Teeth Whitening Pens: The Complete Guide
Like a magic wand, whitening pens promise to brighten your smile when you’re on the run.
They are quick to use, portable, and easy to fit into even the busiest schedule.
But are whitening pens worth buying?
Well, it depends on a few things; first, what price can you get the whitening pen at and secondly, will you use it correctly and consistently?
A whitening pen could be a great solution for you’re always on the go or just want a whiter smile without spending hours on the process.
Let’s pick up some pens and start investigating the pros and cons of this trendy and compact whitening option!
But Could Achieving Whiter Teeth Really Be That Simple?
To decide if whitening pens are right for you, you’ll need to know how they work, what’s in them, and what types of pens are on the market today.
Use the Table of Contents to navigate the information you’ll need to make your decision on whitening pens.
Jump to Contents
- How Do You Use Teeth Whitening Pens?
- Do Teeth Whitening Pens Work?
- What’s Inside Teeth Whitening Pens?
- What’s the Difference Between the Brands?
- Hydrogen Peroxide Vs Carbamide Peroxide
- Can you Whiten Veneers With Teeth Whitening Pens?
- Advantages of Teeth Whitening Pens
- Disadvantages of Teeth Whitening Pens?
- Is it Bad to Swallow the Teeth Whitening Pen Solution?
- What Are the Costs of Teeth Whitening Pens?
- Are There Any Alternatives For the Same Cost?
How Do You Use Teeth Whitening Pens?
Teeth whitening pens are filled with a bleaching gel similar to the kinds used in other whitening products on the Australian market.
Using a pen is easy.
First, brush your teeth, so you’re working with a clean surface.
It’s convenient to fit the whitening pen into your routine in the morning and evening after brushing.
Then, you just remove the cap, twist the bottom of the pen until you see whitening gel coming out of the top, and then apply it to your teeth.
To apply it to your teeth, rub the pen on each tooth in a circular motion.
It’s important to take time to whiten each individual tooth and remember to go all the way up to the gum line. That’s it!
You don’t rinse afterwards, because the gel has to stay on your teeth to whiten them.
You’re free to get on with the rest of your day.
Most are similar but you never know, there could be a curveball in there so it pays to read the product’s directions to the T.
A little disclaimer – Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully!
Do Teeth Whitening Pens Work?
Yes, teeth whitening pens do work, to a degree.
Whether you’re happy with the level of whitening they can provide will depend on your expectations. Teeth whitening is a subjective experience.
Customers have reported success using whitening pens and have felt that they did whiten their teeth.
Generally, you can expect a whitening pen to whiten your teeth by about 3 or 4 shades, depending on the brand. These results can be a case by case basis.
If your teeth are heavily stained, you may wish to choose to use another whitening method.
Such as those offered at the dentist’s office, which may be able to whiten your teeth by more shades than a whitening pen can provide.
However, for many people who just want a somewhat whiter smile, whitening pens are practical and can be an excellent method to try.
- Some Whitening Toothpaste.
- At-Home Whitening Kits.
- Whitening Strips.
- ‘In-Office’ Whitening by a Dentist.
There is a range of different ingredients used in whitening pens.
Each brand is different but many will contain hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide.
These are the two main active ingredients, in many types of whitening products.
What is the Difference Between the Brands?
There are several different whitening pen brands available in Australia today.
Colgate offers a toothbrush with a built-in whitening pen that uses hydrogen peroxide.
Bondi Smile, on the other hand, uses carbamide peroxide.
This is similar to hydrogen peroxide, another common ingredient in whitening products.
Pearly Whites offers their Whitening Pen Express, which contains 18% carbamide peroxide, the same as Bondi Smile’s whitening pen.
So, most teeth whitening pens use some form of peroxide, either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide.
Both of those chemicals are common because they are effective, whether they’re being used in a pen, in an at-home whitening kit, or at the dentist.
Hydrogen Peroxide Vs Carbamide Peroxide
You may be wondering at this point “does the type of peroxide affect my whitening results? When we are talking about whitening pens, no it doesn’t.
Carbamide peroxide is roughly a ratio of 3: 1 to that of hydrogen peroxide. So a carbamide peroxide amount of 18% is only 6% hydrogen peroxide.
