There’s nothing wrong with wanting a brighter, whiter smile, and in this day and age, it seemingly couldn’t be easier! There are so many options for whitening your teeth, from teeth whitening toothpastes, to at-home strips, gels, and devices, to teeth whitening pens… but do teeth whitening pens work?
While teeth whitening pens are considered a temporary and fast solution that seem to work well, it’s questionable if whitening pens are safe for your teeth. Amidst all of the options out there, we take a look below and explore whether teeth whitening pens really work, and whether or not they are safe to use.
How Do Teeth Whitening Pens Work?
While teeth whitening pens are for the most part convenient and easy to use, their effectiveness will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. They essentially work in the same manner which is that any given pen will release a small amount of product (usually gel) that is applied with a brush-like tip that can be used from tooth to tooth. (This differs from teeth whitening strips where teeth are whitened in sections – usually divided by upper and lower teeth and need to be worn for a period of time.)
The solution in teeth whitening pens typically consists of carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. Carbamide peroxide is a tooth whitening ingredient that contains hydrogen peroxide but the chemical make-up between the two is slightly different overall. Carbamide peroxide boasts whitening properties but has not been tested enough to be proven safe. Hydrogen Peroxide is found in most teeth whitening products for its tried-and-true results.
It's important to follow manufacturer instructions no matter which whitening pen you choose. Each will carry its own warnings with regards to strength, time needed to take effect, and any tooth sensitivities it may cause.
Most people consider using teeth whitening pens for a quick fix or for a specific tooth, but depending on the type of stain one is hoping to correct, results can vary. If you’re wondering do teeth whitening pens work on crowns, the answer is probably not. That’s because the peroxide found in most teeth whitening solutions do not cause a whitening reaction on the materials used for most tooth restorations.
How *Well* Do Teeth Whitening Pens Work?
Once you’ve decided that you want a whiter smile for a job interview, or an upcoming event, or just because you want to feel more confident when you smile, you may wonder how well do teeth whitening pens work? When used properly, teeth whitening pens can be quite effective. Because of their convenience, teeth whitening pens can be used on the go, after meals or a coffee date. Proper application and following directions will contribute to the results using this kind of treatment.
Most experts agree that teeth whitening pens work best as maintenance as opposed to creating an overall and enduring whiter smile. For much more improved whiter teeth, speak with your dentist about in office or at home treatments for what will provide the longest lasting results.
How Safe Are Teeth Whitening Pens?
Teeth whitening is considered “cosmetic” by the FDA. Because of this, teeth whitening products aren’t currently considered as FDA Approved. That said, teeth whitening products can be registered with the FDA . The registration alone will indicate that the product meets the agency's standards for safety and effectiveness. Looking for the "FDA Registered" phrase on a company's website or product is one way of helping to determine whether its teeth whitening kits are safe. For more on this, please see this article Does FDA-Approved Teeth Whitening Exist?
It's also important to consider your lifestyle and what ingredients you’re comfortable putting in your mouth when it comes to teeth whitening. People who are vegan and/or are sensitive to certain foods will want to carefully read the list of ingredients in whitening pens and look for a formula that is free of animal products, soy, or other additives they prefer to avoid.
Best Practices for Using a Teeth Whitening Pen
With so many teeth whitening pens to choose from, it can be difficult to know which one is the right one for you. Be sure to go with the pen that aligns with your lifestyle, price point, and convenience. Again, the best use of teeth whitening pens is for maintenance in between professional treatments. Of course, being consistent with your teeth whitening routine will also offer the results you’re hoping to achieve when it comes to improving the look of your teeth. For overall teeth whitening options, check out this article on the 6 Things to Consider When Choosing Teeth Whitening Products
When it comes to brightening up an otherwise dull set of teeth, the GLO line of products are safe, effective and will satisfy both short and long term teeth whitening goals. If you’re still on the search for the Best Teeth Whitening Pen, there are options out there. Good luck finding the one that will give you the pearly white smile you’re hoping to achieve!