Best Teeth Whitening Pens

erica medical reviewer
Medically Reviewed
by Dr. Erica Anand
Ada Sandoval
Written by
Ada Sandoval
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Evidence Based
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6 sources cited
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What are Teeth Whitening Pens?

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.

How Do Teeth Whitening Pens Work?

Teeth can lose their natural pearly color for several reasons:

  • The color pigments (chromogens) found in coffee, tea, and red wine bind with the outermost layer of the teeth (enamel), causing stains.
  • Tobacco products like cigarettes contain tar, which is naturally dark, and nicotine, which starts out colorless but becomes yellow once it reacts with oxygen. They leave dark and yellowish stains on your teeth, which can be difficult to remove.

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. 

What Active Ingredients are Found in Whitening Pens? 

Teeth whitening pens contain hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. These are peroxide-based bleaches that act directly on teeth stains.

Hydrogen Peroxide vs. Carbamide Peroxide: Does One Work Better Than the Other?

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

Are Results Instant?

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.

How Often Should You Use Whitening Pens?

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.

Are Teeth Whitening Pens Safe & Effective?

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

How Effective are Teeth Whitening Pens?

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

  • Teeth stains are caused by food or tobacco use
  • Yellowish teeth

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:

  • Discolored teeth caused by dentin exposure, trauma to the mouth, and medications
  • Teeth that are brown or have a grayish tint

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

Do Whitening Pens Cause Sensitive Teeth?

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 PenAuraGlow Teeth Whitening Pen

Best Whitening Pen for Sensitive TeethVieBeauti

Best On-the-Go Teeth WhiteningAsaVea Teeth Whitening Pen

Best-Tasting Teeth Whitening PenSweetWhite

Best Fast-Acting Whitening Gel PenColgate Optic White Overnight

Best Budget-Friendly Teeth Whitening PenEcco Pure Gel Pen Kit

Best Teeth Whitening Pen with LED LightiSmile Teeth Whitening Kit

Best Vegan Whitening PenCali White Professional Teeth Whitening Pen

Teeth Whitening Pens vs. Other Whitening Products

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:

Travel-Friendly Teeth Whitening

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.

Quick and Worry-Free Application

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.

Precise Teeth Whitening

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.

Safer to Use

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.

Faster Whitening Effects

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.

Get Whiter Teeth at Affordable Prices

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.

Why Trust Us? How We Choose Products

All medical content on this site, including this guide and other product reviews, is written by our team of experienced writers and researchers. All NewMouth writers vet products that are recommended and reviewed in the industry. In cases where this is not possible, our team will:

  • Compare positive and negative reviews 
  • Personally test out products 
  • Talk to company leaders to ensure their products are safe and effective
  • Look into costs to ensure customers are getting the best quality products at reasonable prices
  • Research common ingredients (side effects, benefits, uses, etc.) 

Every piece of content is heavily reviewed before publication. All content on NewMouth is also medically reviewed by a licensed dentist, specifically any content where we recommend products. Our dentists are specifically instructed to flag any recommendations they don’t agree with. Any products that don’t meet their professional standards are removed.

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.

When we recommend products that do not include this seal of acceptance, we conduct further research to ensure reputability. This may include speaking with company leaders, reading hundreds of customer reviews, and ensuring they provide quality customer service.

8 Best Teeth Whitening Pens of 2021 

There’s a teeth whitening pen for everyone. Here are the best teeth whitening pens:

AuraGlow Teeth Whitening Pen 35 Carbamide Peroxide

AuraGlow Teeth Whitening Pen

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

VieBeauti

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.

AsaVea Teeth Whitening Pen

AsaVea Bright White

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.

Sweet white teeth whitening pen

SweetWhite

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.

Colgate Optic White Overnight Teeth Whitening Pen

Colgate Optic White Overnight

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.

Ecco Whitening Pen

Ecco Pure Gel Pen Kit

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.

iSmile Teeth Whitening Kit

iSmile Teeth Whitening Kit

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.

Cali White Vegan Teeth Whitening Pen

Cali White Professional Teeth Whitening Pen

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.

Resources

(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.

(3) “A clinical evaluation of carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide whitening agents during daytime use.” PubMed.

(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.

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