How a Teeth Whitening Pen Works

Do you have a special event happening soon on your social calendar? If you're looking for a last minute touch-up to your smile, then a teeth whitening pen might be just the thing for you.

Teeth whitening pens are thin, plastic tubes that house a whitening gel and are small enough to place in a purse or pocket. Portable whitening pens help improve the color of your teeth by removing leftover stains on each tooth's surface. Often, these types of whitening products produce visible results immediately after your first round of use.

Ingredients

Peroxide is the main active ingredient in most over-the-counter teeth whitening products, including the whitening pen. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), "carbamide peroxide, used in many bleaching products, breaks down into hydrogen peroxide and urea, with hydrogen peroxide being the active bleaching agent. A bleaching product containing 10 percent carbamide peroxide yields approximately 3.5 percent hydrogen peroxide." The peroxide breaks down, allowing oxygen into the enamel of your teeth and lightening it. Other ingredients of peroxide-containing tooth whiteners may include glycerin, carbopol, sodium hydroxide and flavoring agents. Many whitening products are currently available to consumers today, and the amount and type of active ingredients, the form of the product and how they are applied may vary widely.

Convenience

Teeth can be stained from colored foods, such as berries, red sauces, coffee, tea, red wine and dark-colored sodas – as well as smoking cigarettes. A teeth whitening pen fights these common stains and is functional because of its size, portability and general convenience. Use it regularly to achieve and maintain your desired level of teeth whiteness. The product takes seconds to apply, and it is best if you avoid eating or drinking anything for the first hour after application to make the whitening process more effective.

How to Use

Whitening pens like this are easy to use with no mess and effectively remove stains for a whiter smile in as little as two days. Just twist, brush and go. The pen can be included in your regular oral care routine twice daily as recommended. Start by brushing your teeth with a toothbrush like the Colgate Optic White™+ Whitening Pen, which includes a reusable whitening pen that twists securely into the bottom of the toothbrush's handle. After a thorough brushing, just remove the top cap and twist the bottom of the pen until you see the gel on the brush tip. Apply a thin layer of whitening gel to each tooth's surface, making sure that the entire tooth's surface is in contact with the whitening gel. Don't rinse; the product needs to stay on your teeth to work.

If quick and convenient teeth whitening is your goal, then a whitening pen might be the right choice for you. To make regular improvements that stay with you, follow the directions of the product you use. Your smile is one of your most important assets, so for optimum wellness, remember to receive regular professional cleanings.

About the author: Diana Tosuni-O'Neill is a licensed registered dental hygienist in New York and New Jersey with more than 25 years of clinical experience in dental hygiene practice. She was employed for more than 15 years with the team dentist for the sports teams the New York Giants, the Brooklyn Nets and the New Jersey Devils. Diana is also an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and a Group Fitness Instructor. Her passion for the dental and fitness fields spans more than two decades. She is also a freelance writer specializing in oral health care. She enjoys traveling, gardening, decorating and fitness workouts. Diana presently resides outside Manhattan with her two children.

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Selecting dental products can improve your smile but it’s important to protect it with frequent brushing. Try one of our toothpastes to help keep your smile safe.