroxide. Professional whitening procedures use 15% to 43% of hydrogen peroxide, so whitening pens offer a middle ground in terms of potency.
OTC teeth whiteners cost anywhere between $3 and $30 depending on the type of product. In terms of price, teeth whitening pens are in the upper range, selling for an average of $20.
It’s still fairly affordable compared to professional teeth whitening services which cost upward of $450. Plus, if you consider their overall advantages to other products, a teeth whitening pen gives the most value for your money.
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Many of the products we recommend have the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance. These products are proven to be effective in preventing gum disease, cavities, and other oral health conditions.
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There’s a teeth whitening pen for everyone. Here are the best teeth whitening pens:
AuraGlow® has everything you want in a teeth whitener. It’s pocket-sized, it dries in less than a minute, and has great flavor. Plus, it can give you a brighter smile that’s 4 to 8 shades lighter if you use it twice daily — all for an attractive price of $22 per kit.
Like most products, it has a 35% carbamide peroxide formula which is scientifically proven to be effective. It works on tough stains caused by smoking and dark foods such as coffee, tea, wine, and soda.
When it comes to ingredients, AuraGlow® Teeth Whitening Pen is completely kosher and gluten-free. It also contains Mentha Piperita oil, giving it a cool mint flavor that leaves your breath feeling fresh after every use.
VieBeauti® Teeth Whitening Pen lightens teeth making them 4 to 8 shades whiter. Using it twice daily is helpful for removing stubborn food stains caused by coffee, tea, wine, and carbonated beverages, as well as stains caused by smoking.
This carbamide-based whitening pen is gentle for daily use, which makes it ideal for sensitive teeth. The soft brush tip lets you coat stained teeth and crevices with precision.
One standout feature of VieBeauti® Whitening Pen is the twist-type mechanism. It supplies the applicator with the right amount of whitening gel, helping you avoid wastage. It also comes in a pocket-sized 5-inch design.
Whitening pens are the most convenient teeth whitening products. Sadly, many gels do take time to dry. They also don't allow for quick touch ups. More often than not, you have to make sure that the whitening gel stays on long enough for a whiter smile.
AsaVea® Teeth Whitening Pen is an excellent option for on-the-go teeth whitening. Aside from being travel-friendly, the gel dries within 30 seconds of application, leaving you less to worry about if you’re always in a hurry. It also has a mint flavor so your breath smells fresh after use.
The name says it all. SweetWhite® Professional Teeth Whitening Pen gives you a brighter smile while leaving a delightful taste in your mouth. It has a sweet peppermint flavor thanks to the combination of propylene glycol, sucralose, and natural peppermint oil.
SweetWhite® comes with a clinically-proven formula. It contains 35% carbamide peroxide, giving you a white smile after 7 days of daily use. To top it off, it’s gluten-free and kosher.
Similar products are usually recommended for daytime use. Unfortunately, daytime activities such as eating, drinking, and constant salivation can reduce the effects of a teeth whitening pen and delay the results. By shifting to nightly treatments, you can maximize their whitening power and get a brighter smile faster.
Such is the case with Colgate® Optic White Overnight. You can apply it at night after your oral care routine and safely leave it on while you sleep. During which time, its main ingredient (3% hydrogen peroxide) will act on your teeth to give you a whiter smile.
Its unique formulation also coats your teeth with a protective layer, so it doesn’t wash off with saliva. To remove it, just brush your teeth as soon as you wake up. Colgate® Optic White Overnight can give you pearly white teeth within a week. So if you want a fast-acting teeth whitener with visible results, look no further.
Best Budget-Friendly Teeth Whitening Pen
For instantly white teeth on a budget, go for Ecco Pure®. It uses the same active ingredients as most teeth whiteners, making it equally effective as higher-priced products. Apart from its low cost of $6 per pack, it has a pH neutral formula. It’s helpful for preventing bacteria from breeding in your mouth, which can lead to tooth decay.
Best Teeth Whitening Pen with LED Light
At $45 per pack, iSmile® is one of the more expensive teeth whitening pens on the market. However, it also produces visible results in a short span of time.
The package — which includes a whitening gel and a LED light — has double the whitening power. It combines the effects of both products, giving you a whiter smile that’s 15 shades lighter. Its formula also allows for remineralization and reverses early damage to the enamel.
One major drawback of iSmile® is that it’s basically an at-home treatment and not an on-the-go teeth whitening pen. Each treatment has to last 15 minutes. Otherwise, you won’t get the promised effects.
Best Vegan Whitening Pen
Cali White® is an excellent option for buyers who are looking for “clean” teeth whiteners. This means it is made of non-toxic ingredients and is environmentally friendly.
This USA-made product has a lot to offer in this department. It’s vegan, non-GMO, kosher, and gluten-free. It only has certified organic ingredients and doesn’t contain sulfates, parabens, PEG, and PPG. Best of all, it is dentist-approved.
For teeth whitening, it still relies on 35% carbamide formulation. Although, the company uses a gentle serum to prevent damaging the enamel. Cali White® can give you 2 to 8 shades whiter teeth that are visible within 7 to 10 days.
(1) “Over-the-Counter Tooth Whitening Agents: A Review of Literature.” Scientific Electronic Library Online Brazil.
(2) “Tooth Whiteners & Oral Hygiene Products.” DG Health and Consumers of the European Commission.
(4) “Tooth Whitening: What We Now Know.” National Center for Biotechnology Information.
(5) “A Critical Review of Modern Concepts for Teeth Whitening.” National Center for Biotechnology Information.
(6) “Tooth whitening: Concepts and controversies.” Modern Dentistry Media.