The 4 Best Whitening Pens (For The Brightest Smile Possible) - Smile Prep (2024)

The 4 Best Whitening Pens (For The Brightest Smile Possible) - Smile Prep (1)

Your smile is your first impression, so it’s natural to want it to look its best. Also natural? Teeth that have lost some of their luster. Whitening pens can help you erase stains from coffee, tea, berries, and more, giving you renewed confidence in your grin.

We dug deep into the world of whitening pens, listening to actual customers and determining which products are worth your time and money. The result? Four whitening pens that represent the best of the best, each with unique features that help them stand out.

Table of Contents

How Do Whitening Pens Work?

At their most basic, whitening pens are a grab-and-go method of whitening your teeth. Everything you need is built right into the package. You just click or twist the pen to dispense the gel, then brush it onto your clean (and dry!) teeth. Keep your lips off your teeth for about 60 seconds, avoid foods and beverages for around 30–60 minutes, and enjoy a whiter smile.

The gel works the same way no matter which product you choose, even if they deliver varying levels of results. The whitening agent gets inside the enamel, breaking up the stains within, and then they are lifted out. Most pens use peroxide as their active ingredient. However, because they rarely come with anything to keep the gel on your teeth, they tend to be less effective than other whitening products.

While they all look quite similar, each whitening pen is unique. Some kits enhance their effects by including an LED light. Others stand out thanks to their flavor, all-natural ingredients, or professional formula. You’ll need to evaluate your specific needs, goals, and budget to determine which is the best option for you.

The 4 Best Whitening Pens

#1 Best Overall Kit: SNOW

The 4 Best Whitening Pens (For The Brightest Smile Possible) - Smile Prep (2)


Most whitening pens are less effective than strips and trays. But that’s not the case with SNOW. The kit’s LED light can help the gel stay on the teeth longer and penetrate deeper into the enamel.

Depending on your smile goals and your tooth sensitivity, your whitening session can last anywhere from 9–30 minutes. While SNOW loses some of the convenience most whitening pens offer, it delivers stunning results. Plus, it comes with enough gel for at least 75 applications — which can help you maintain your smile in the long run.

SNOW Advantages

  • The gel does not wash away since the light keeps it in place.
  • All parts are small and easy to use on the go.
  • The light is powered by your phone, so you don’t need to worry about batteries or charging.

SNOW Disadvantages

  • The addition of light makes treatment more complicated.
  • It’s more expensive than many other at-home whitening options.

Is SNOW Right for You?

Bottom Line: If you like whitening pens but want amplified power, SNOW might be right for you.

#2 Best Flavor: MOON

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The MOON Kendall Jenner Teeth Whitening Pen was born of a partnership between, you guessed it, Kendall Jenner and MOON founder Sean Neff. While attaching a celebrity to a product can make it feel gimmicky, MOON is anything but. MOON aims to make oral care part of a pampering beauty routine, and their pen hits the mark.

Formulated with their proprietary Elixir III, the MOON Kendall Jenner Teeth Whitening Pen offers both whitening power and an amazing flavor, combining honeysuckle and strawberry extract with vanilla. It also includes light-reflecting particles, which help boost your smile as soon as you apply the gel. And despite its connection to a Jenner, this pen has an affordable price tag: just $19.99.

MOON Advantages

  • The pen has a sleek design that feels more like makeup packaging.
  • The Elixir III flavor completely masks the peroxide taste.
  • Lasting results might take a few days, but the light-reflecting particles make an instant difference.

MOON Disadvantages

  • The only brick-and-mortar store selling it is Ulta.
  • Some customers found the formula burned their gums.

Is MOON Right for You?

Bottom Line: If most whitening pens’ taste puts you off, MOON might be a great option for you.

#3 All-Natural: Lumineux Ultra-Bright

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2 for $50

Many whitening products use harsh chemicals and laundry lists of hard-to-pronounce ingredients. Lumineux takes a different approach. As their motto states: “You shouldn’t have to choose between a product that is good for you and a product that actually works.”

Lumineux says their Ultra-Bright Whitening Pen is enamel-safe, dentist-formulated, and certified non-toxic. Unlike other pens, it is so gentle you can use it every day for as long as you’d like. Just be ready to pay a premium; Lumineux costs $50 for a two-pen pack.

Lumineux Advantages

  • It offers effective, peroxide-free whitening.
  • The formula promotes gum health.
  • You can use it daily to prevent stains.

Lumineux Disadvantages

  • The gel doesn’t stick to the teeth very well.
  • It isn’t able to achieve the same level of whitening as peroxide-based formulas.

Is Lumineux Right for You?

Bottom Line: If you want to guard against stains and whiten with a certified non-toxic product, look into Lumineux.

#4 Most Well-Known: Colgate Optic White

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Whitening pens are typically less effective than other teeth whitening products because the gel quickly washes away. The Colgate Optic White Overnight Pen corrects this by hardening into a varnish-like film that stays on the teeth all night long.

On top of that, it’s one of the easiest pens to find. Just head to your local pharmacy or superstore to buy it.

