For those who want to whiten their teeth without spending too much money or going through long periods of treatment, the teeth whitening pen is an excellent option. A teeth whitening pen is a small tube that contains a bleaching gel, similar to what you would find in traditional teeth whitening products.
Although they work best for touch-ups and maintenance in between in-office whitening sessions, they are a viable solution for those who want to make small cosmetic improvements to their pearly whites without visiting a dentist.
But how do they work, exactly? And how can you use them to get the best results? Read on for a step-by-step guide to using a teeth whitening pen.
How Do Teeth Whitening Pens Work?
Teeth whitening pens contain a bleaching gel that is activated by oxygen. The gel reacts with the teeth's enamel to break down and release stains, resulting in brighter and whiter teeth.
The active ingredient in the bleaching gel is typically hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, both of which are safe for teeth whitening.
The basic process for using teeth whitening pens is straightforward: simply apply the gel to the teeth and wait for it to react. The active ingredients in the gel will penetrate the enamel of your teeth, releasing stains as they go.
This process can produce amazing results when used correctly. However, it's important to note that these pens are not designed to substitute for professional whitening treatments, nor are they a long-term solution for discolored teeth.
They are supplements to other teeth whitening options or useful treatments for those who don't want to deal with the high costs of teeth whitening.
7 Steps To Use A Teeth Whitening Pen
Now that you know how teeth whitening pens work, let's take a look at how to use them properly.
1. Prep Your Teeth.
Before using any teeth whitening product, you need to prep your teeth correctly. For best results, your natural teeth whitening regimen will take place before you apply your pen.
To prep your teeth, there are a few things you need to do before brushing and flossing:
- Remove any plaque or tartar that may be present using a toothpick or waterpick.
- Use a tongue scraper to remove bacteria from the surface of your tongue.
- Ensure that you will not eat or drink anything that may stain your teeth in the hour following use.
For consistent whitening results, make sure to create a schedule and stick to it. It is best to whiten your teeth at night before you go to bed, but you may find it easier to do it in the morning before work or school.
2. Brush Your Teeth And Ensure They're Clean.
To get the most out of your whitening pen, spend two minutes brushing all surfaces of your teeth for a complete cleanse. Make sure to give extra attention to the front side (where you'll be applying it).
When brushing your teeth, follow these best practices:
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and make sure the bristles are not too hard on your gums.
- Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against the gum line and use gentle, circular motions to work the bristles into the crevices of the teeth.
- Use toothpaste with fluoride for added protection against cavities and tooth decay.
- Spit out any excess toothpaste after brushing and ensure your mouth is completely dry before applying the whitening pen.
Once you brush your teeth, you can rinse your mouth out with water. But it's important to remember not to swish or drink water while the whitening gel is on your teeth later in the process.
3. Floss Your Teeth To Get Out The Excess Debris And Food Particles.
Flossing is an important part of any oral hygiene routine. It helps to remove food particles and excess debris from between the teeth, as well as reduce plaque buildup. Studies have shown that it also plays a role in fighting tooth discoloration, so taking this step can only ensure the effectiveness of your whitening pen.
To floss correctly:
- Take a piece of waxed dental floss and wrap it around your middle fingers for maximum reach.
- Gently insert the floss between each tooth and slide it up and down in a "C" shape.
- Slide the floss back and forth against the side of each tooth to loosen any food particles or debris.
- Be careful not to floss too hard, as this can cause your gums to bleed and become irritated.
To properly reach between all of the teeth, ensure you have at least 2 inches (5.1 cm) in order to wrap around both index fingers several times and create an even tension throughout each area of the gum line.
4. Apply The Product.
Once your teeth are clean and dry (make SURE they're dry), you can apply the whitening pen.
Before doing anything, you'll want to shake the pen. This will ensure that the whitening gel is evenly distributed.
Once you've given it a good shake, you can apply the pen directly onto your teeth using gentle pressure and vertical motions. You won't need to worry about squeezing the pen hard—the gel will flow out of the top, like a marker or pen.
Make sure to cover all surfaces of your teeth and do not leave any gaps or areas without gel. We recommend completing this process in front of a mirror so that you can see exactly where you are applying the product.
To maximize the effects of your whitening pen, it is important to open up your mouth wide with a toothy grin that exposes both upper and lower teeth as well as gum lines. Be sure to hold this pose during application so that you do not inadvertently move the product around with any lip movement.
5. Hold Your Mouth In Place For 1 Minute To Set The Product.
In order to ensure the product is set, hold your mouth in the same position for one full minute. This will allow the whitening gel to fully penetrate and take effect on each tooth surface.
It's important that you don't talk, swish or drink water while you're doing this as it can cause uneven results.
