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On the surface, most pens look relatively similar. They are usually thin, plastic tubes that house a whitening gel and are small enough to place in a purse or pocket (similar in size to a stain stick you’d use on your clothing).

For those on-the-go and in need of a quick fix, portable pens can improve the color of your teeth by removing leftover stains on each tooth’s surface.


The results of teeth whitening products are generally determined by the exposure time of the agent and the concentration of active ingredients in the formula. Those with sensitive teeth typically opt for lower concentrations of an active ingredient.

The active ingredient is responsible for the pen’s whitening abilities. Almost all teeth whitening pens contain hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide as their active ingredient.

What’s the Difference Between Hydrogen Peroxide and Carbamide Peroxide?

Both hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide are effective whitening agents. Carbamide peroxide is virtually identical to hydrogen peroxide, except that it contains an additional urea molecule. When products containing carbamide peroxide come in contact with water, they break down to form hydrogen peroxide.

This breakdown, happens at a ratio of approximately three-to-one, so a whitening gel containing 10% carbamide peroxide breaks down into 3.6% hydrogen peroxide; likewise, 35% carbamide peroxide translates to approximately 10% hydrogen peroxide.

RELATED: 2019’s Best Whitening Mouthwashes for Sensitive Teeth

Are hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide the same thing?

Yes and no. Hydrogen peroxide breaks down faster than carbamide peroxide, so it releases most of its whitening power within 30 to 60 minutes. Carbamide peroxide, on the other hand, releases about 50% of its whitening power in the first two hours and can remain active for up to six additional hours.

Compared to hydrogen peroxide, carbamide peroxide has a longer shelf life and many find that carbamide peroxide causes less discomfort for those with sensitive teeth. It should also be noted that, overall, hydrogen peroxide products tend to whiten teeth faster than carbamide peroxide.

We reviewed some of the best teeth whitening pens of 2019 to see which offer the best results.

Smileactives Teeth Whitening Pen

Smileactives Teeth Whitening Pen

Active Ingredient: 9% benzoyl peroxide

Smileactives’ advanced teeth whitening pen is a sleek and portable whitening tool to use on the go. It boasts its ability to offer users whiter teeth in just seven days. Each Smileactive pen can be used twice daily for up to three weeks.

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Pros
  • Easy to apply
  • Available in a portable version
  • Pleasant flavor
  • Manufacturer claims teeth can become six shades whiter in one week
Cons
  • Gel must be brushed onto teeth
  • Must be used two to four times a day for optimal results

Smilebriter

Smilebriter

Active Ingredients: Carbamide peroxide and Xylitol

Smilebriter’s whitening pen uses nontoxic, organic ingredients to give you a whiter smile. This pen not only brightens your smile, it also helps to fight tooth decay and strengthen enamel, while its peppermint oil works to freshen your breath. Each Smilebriter pen can be used for up to 15 days.

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Pros
  • Highly rated on Amazon
  • Gluten free, vegan and kosher-friendly
Cons
  • Whitening agents may be too strong for those with sensitive teeth and gums.
  • Must apply with a brush and keep lips relaxed for 30 seconds.

Philips Zoom Whitening Pen

Philips Zoom Whitening Pen

Active Ingredient: 5.25% hydrogen peroxide

Philips’ Zoom whitening pen can get your teeth up to two shades whiter in just two weeks. This stain fighting pen is perfect for touch-ups in-between full whitening treatments. The Zoom whitening pen can be used quickly while on the go or at home, making it an easy addition to your oral care routine.

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Pros
  • Part of the well-known Phillips/Sonicare oral hygiene line
  • Sonicare
  • Manufacturer claims whitening up to five shades lighter
Cons
  • Product may be hard on sensitive gums
  • Cost is expensive compared to other comparable whitening pens.

RELATED: HiSmile Reviewed: Is this Trendy Whitening Kit Worth It?

Dazzling White Instant Whitening Pen

Dazzling White Instant Whitening Pen

Active Ingredients: 6% hydrogen peroxide

This whitening pen uses 6% hydrogen peroxide to whiten teeth in just one week of use. After the first seven days of regular application, this pen should only be used occasionally for an additional three weeks. After a month of use, you can take a break from whitening and enjoy your whiter teeth.

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Pros
  • Low price – can be purchases in a single or multi-pack.
  • Product is small enough to fit in a pocket or purse.
Cons
  • Not a well-known brand

MaxxGel Teeth Whitening Pen

MaxxGel Teeth Whitening Pen

Active Ingredients: 12% hydrogen peroxide

MaxxGel’s teeth whitening pen not only provides you with a whiter smile quickly, it also works to improve the health of your teeth and gums. This American made pen uses 12% hydrogen peroxide to eliminate unwanted stains caused by nicotine, red wine, and other common culprits.

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Pros
  • Best for whitening on-the-go
  • Portable; fits in a pocket or purse
  • Claims to kill bacteria to help prevent oral infections
Cons
  • The product delivery mechanism has received some complaints.

Denta-Pro Professional Teeth Whitening Pens

Denta-Pro 2000

Active Ingredients: 35% carbamide peroxide

Denta-Pro’s whitening pen is in a class of its own. It uses 35% Carbamide Peroxide to whiten teeth up to eight shades in only a few weeks. This pen also comes in a stylish silver tube that uses an improved leak prevention system to help avoid messy spills when taken on the go.