Colgate Optic White Advantages

  • The gel stays in place until you brush your teeth.
  • Application is simple.
  • The pen is backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Colgate Optic White Disadvantages

  • The peroxide concentration is low, just 3%.
  • Some customers found their gel was dried out when they opened the product.

Is Colgate Optic White Right for You?

Bottom Line: If you want to maximize how much time the gel has to work, buy the Colgate Optic White Overnight Pen.

What About Professional Whitening Treatments?

Teeth whitening isn’t new. People have been using DIY methods for thousands of years, and in-office treatments launched decades ago. But over-the-counter treatments didn’t hit the market until 2001, with the release of the Crest Whitestrip.

Professional treatments and at-home whitening pens can brighten your smile. But there are some key differences to keep in mind.

  • Power: Professional whitening treatments use a higher concentration of peroxide, delivering more whitening strength.
  • Speed: Whitening pens take weeks to achieve their maximum results, but a professional treatment can deliver a dramatic change in an hour.
  • Price: In-office whitening starts at $300 per session and can cost as much as $3,500, but whitening pens tend to fall between $20 and $150.
  • Custom Approaches: Dentists can tailor the treatment strength, frequency, and results to your needs, but over-the-counter products are one-size-fits-all.
  • Convenience: With professional whitening, you have to work your schedule around an office visit. But you can complete at-home treatments whenever it works for you.

Which is better? It depends on the person. It all comes down to what meets your needs.

How to Evaluate Whitening Pens

What makes a whitening pen better than its competition? There are so many variables to consider, and the weight you give to each one depends on your unique needs. When we evaluated the whitening pens on our list, we looked at five variables with the most universal need: effectiveness, affordability, quality of ingredients, convenience, and comfort.


This is an essential feature in any whitening product. We didn’t get the chance to use all the pens on our list, but we pored over customer reviews and testimonials to ensure all these pens can deliver results.


Everyone’s budget is different, but ultimately, we all have one. So, affordability always matters. Whitening pens should never break the bank, but some represent a more solid value than others.

Quality of Ingredients

Knowing a product can get the job done is essential. But you also need to know how they whiten your teeth. In addition to the active ingredient — usually peroxide — you need to know if the inactive ingredients are safe and help enhance the experience.


Most whitening pens are very easy to use. However, there can be small differences that make a big difference for you. Before you buy, be certain that the entire process will work with your daily schedule.


In general, whitening pens are comfortable to use, but certain factors can make them more or less comfortable, such as taste, texture, and sensitivity.

When Is Using Whitening Pens Not a Good Choice?

Whitening your teeth can be a major confidence boost. But not everyone should use whitening pens. Check with your dentist before using any whitening product, and consider avoiding whitening pens, and possibly whitening products in general, if:

  • You want to see a major change in your smile.
  • You are allergic to any ingredients in a given product.
  • You have active tooth decay or gum disease.
  • There are cracks or chips in your teeth.
  • You currently have a fixed appliance.
  • You have cosmetic or restorative dentistry.
  • You have stains that cannot be changed with a whitening product.
  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Additionally, if you take any medications, check if there are any potential interactions with whitening products.

Combining Whitening With Other Treatments

Sometimes, a brighter smile is all you need to feel your best. In other cases, you want a complete smile transformation. The good news is that it’s possible to combine whitening with other cosmetic dental treatments.

However, it depends on the changes you want to make. Never double up on whitening treatments unless they come in a kit designed for it — for example, a kit with overnight whitening strips and a pen to use before meals. You can combine whitening with things like dental veneers, caps, and crowns, but get clearance from your doctor first. Some whitening formulas will damage them.

The best treatment to combine with whitening is clear aligner therapy. Most whitening products won’t damage aligners, and you can even use the aligners to help keep the gel on your teeth. Many at-home clear aligner companies, like Byte, even offer whitening with your treatment bundle.

Final Thoughts

Whitening pens are a great way to boost your smile without investing a lot of time or money. They’re also very versatile; you can whiten your smile or just maintain your current color. We are confident that one of these five options will work well for you. Choose any one of them and you’ll be smiling bright in no time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to whiten your teeth with whitening pens?

Yes, whitening pens are considered safe to use. Just be careful to purchase legitimate products, since some whitening kits sold online are counterfeit. These counterfeiters often attempt to imitate MOON because of its Jenner connection.

Do LED lights make a difference?

Certain studies on in-office treatments suggest that lights can enhance the effects of the active whitening ingredients. So, if you want to use a whitening pen and an LED light, purchase SNOW.

Is it safe to use a whitening toothpaste and a whitening pen at the same time?

We suggest you ask your dentist. Whitening toothpastes are pretty gentle and wash away quickly, so they aren’t likely to cause a problem. However, one that prevents sensitivity might be better.

How do teeth whitening pens work?

Usually, they open the pores of the teeth, then peroxide mixes with the oxygen in the air and carbon in your teeth to break apart and extract stain molecules.

Is it important to get a professional cleaning before using a whitening pen?

