Teeth whitening pens: do they work and should you use them?

On this page you will learn

Summary- use teeth whitening pens if you:

  • want the simplest treatment available.
  • haven’t whitened your teeth before and just want to try it out.
  • are looking for a subtler result.
  • want to target individual teeth.

Teeth whitening pens – overview

Price: €3–17

How to use: Wipe pen across surface of teeth

How often: Once a day (twice if you like) until you are happy with the results

What are they?

Teeth whitening pens are small pens that contain a teeth whitening gel that you apply across your teeth to whiten them.

They are the easiest teeth whitening product to use, so if you’re looking for a quick, hassle-free application pens may be the product for you.

How do pens whiten your teeth?

The whitening agent in the pen bleaches stains when it comes into contact with your teeth.

Once applied, the gel needs to stay on the teeth for a little while, so don’t rinse your mouth straight away.

What’s in them?

The main whitening ingredient in pens is either hydrogen peroxide or a non-peroxide alternative such as a sodium-based or calcium-based whitener.

How to use – how often:

Once a day until you’re happy with the colour of your teeth.

How to use them - process:

  1. Brush your teeth normally.
  2. Open the cap of the pen, and twist or squeeze until you see some gel on the tip.
  3. Apply a thin layer of gel across the surface of your teeth.
  4. Some pens require rinsing after using them, others don’t. Read your instructions to find out.



Even the most expensive pens tend to cost less than alternative whitening products.

As with most things, the price tends to reflect the quality of the product so it’s often worth spending a little extra, especially when pens are the most affordable option.


Pens are very easy to use and don’t involve the same amount of work as most other whitening products.

You can also target individual teeth, you can’t do this with strips or trays.

They are cheaper than most other options.


  • Pens are a less intensive treatment than alternatives. So if your teeth are quite badly stained, a pen might not work as well.
  • Though the application takes less work, it can actually be trickier than expected to cover the teeth entirely. A 2003 study added blue dye to measure how well the whitener was applied. Participants were only able to cover 85% of their teeth.

The best teeth whitening pen—our pick:

Spotlight Whitening Pen

Spotlight Whitening Pen

Whitening agent: hydrogen carbonate calcium

Time left on teeth: five minutes

Use: daily

Price: €19.95

Buy now


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