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Pros
  • Can be used at-home or on-the-go
  • Priced for those with a budget
Cons
  • Product delivery mechanism and whitening storage can leak
  • Results may not be long-lasting.

AuraGlow Teeth Whitening Pen

AuraGlow Teeth Whitening Pen

Active Ingredients: 35% carbamide peroxide

AuraGlow uses 35% Carbamide Peroxide in their whitening pen to quickly improve teeth in only a few short one minute treatments. The pen’s mint flavor tastes great and helps to freshen breath. The AuraGlow whitening pen is kosher, gluten free, and made in America.

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Pros
  • Easy to apply
Cons
  • Gel must be brushed onto teeth
  • Must be used two to four times a day for optimal results

RELATED: Zoom Teeth Whitening: Procedure, Review, Side Effects, and Cost

Go Smile Teeth Whitening Pen

Go Smile Teeth Whitening Pen

Active Ingredients: Hydrogen peroxide

This whitening pen by Go Smile not only removes years of stains, it also helps to prevent new stains from forming to maintain your results. After dissolving, the gel leaves behind a minty fresh scent to help improve breath.

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Pros
  • Simple to use
  • Gentle on the teeth and gums
  • Cleans effectively
  • Pleasant smell
Cons
  • Pricey
  • Some complaints about delivery system

Colgate Whitening Pen

Colgate Whitening Pen

Active Ingredients: Carbamide peroxide and Xylitol

Colgate is one of the most popular oral care brands in the country and their whitening pen shows us why. This no rinse and no hassle pen lets you get on with your day after application. When applied daily for three weeks, this pen can get teeth up to five shades whiter.

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Pros
  • Unique gel formula allows for deeper whitening
  • Quick and convient to use
  • Starts working in just one day
  • Highly recommended by dentists
  • Portable
Cons
  • Thick gel can be messy when applied

Impressive Smile Teeth Whitening Pen

Impressive Smile Teeth Whitening Pen

Active Ingredients: Carbamide peroxide

Impressive Smile’s whitening pens remove years of stains in only a few applications. This pen uses 44% carbamide peroxide gel erase stains caused by coffee, red wine, and other staining foods.

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Pros
  • Can whiten teeth four to six shades lighter in one week
  • Easy application
Cons
  • Some customers have complained that this product dries up when stored
  • Not well tolerated by those with sensitive teeth.

Sparking White Smiles Pen

Sparking White Smiles Pen

Active Ingredients: 35% carbamide peroxide

Sparking White’s pens come in a variety of strengths to help customize your treatment. Select from 22%, 35%, or 44% carbamide peroxide or 16% hydrogen peroxide to erase your stains. Starting with a lower strength pen is recommended, as some people may experience a slight discomfort when using stronger strength options.

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Pros
  • Whitens teeth in just three days
  • Professional strength whitening power
  • Comes in an affordable three pack
Cons
  • Some experience gum pain and bleeding
  • Long 15-minute treatment time

Genius Teeth Whitening Pen

Genius Teeth Whitening Pen

Active Ingredients: 35% carbamide peroxide

This teeth whitening pen can give you noticeably whiter teeth in just one day and can lighten teeth by up to eight shades with regular use. In addition to brightening your smile, this pen eliminates the germs that cause bad breath.

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Pros
  • Can remove coffee, smoke, and alcohol stains
  • Quick treatment time
  • Can get teeth 4 to 8 shades whiter
  • Can be used on sensitive teeth
  • Good taste
Cons
  • Some have received defective pens with broken tips

Brush on Smile Whitening Pen

Brush on Smile Whitening Pen

Active Ingredients: Carbamide peroxide and Xylitol

Brush On Smile offers a whitening pen that erases stains in just two minutes a day using 36% carbamide peroxide. This pen claims to be five times stronger than the popular Crest White Strips, making it a natural choice for those that want quick and efficient strain relief. Brush On Smile’s pens are made in the USA and use kosher-grade glycerin and propylene.

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Pros
  • Easy to apply
  • All natural and kosher grade ingredients
  • Visible results in two weeks
Cons
  • Those with sensitive teeth may experience discomfort

VS1 Teeth Whitening Pen

VS1 Teeth Whitening Pen

Active Ingredients: 35% carbamide peroxide

Each VS1 whitening pen offers up to one month of whitening power. This pen comes in a minty flavor to help freshen your breath while whitening. VS1 is so confident in their pen that they offer a one year money back guarantee to any unsatisfied customers.

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Pros
  • Quick treatment time
  • 12-hour stain protection
  • Gluten-free, cruelty-free, kosher, and safe for the enamel
Cons
  • Strong and may hurt gums
  • Bad flavor

Nova White Teeth Whitening Pen

Nova White Teeth Whitening Pen

Active Ingredients: 35% carbamide peroxide

This whitening pen by Nova uses 36% carbamide peroxide to brighten your teeth. Each application takes under one minute from brushing on the gel to returning to your daily life. Each pen holds over 20 applications for about two weeks of applications.

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Pros
  • Removes stains from coffee, wine, smoking, and soda
  • Quick treatment
  • Safe for enamel and sensitive teeth
  • Vegan-friendly, gluten-free, non-GMO, and kosher
Cons
  • In rare cases, can cause spots on teeth
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About The Author

Articles by

Justinas is a health writer, copy editor, and media relations specialist at Zwivel. He also writes on a variety of subjects including technology, politics, and entertainment. Justinas holds bachelor of arts degrees in multiplatform journalism and political science from Concordia University. He is based in Montreal, Canada.

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