It depends on if you are using the pen to whiten your teeth or maintain their current color. We suggest you get a professional cleaning before whitening your teeth, but if you are maintaining the color, it isn’t feasible to get cleanings that frequently.

How long should I expect my teeth to stay white?

There is no universal answer. First, some products just deliver more lasting change. Second, your genetics and habits will impact how long your teeth stay white.

Can I make my results last longer?

Yes, we suggest you try the following:

  • Use a straw when drinking pigmented beverages.
  • Eat fewer staining foods.
  • Rinse your mouth with water after meals.
  • Brush twice per day, and floss once per day.
  • Use a whitening toothpaste.
  • Don’t smoke.

If I experience sensitivity, will it be permanent?

No. It should go away within a few days of finishing treatment. Just know that any sensitivity you had before whitening your teeth will still be there when you finish.

Is it safe to whiten my teeth while straightening them?

If you are using clear aligners, yes. But if you have a fixed appliance, the answer varies. Talk to your doctor about your options to determine if whitening is a viable option for you.

The 4 Best Whitening Pens (For The Brightest Smile Possible) - Smile Prep (2024)


What whitening pen works best? ›

Colgate Overnight Whitening Pen

Out of all the formulas we tried, this one received the highest praise for its value, effectiveness, and ease of use.

What is the best teeth whitening product that actually works? ›

Crest 3D Whitestrips Professional Effects

Crest 3D Whitestrips were a unanimous favorite among our experts. They're easy to use and effective for at-home whitening, mostly due to the amount of time they stay in contact with teeth, Lowenberg says.

Do whitening pens for teeth really work? ›

How Effective Are They? When it comes to these pens' effectiveness, it really depends on your type of discoloration and the application process. First, not all stains are created equal: these bleaching agents will likely whiten yellow stains but probably won't whiten brown or grey stains.

What do dentists say about teeth whitening pens? ›

Teeth whitening pens are generally safe when used according to the instructions provided. However, there may be some potential risks and side effects from their use such as temporary sensitivity or gum irritation.

How do the Kardashians whiten their teeth? ›

But the Kardashians' go-to teeth whitening product? The HiSmile Teeth Whitening Kit. Full disclosure: the Kardashian clan have the best teeth already, and were no doubt paid to promote the HiSmile products on their Instagram accounts, but even so.

Are all teeth whitening pens the same? ›

However, not all whitening pens are the same—some may cause sensitivity, a few might require several applications throughout the day, and others may not deliver on the smile you're looking for. To help you choose the best teeth whitening pen for you, we've broken down the main benefits to look for and why.

What whitens teeth really fast? ›

Zoom-in-office whitening is the best teeth whitening system out there. It is fast (takes about an hour) and you get great results. This is the one you have probably seen before where the patients are under that blue light and it turns your teeth up to four shades of whiter.

Can yellow teeth become white again? ›

What Can Be Done to Whiten Yellow Teeth? If you're looking for a radical change in the coloring of your teeth, you need professional-grade whitening to get the job done. Your cosmetic dentist can provide treatment that penetrates deep into the enamel and removes years of stains with a powerful bleaching agent.

Should I brush my teeth before using whitening pen? ›

The pen produces the best results if you brush your teeth immediately before applying the whitening gel, but it can also be used without pre-brushing. To apply, follow these simple steps: Open your mouth into a wide smile and dry the front surface of your teeth.

Do whitening strips work better than whitening pens? ›

Whitening strips can lighten the teeth by 5-7 shades, whereas whitening pens can only brighten them by 2-3 shades. Both strips and pens are easy to use and compatible with LED devices, however, pens can be more convenient as each tooth can be easily covered.

Is Colgate teeth whitening pen permanent? ›

How long will the teeth whitening pen last? The Colgate® Optic White® Overnight Teeth Whitening Pen can last up to 35 days when used as directed.

Who should not use teeth whitening kits? ›

“Even with over-the-counter products, it is still recommended to see your dentist prior to starting a whitening procedure.” Dr. Scheier says. Those who are susceptible to sensitivity, either from gum recession or worn-down enamel, may inadvertently increase that sensitivity by using a teeth-whitening kit.

What do dentists say about teeth whitening? ›

Key Points. Whitening treatments can be effective on both extrinsic and intrinsic staining. Only natural teeth can be whitened, not tooth-colored restorations. Whitening treatments include in-office bleaching procedures, dentist-supplied products for use at home, and over-the-counter (OTC) whiteners.

Do you use whitening pen before or after brushing? ›

The pen produces the best results if you brush your teeth immediately before applying the whitening gel, but it can also be used without pre-brushing. To apply, follow these simple steps: Open your mouth into a wide smile and dry the front surface of your teeth.

How long does it take for a whitening pen to work? ›

It takes between two and seven days for whitening pens to work. Their results are usually temporary.

How long do you leave 35% carbamide peroxide on teeth? ›

Leave the trays in your mouth for 20-30 minutes when using 35% Carbamide Peroxide. You can increase the whitening time after a few sessions. In the case that you experience sensitivity, do not increase whitening time.


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