To ensure you don't spend too much or too little time, set a timer for 1 minute on your phone or another device.
6. Rinse Out The Whitening Product With Warm Water.
After brushing off your teeth with the whitening agent, make sure to thoroughly rinse out any residue by gargling some warm water and spitting it out. Once you're confident that there is no longer any material on your teeth, give them one more swish of warm water before discarding it.
The reason you want to use warm water for this step is because it will help to prevent any of the whitening agent from sticking to your teeth and causing further discoloration. Cold water won't be as effective because the whitening agent will be harder to remove.
7. Keep Applying The Product Daily For At Least 1 Week.
Once you've completed the above steps, your teeth might be noticeably whiter.
This doesn't mean that the process is done, though. To keep your teeth looking their best, you'll need to continue using the pen for at least a week or two.
Carefully read the instructions and warnings on your teeth whitening pen for details about how often and for how long you should use it. If it allows for the use of multiple applications per day, you may want to do this in order to get the best results.
Regardless, make sure to complete the process at the same time, every time. Whether you decide to use your whitening pen in the morning, evening, or both, repeat the same process at that time every day. Doing so will help to ensure your teeth maintain their whiteness and brightness for as long as possible.
It's also important to note that even after the recommended usage period, your teeth may not be as white as you'd like them to be. If this is the case, talk with your dentist about other options available to you.
Want to know more? Here are a few questions our customers frequently ask us:
Do You Brush Your Teeth After Using A Whitening Pen?
Before you apply a whitening pen to your teeth, brush your teeth for at least two full minutes, then floss and rinse thoroughly. This will get rid of any plaque or food particles that may interfere with the whitening process. After you apply the whitening pen, allow it to set for 1 minute before rinsing your mouth out with warm water.
When Should You Use A Teeth-Whitening Pen?
Teeth whitening pens are a fantastic way to improve your smile, but they are not as effective as teeth whitening kits or in-office treatments. You should use a teeth-whitening pen if you already have healthy teeth and a solid, but would like them to be a shade or two brighter. If you have deep staining or discoloration, we recommend that you consult with your dentist about other whitening options.
Can I Swallow After Using A Whitening Pen?
It is okay to swallow after using a whitening pen, as long as you have rinsed your mouth out with warm water and removed any residue. However, be aware that the teeth whitening duration will not be as long if you drink or eat too soon after using the pen. So swallowing is acceptable, but it is best to wait at least one hour before eating or drinking anything.
Do You Use A Teeth-Whitening Pen Before Or After Brushing?
Use your teeth whitening pen after brushing and flossing your teeth. Make sure to brush for at least two minutes and rinse your mouth with water before applying the whitening pen. This will help ensure that any plaque or food particles are removed so that the whitening agent can work properly on your teeth.
How Often Can You Use A Teeth-Whitening Pen?
Most teeth whitening pens are effective for at least 1 week. Check the instructions and warnings on your particular pen to determine how often and for how long you should use it. Some brands may allow for multiple applications per day (similar to teeth whitening toothpaste), and if yours is one of them, you will likely see significant benefits from following the packaging.
How Long Do I Leave The Teeth Whitening Pen On?
Most teeth whitening pens will require you to leave the product on your teeth for 1-2 minutes before rinsing it off with warm water. If you don't leave the whitening agent on long enough, you won't be able to achieve the desired results.
Additionally, check the instructions and warnings on your particular pen for further tips and guidance.
Can I Close My Mouth With A Teeth-Whitening Pen?
While a teeth-whitening pen is applied directly to the surface of your teeth, it is not recommended to close your mouth with the product still on. Closing your mouth may cause the whitening agent to spread onto areas of your gums and tongue, which can lead to irritation or burning sensations. The saliva on the back of your lips may also negate the effects of your gel.
Can You Drink Water When Using A Whitening Pen?
With any at-home teeth whitening solution, we recommend waiting at least one hour before eating or drinking anything. Swallowing the whitening gel can reduce its effectiveness, so it is best to allow the product to rest on your teeth for the time specified by the manufacturer.
Can You Leave The Teeth Whitening Pen Overnight?
As most whitening pens only require you to leave the product on your teeth for 1-2 minutes, leaving it overnight may not be necessary. In fact, doing so may even cause irritation or burning sensations in certain areas of your mouth due to prolonged contact with the whitening agent. Always follow the instructions and warnings on your particular product to ensure the best and safest results.
Do Whitening Pens Work Right Away?
Since whitening pens are designed for small cosmetic touch-ups, you might not be able to see dramatic results right away. You can certainly expect to see results within a week if you are consistent with your applications and follow the instructions on the product packaging.