The 10 Best Teeth Whitening Pens That Actually Work

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I blame my less-than-blinding smile on a few factors: An addiction to coffee, a red wine habit, a paralyzing phobia of dentists, and a dash of genetics. It seems like our teeth are a metric for how we treat ourselves, but getting rid of stains can be a massive headache once they appear.

It doesn’t help that I have sensitive enamel, which means that most whitening kits are more painful than effective for me.

And yes, I could seek treatment from professionals, but that would mean combining two of my most minor favorite things: dentists and bills. And why do that when you can get a professional grade, sensitive-safe teeth whitening from home? Whitening pens are nothing new, but they are more practical nowadays. No more nasty-tasting, gloopy formulas. Instead, think of sleek packaging and whitening agents that can take as little as 30 seconds to show results. Here, find the ten best whitening pens on the market that work.

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Best For Stains

Optic White Overnight Teeth Whitening Pen


Best For Sensitive Teeth

Teeth Whitening Pen


Best For Long-Lasting Results

Teeth Whitening Pen


Now 30% off


Best For Very Sensitive Teeth

Teeth Whitening Pen


Now 47% off


Best Low-Maintenance Application

Teeth Whitening Pen


Now 43% off


Best For Fast Results

Teeth Whitening Pen

CVS Health


Best For Traveling

Whitening Emulsions On-the-Go Leave-On Teeth Whitening Gel Pen


Now 44% off


Best For Selfies

Pearly Girl Vegan Teeth Whitening Pen


Best For A Budget

Teeth Whitening Pen

10 Meet the Experts


What is the difference between whitening strips and whitening pens?

“A whitening strip is generally a polyethylene plastic coated with peroxide. A gel pen is generally a dispensing unit that pumps out peroxide gel,” says Dr. Kalasho. On a more practical level, though, the delivery system is completely different. “Once the whitening gel is painted on the teeth, it works its way into the enamel and then dissolves away,” says Dr. Glazarov. “There is no mess or extra products to use, which makes them so convenient, fun, and easy to use. My favorite thing about whitening with a pen is being able to control where I paint the product!”


How do whitening pens work?

“The pen has peroxide in it, either hydrogen peroxide in gel form or carbamide peroxide. Both peroxide products have equal efficacy in whitening teeth. The gel goes on the teeth and gradually is supposed to whiten your teeth after several days of applying a thin layer of whitening on the teeth,” says Kalasho.


Are pens more effective than other whitening techniques?

“The benefit of having a brush on application with the whitening pen makes it extremely easy to use, allows control of the areas that need to be whitened, and can be used on the go,” says Glazarov. “Most pens work by twisting the cap or releasing the gel by pressing a button and give you full control over the teeth and areas you would like to whiten. It is great to use on the go and can be used on the way to an event. Because of the ease of use of the pen, and not needing to use any other devices or strips, people tend to use them for 2 weeks as instructed without getting discouraged by hard-to-use products or strips that make the gums sensitive.” However, sometimes genetics prevent you from achieving blinding results. “Some teeth are not good candidates to whitening and generally do not whiten past a shade if they have a more gold undertone or thin enamel,” says Kalasho.


How often should you use a tooth whitening pen?

“You should use it daily if you want to see any sort of result,” says Kalasho. “Your saliva will wash away most of the product therefore it has a lesser efficacy than a whitening strip.” The key is to be consistent. “I would recommend using a tooth whitening pen at least 2 times daily for 2 weeks to achieve a glowing brighter smile. The key with whitening is consistency, and being able to do it on the go with the ease of a pen, only makes it that much more attainable,” says Glazarov.


Can people with sensitive teeth use a whitening pen?

“People with sensitive teeth can most definitely use a whitening pen!” says Glazarov. “The beauty about using a pen is that you have full control of where you are applying the gel with the brush applicator and can stay away from areas that may cause a lot of sensitivity. For most people, these sensitive areas tend to be around the gum line, and this is why strips sometimes cause more sensitivity because they end up covering the gum line. One of my favorite whitening pens is the Moon Rose Mint Teeth Whitening Pen which has an easy pen applicator and a gentle formula that doesn’t irritate gums or teeth.”

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