These 7 Teeth Whitening Pens Make Brightening Touch-Ups Easy (2024)

These 7 Teeth Whitening Pens Make Brightening Touch-Ups Easy (1)

What’s one easy and cost-efficient way to whiten your teeth at home or on the road? Using a whitening pen. According to cosmetic dentist Dr. Brian Kantor, whitening pens are beneficial because they’re simple to use and don’t take long to apply. They’re also easy to store in your bathroom cabinet or keep with you on the go, making them arguably the most convenient whitening solution on the market.

There's a wide range of at-home whitening products available, ranging from fancy and expensive to user-friendly and affordable. Teeth whitening pens generally fall into the latter camp, offering a pocket-sized dose of whitening agent you can apply anytime, anywhere. Though they can be used to help you work toward a gleaming smile, they're more about maintenance. "Whitening pens are not as effective as the strips or in-office treatments because the product is not isolated on the tooth long enough,” says Kantor. “But, if you’ve already whitened your teeth, the pens are great to maintain it.”

In order to find the best options out there, we conducted hours of research and consulted with experts for their recommendations. We then put several popular and highly-rated options to the test, evaluating them based on their ease of use, comfort, effectiveness, convenience, and value. The result: This top-rated list that'll help you find the best teeth whitening pens on the market.

Our Top Picks

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In This Article

  • Our Picks

  • Where We Stand

  • How We Tested

  • What To Look For

  • FAQ

  • Why Trust Byrdie

Best Overall

VieBeauti Teeth Whitening Pen

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What We Like

  • Easy to apply

  • Mess-free

  • Yields visible results quickly

  • Pack comes with three pens

  • Affordable

What We Don't Like

  • Can cause minor sensitivity if you get too much on gums

Out of all the teeth whitening pens we tested, this is the one that impressed us the most. The pack comes with three pens, and it is quite affordable, making it an accessible option for most people. The pen functions as advertised: It has a soft brush-tip applicator that’s easy to control and can get into crevices between teeth to ensure you achieve even coverage. The rinse-free formula and application make it a product you can use easily while traveling or as a fast addition to your morning and nighttime routines. A minor but nice detail is that the pen which holds the gel is transparent, allowing you to see how much product is left.

As for the results it delivers, these also impressed us. We saw a noticeable improvement in the whiteness of teeth—about four shades—after using it twice daily as directed for just one week. The one downside is that it can cause minor sensitivity if you get the gel on your gums, but this is typical for whitening products, and if you’re careful while applying it with the brush, this shouldn’t be a big issue for you.

Active Ingredients: 35% carbamide peroxide | Treatment Length: 30 seconds, twice daily

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Best Overall, Runner-Up

Philips Zoom Whitening Pen

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What We Like

  • Not sensitizing

  • Produces noticeable results within a few days

  • Quick and easy to use

  • Has a brush-tip applicator

What We Don't Like

  • Has a bit of a funny aftertaste

If you’re looking for a whitening pen to quickly remove surface stains and brighten your smile, this one is for you. The intuitive pen is fast and easy to apply, and we were incredibly pleased with how well it worked to remove stains and brighten teeth overall. We were able to lighten teeth four shades after using it twice daily for two weeks, though we saw a noticeable improvement in just a few days. The formula utilizes the power of hydrogen peroxide to lighten staining, and we appreciated that it didn’t cause sensitivity in the teeth or gums.

We did experience a bit of a funny aftertaste in the few minutes following application, but this isn’t unusual for whitening products, and it went away shortly after. We also like that the pen features a brush-tip applicator, which helps to evenly distribute the serum and get into the crevices between the teeth. Plus, after using it as directed, there was still plenty of product left in the pen that could be used for touch-ups down the line.

Active Ingredients: 5.25% hydrogen peroxide | Treatment Length: Twice daily for two weeks

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Best Budget

Polar Teeth Whitening Polar Teeth Whitening Pen Single

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What We Like

  • Visibly whitens teeth after consistent use for 3 weeks

  • Brush-tip applicator

  • Affordable

What We Don't Like

  • Application process isn't as fast and easy as other options

Whitening your teeth doesn’t need to cost a fortune. This teeth whitening pen isn’t just highly effective—it’s super affordable, too. Though it’s not as convenient or pleasant to use as other options on this list, its effectiveness and affordability make it a product we still recommend. Rather than swiping it on and going about your day, you need to apply it with the brush (which is great for evenly coating your teeth), keep your mouth open while it dries for 60 seconds, and then let the gel sit for a minimum of 10 minutes before rinsing your mouth. Because of this application process, it’s not ideal for use on the go, but the results make it worth it. After using it consistently for three weeks, we noticed a real improvement in the whiteness of our teeth; our dentist even commented on how white and bright our teeth looked. If affordability and effectiveness are of the utmost importance to you, this option is worth checking out.

