Tea, coffee, red wine, green juice… These are just a few things that can stain and discolor your teeth over time. More and more people are turning to teeth whitening solutions in pursuit of brighter smiles. Research shows that more than 40 million Americans used at-home whitening products in 2018, including teeth whitening pens and strips. Walking down the aisles of your local drug store, you will find an abundance of different remedies and products to try – but how well do they really work and what are the risks?
How Well Do Teeth Whitening Pens Work?
Teeth whitening pens are used to dab or brush hydrogen or carbamide peroxide onto the surface of the tooth. If used correctly, these pens can yield some positive results – however, there are certainly limitations when compared to professional teeth whitening. Because teeth whitening pens stay on your teeth for a much shorter period of time compared to strips or professional whitenings, the whitening solution does not have enough time to absorb into the tooth and correct existing stains. Therefore, the most effective time to use a peroxide-based teeth whitening pen is immediately after you consume something staining. In short, pens can be effective in preventing further staining, but not in addressing discoloration that has built up over time.
Finding the Best Teeth Whitening Pen
If you do want to try out a teeth whitening pen, it’s important to do your research and find a high-quality, safe product. A great way to do this is to read product reviews before making your purchase. Better yet, talk to your dentist and see what products they recommend. For reference, most teeth whitening pens use hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. Things to consider when comparing products include: active ingredients, results, price, convenience, taste, and possible side effects.
How to Use Teeth Whitening Pen Products
As mentioned above, teeth whitening pens will be most effective when applied directly after consuming food or beverages that may stain your teeth. It’s best to let the film dry for at least 10-15 seconds if possible. Remember to avoid eating or drinking directly after applying the pen. Finally, be sure to brush your teeth thoroughly afterwards so the film doesn’t stay on your teeth for too long. Keep in mind: overuse of a whitening pen can lead to serious problems, such as teeth sensitivity or gum irritation, so be sure to read and follow the directions on the product you use carefully.
Final Thoughts on Getting a Teeth Whitening Pen
Many of us would go great lengths for a whiter, more radiant smile – especially when studies show that a white smile is an important aspect of first impressions and can directly affect both your professional and love life. However, at-home remedies can be risky, so it’s important to choose products carefully and use them correctly. Although at-home solutions can make a difference, especially in preventing further staining, professional teeth whitening is the best way to correct serious discoloration or staining that has developed over time.
At Nicholson Dental in Albany, Oregon, we offer easy and affordable teeth whitening services to restore your beautiful smile. We make thin, clear custom trays for you to take home, fill with a special whitening solution, and wear for 2-4 hours a day. Results are much more dramatic than what you’d see with a whitening pen, and are typically visible in as little as one week!