You’ll find that hydrogen peroxide is a faster whitening agent than carbamide peroxide.
Carbamide is a more stable compound and thus takes a little longer to do its magic and whiten those teeth of yours.
This can post somewhat of a problem for those with sensitive teeth, as peroxide can cause your teeth to ache if you have sensitive teeth.
There are other whitening products on the market that do not use peroxide, but if you have sensitive teeth, you may wish to avoid using a whitening pen.
Indeed, it’s a good idea to listen to your teeth if you choose to use one and reevaluate if you find that it is causing you pain.
Can You Whiten Veneers With Teeth Whitening Pens?
Unfortunately, no you cannot whiten your veneers with a teeth whitening pen.
Unlike your natural teeth, veneers are not porous so a whitening pen won’t work on them. If your veneers are not as white as you would like, two things could be to blame.
It may be a slight stain on the veneers itself. If that’s the case, you can visit your dentist and ask to have this buffed out.
On the other hand, many times the culprit is a change in the colour of the tooth underneath the veneer. This can be solved by whitening your natural teeth and replacing the old veneers.
Consulting with your dentist is an excellent first step if you are dealing with this problem.
Advantages of Teeth Whitening Pens
Whitening pens are a good mid-way point in the world of teeth whitening products, between time spent and how well they work.
Pens are relatively quick to use, compact, portable, and not very expensive. Good options exist in the $20 to $40 range.
They are easy to carry with you, and you can use them on the go.
Since they use peroxide in their formulas, they whiten on a deeper level than the surface, much like the way teeth whitening kits work.
Disadvantages of Whitening Pens
The whitening gel applied by the pen can easily come off the teeth too soon before it has had a chance to reach its full effectiveness.
You have to hold off on eating and drinking for a bit after using the pen.
You also have to take the time to apply the gel to each individual tooth, and if you miss a spot, your teeth may be whitened unevenly.
This is not the most effective whitening, although it’s also not the least effective, and it may not be suitable for people with sensitive teeth, heavily stained teeth, or veneers.
Is it Bad to Swallow Teeth Whitening Pen Solutions?
You should avoid swallowing the solution as much as you can.
The small amount that may be swallowed accidentally through normal use of the pen is alright, but it is not designed to be consumed.
Swallowing more than a small amount can result in a sore throat, an upset and inflamed stomach, and diarrhea.
The best way to avoid this risk is to use as little of the gel as possible while still achieving coverage of each tooth.
What Are The Costs of Teeth Whitening Pens?
Teeth whitening pens are, overall, a reasonably priced option for teeth whitening.
Bondi Smile sells their pen for $29.95.
The Whitening Pen Express, available from Pearly Whites is a cheaper option, selling currently for $19.95 (that’s 50% off RRP!).
Brighter White offers their pen for $29.95 Australian dollars.
As you can see they are affordable and a good option if you want to whiten your teeth on the go.
Are There Any Alternatives to Whiten Your Teeth For The Same Cost?
If you don’t think teeth whitening pens are for you, there are plenty of alternatives on the Australian market.
Teeth whitening toothpaste is cheaper, but not as effective overall.
At the same time, at-home whitening kits are even more effective than the pens, but they are also more expensive.
Perhaps the most direct alternative to the pen is teeth whitening strips.
The strips are similar in price to the pens, and like the pens use peroxide to remove stains.
To use them, you dry your teeth and place one on your lower teeth and one on your upper teeth, leaving them on for about half an hour.
If you purchase them, the box will include specific instructions for the brand you go with. It’s recommended to follow these closely!
The strips are a popular and effective choice. However, the main downside is that there is more downtime involved than with the pen.
It’s difficult to carry out normal business with other people during the half-hour turn around time the strips take.
If you are looking for an affordable and quick whitening method, teeth whitening pens may be a good choice.
Most whitening pens use similar formulas, so choosing the right one for you comes down to your own personal preference. But, if you have sensitive teeth, it’s a good idea to exercise caution if using one.
Whitening pens are not the most effective whitening method on the market.
The good thing however is, they’ll give you visibly whiter teeth in a way that you can fit into your daily routine without hassle.
Have you tried a teeth whitening pen that works well?
By Andrew Adams
Created at August 10, 2018, Updated at February 10, 2021