Active Ingredients: Carbamide peroxide | Treatment Length: 60 seconds for gel to dry, 30 minutes minimum on teeth

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Best for Sensitive Teeth

Lumineux Ultra-Bright Pen

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What We Like

  • Simple and quick to use

  • Has a brush-tip applicator

  • Not sensitizing

  • Can be used to lighten stains and prevent them

What We Don't Like

  • Doesn't deliver results as quickly as other options

Tooth and gum sensitivity from teeth whitening products is no joke—if you’ve experienced it, then you know just how painful it can be. If you’re prone to sensitivity, we recommend checking out this option from Lumineux. We’ve experienced severe discomfort from whitening products in the past but had absolutely no sensitivity while using this product consistently for two weeks. The gel was comfortable and effective; we saw a visible improvement in staining by the end of our test. It was simple and intuitive to apply and could be easily used on the go. Although the results were not as dramatic with this option as with others we used, and it took the full two-week period to see a visible difference, we still highly recommend it for anyone with sensitive teeth looking to lighten staining.

Active Ingredients: Carboxymethyl | Treatment Length: 60 seconds

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Best Flavors

Smileactives Teeth Whitening Pen

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What We Like

  • Comes in a variety of flavors

  • Delivers noticeable results quickly

  • Has a brush-tip applicator

  • Quick and easy to use

  • Affordable

What We Don't Like

  • Can be slightly sensitizing on the gums

This whitening pen isn’t just effective; it’s affordable, easy to use, and comes in multiple flavors. It features a brush-tip applicator for simple and fast application and a formula containing hydrogen peroxide to effectively remove surface stains and help you achieve a whiter smile. The pen comes with a lot of gel, meaning it will last you quite some time—after using it twice daily for two weeks, there was still tons of product left.

After using it as directed for two weeks, we observed a noticeable improvement in the appearance of surface stains and the overall brightness of the teeth. The improvement in staining was even noticeable after just a few days. While it caused a bit of minor sensitivity on the gums, it dissipated quickly after each use and didn’t happen after the first few days. Aside from being affordable and highly effective, we also adore that it comes in a variety of fun flavors like winterberry, melon, and vanilla mint. If you’re anti-mint flavoring, now you’ve got options.

Active Ingredients: Hydrogen peroxide | Treatment Length: 2-4 times daily

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Best for Maintenance

Tarte Vegan Teeth Whitening Pen

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What We Like

  • Not sensitizing

  • Convenient and easy to apply

  • Brush-tip applicator

  • Effective at lightening surface stains

What We Don't Like

  • Results could be more dramatic

If you’re looking for a product to help you dramatically whiten your teeth overall, this whitening pen isn’t going to be your best bet. But if you’re looking for a product to keep with you and utilize when you’re in need of some stain removal, we absolutely recommend it. It’s compact and easy to swipe onto your teeth, it doesn’t cause sensitivity or discomfort, and it works to maintain a bright smile and lighten staining from things like red wine and coffee. It’s gentle enough to be used up to four times daily, and it takes just a few seconds to apply and 30 seconds while waiting for it to dry before you can move on with your day. Did it produce the most dramatic results out of the options we tested? No. But was it effective at lightening stains, super compact, and painless to use? Absolutely.

Active Ingredients: Hydrogen peroxide | Treatment Length: 30 seconds up to 4x daily

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Best for Uneven Discoloration

Invisalign Whitening Pen

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What We Like

  • Improves overall brightness of teeth

  • Helps to make the color of teeth appear more uniform

  • Brush-tip applicator

  • Affordable

What We Don't Like

  • Can be tricky to dispense gel out of the pen

  • Can be a bit sensitizing

It’s not abnormal for your teeth to have uneven discoloration. For example, the roots might be more yellow or deeper in color than the tips. If this sounds like you, we recommend trying this pen from Invisalign. In addition to being fast and easy to use, we found it to be very effective at enhancing the brightness of teeth overall while helping to make the color more uniform. We had been insecure about the areas near our roots looking pretty yellow, so we were thrilled that after using this pen twice daily for three weeks, we saw a visible improvement in the evenness and color of our teeth. We did experience a bit of sensitivity when using this one, and the pen felt a bit finicky at times when it came to dispensing the gel, but considering how well it worked and how affordable it is, these minor cons aren’t dealbreakers for us.

