Are Teeth Whitening Pens Effective?

Teeth whitening pens seem like they would be an effective way to whiten teeth. The idea is that by applying the product with a pen, you can put it exactly where you need it to be. But this product has some flaws.

The active ingredient used in teeth whitening pens is most often a peroxide-based gel. This is the same ingredient used in strips, with trays and in most other teeth whitening systems. The problem lies not with the active ingredient, but with the way in which it is applied.

Teeth whitening pens allow users to apply the gel directly to each tooth. However, it makes it difficult to get between teeth and it’s very unlikely that most people will be able to apply it evenly to each tooth. That means that the front part of the teeth may become a few shades whiter, but the areas between the teeth will remain discolored.

Another problem with teeth whitening pens is that there is no way to keep the gel on the teeth. With trays and strips, the gel remains in contact with the tooth until the user removes the strip or tray. With the pen, the gel immediately starts to come off of the tooth as there is nothing to hold it in place.

So are teeth whitening pens effective? Since the active ingredient in these pens is the same as in other whitening products, they have the potential to work. If the user can find a way to be sure and coat every tooth evenly and get the product between the teeth and then find a way to make sure the product stays in contact with the teeth long enough for it to do its job then it will work. But those are some big “ifs”.

One additional drawback to teeth whitening pens is that they often do dispense the same amount of gel as one would get if using, for example, a tray system. A user may need to buy several pens to get the same amount of product they would get in one tray or strip system.

A much easier solution is to just instead choose a product, such as strips, that make applying the active ingredient and keeping it on the teeth much easier.

One Comment to “Are Teeth Whitening Pens Effective?”

Stephanie (July 27th, 2010)

These pens are far more effective at getting into the interproximal areas than strips or trays.

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