Active Ingredients: Hydrogen peroxide | Treatment Length: 30 seconds up to 4x daily

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Where We Stand

Our favorite teeth whitening pen is the VieBeauti Teeth Whitening Pen. It’s affordable, quick, easy to apply, features a brush-tip applicator for precise distribution of the gel, and most importantly, it delivers visible results fast. If you’re prone to sensitivity, we recommend trying the Lumineux The Bright Pen. And if you’re looking for unique flavor options, go for the Smileactives Advanced Teeth Whitening Pen.

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How We Tested

To determine which teeth whitening pens are best, we conducted extensive market research. We then consulted with a board-certified dentist and dental hygienist for their expert recommendations. We put several popular and highly-rated options to the test, and those that scored the highest across the board made our list.

We evaluated each teeth whitening pen on the following:

  • Ease of use
  • Comfort
  • Effectiveness
  • Convenience
  • Value

Watch Us Test the Best Teeth Whitener Pens

What to Look for in a Teeth Whitening Pen

  • Active ingredients: Most of today's teeth whitening pens are formulated with carbamide peroxide, a whitening agent consisting of hydrogen peroxide and urea. However, some simply use hydrogen peroxide as an active ingredient. Both are considered safe for humans and are known to be effective at whitening teeth.Our best overall pick, the VieBeauti Teeth Whitening Pen, contains 35 percent carbamide peroxide, while the runner-up, Philips Zoom Whitening Pen 5.25% HP, relies on hydrogen peroxide.
  • Applicator: Teeth whitening pens typically have small brushes at the tip, similar to many lip glosses and under-eye concealers you'll see on the market—this is ideal because the thin, flexible brush tip allows you to apply the product in the crevices of your teeth. Pens that feature silicone applicators don’t provide the same precision, which can prevent you from evenly coating your teeth.
  • Number of uses: When browsing teeth whitening pens, check how many uses each tube offers. While they're all roughly the same size, some pens come with a bit more gel than others. Additionally, some contain higher concentrations of the active ingredient, so you don't need to use as much. Plus, some options (like the Polar Teeth Whitening Pen) are sold in multi-packs, which come at an added value.

FAQ

  • How do teeth whitening pens work?

    Whitening pens use carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide (the same active ingredients found in whitening strips) to bleach the teeth. "In order for teeth to whiten, the peroxide must maintain direct contact on the surface of the teeth,” explains Avalene Roberts, a dental hygienist and dental expert. “This is why dental whitening trays, strips, and in-office whitening work best," she adds. However, when you apply the gel on dry teeth and leave it on for a period undisturbed, a whitening pen will have a chance to work on brightening your teeth. Pens might not be as effective as other whitening options, but they’re convenient and great for brightening staining and minor discoloration.

  • Are teeth whitening pens safe?

    Bleaching your teeth with an at-home treatment, like a whitening pen, is generally safe. As mentioned above, most options on the market contain either carbamide peroxide (a combination of urea and hydrogen peroxide) or just hydrogen peroxide. Depending on the concentration, these active ingredients might cause some sensitivity, but they're generally considered safe for teeth whitening. While they’re generally safe, Kantor suggests that you consult a dentist before trying any whitening or bleaching products. "You don't want to bleach your teeth if there is decay present, and kids are not candidates for bleaching," he adds.

Why Trust Byrdie

Alyssa Kaplanis an experienced writer in the beauty industry and product tester specializing in cosmetics. She received a bachelor’s degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology, where she studied marketing and product development in the cosmetics industry as well as fashion business marketing. Alyssa has been a commerce writer at Byrdie since 2022, where she covers all things beauty.

Byrdie contributor Melanie Rud has nearly fifteen years of experience in the beauty industry, writing for some of the biggest magazines and websites out there. She’s written for Byrdie since 2020, covering hair, makeup, skin, health, wellness, fashion, and more. She has typically used teeth whitening pens as maintenance in between more intense whitening treatments.

Team Byrdie interviewed two experts to better understand what's important when finding the best teeth whitening pen. These sources included:

According to ourDiversity Pledge, 15% of products in our newly-published market roundups will feature Black-owned and/or Black-founded brands. At the time of publishing, we were not able to find any teeth whitening pens from a Black-owned and/or Black-founded business. If you know of one we should consider, please email us atcontact@byrdie.com,and we will evaluate the product ASAP.

Article Sources

Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.

  1. Kelleher MG, Roe FJ. The safety-in-use of 10% carbamide peroxide (Opalescence) for bleaching teeth under the supervision of a dentist. Br Dent J. 1999 Aug 28;187(4):190-4. doi: 10.1038/sj.bdj.4800237. PMID: 10513112.

These 7 Teeth Whitening Pens Make Brightening Touch-Ups Easy (2024)
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