Whitening Pen vs Strips

Teeth Whitening Pen vs. Strips: Which One Is Right For You?

Teeth Whitening Pen vs. Strips: Which One Is Right For You?

Key Takeaways:

  • Precision and Convenience vs. Uniform Coverage: Learn how whitening pens offer a targeted application for busy lifestyles while strips provide even whitening for all teeth.
  • Time Efficiency and Portability: Discover how whitening pens provide quick, on-the-go touch-ups, whereas strips require a set period of daily commitment for optimal results.
  • Effectiveness for Different Stains: Understand which method, pens or strips, is best suited for treating extrinsic surface stains versus more stubborn, intrinsic discoloration.


At Zimba, we understand the importance of a radiant smile but know it shouldn't cost a fortune. We've crafted this guide to help you navigate the pros and cons of teeth whitening pens versus strips.

In the world of at-home teeth whitening, you have more options than ever to achieve that dazzling smile, and among the most popular choices are whitening pens and strips. If you're new to teeth whitening or simply searching for a better solution, choosing between these two can feel overwhelming. 

In this article, we will discuss the details and determine which teeth whitening solution is best for you.

Understanding Teeth Whitening Pens

Teeth whitening pens are small, portable tubes with a brush applicator that dispenses a whitening gel. You use them by painting the gel directly onto the surface of each tooth, allowing for targeted and careful application. The formula used in these pens often resembles whitening strips containing ingredients like hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. However, the concentration in pens can vary, providing flexibility in choosing a product that matches your needs—for sensitive teeth or extra whitening power.

How Teeth Whitening Strips Work

Teeth-whitening strips are small pieces of flexible plastic called polyethylene. Each strip is coated with a gel containing a whitening agent, usually hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide.

To use, you simply apply the gel-coated strip to the front surfaces of your teeth, pressing gently to ensure good contact. The strip molds to the contours of your teeth, maintaining consistent contact with the whitening gel. Once in place, the peroxide in the gel begins to break down, allowing oxygen to enter the enamel and dentin layers of your teeth.

Depending on the product's strength, you must leave the strips on your teeth for a period, usually between 5 and 30 minutes. This is often done once or twice a day after about two weeks for best results.


How Teeth Whitening Strips Work


Benefits Of Using A Teeth Whitening Pen


Teeth whitening pens are incredibly compact, making them perfect for on-the-go use. Whether you're headed to a business meeting, going on a date, or traveling, you can easily slip a pen into your purse or pocket and use it anywhere.

Ease Of Application

Unlike strips, which must align correctly on your teeth, a whitening pen allows for precise application. You can effortlessly target specific teeth that are more discolored or stained without affecting the neighboring teeth. 

Fast Acting

Many whitening pens are designed to work quickly, offering visible results after just a few applications. This quick-drying formula is ideal for last-minute events where you want your smile to shine. 

Controlled Dosage

With a pen, you are in total control of how much product you apply, which helps minimize waste and prevent irritation caused by excessive whitening agents. 

Minimal Tooth Sensitivity

Thanks to the targeted application and controlled dosage, teeth whitening pens often cause less sensitivity than other whitening methods, such as strips or trays. 

Advantages Of Choosing Teeth Whitening Strips

Uniform Coverage

The strips are designed to adhere to the contours of your teeth, ensuring that each tooth is evenly exposed to the whitening agent. This can result in a consistent whitening effect. 

Ease Of Use

Whitening strips are incredibly simple to use. You just peel them, apply them to your teeth, and leave them on for a specified time. 

Longer Lasting Results

Generally, the effects of whitening strips last longer than those of some alternative methods. The strips effectively soak the teeth with whitening agents, allowing deeper penetration and longer-lasting brightness.


Considering the effectiveness and duration of the results, teeth whitening strips often provide a substantial return on investment. Zimba’s affordability commitment means you can achieve professional-level results without the price tag.

Minimal Mess

Unlike gels and some pen applicators that can drip and create a mess, strips contain the whitening agent within a fixed area. This design minimizes any potential mess, making the process cleaner and more comfortable.

Ease Of Use Comparison

Many users consider ease of use a crucial factor when deciding between a whitening pen and strips. Let’s break down how each product performs in daily life.

  • Whitening Pens: You simply twist or click the base to release the gel and then brush it onto each tooth surface. It's exact, allowing you to target specific teeth more heavily stained than others. For those with a busy lifestyle, the pen's portability means you can use it anywhere—at your desk, in your car, or right before a big meeting. There's no need to rinse; the application process typically takes only a minute.
  • Whitening Strips: Strips come pre-coated with a whitening gel and are applied to the teeth along the front gum line. The application is simple—peel, apply, and wait. However, they require a bit more time, usually about 20-30 minutes, during which you might find speaking and drinking water a bit challenging. 

In this sense, if you're seeking simplicity and convenience, whitening pens might edge out strips as the better choice for on-the-go treatment. Strips could appeal more to those who can allocate a set amount of time daily or a few times weekly for more intensive whitening sessions. Both methods are designed with user-friendliness in mind, but your lifestyle needs might tip the scale in favor of one.


Efficiency Of Teeth Whitening Pen


Final Thoughts

Deciding between a teeth whitening pen and whitening strips depends on your lifestyle, preferences, and oral care goals. If you're always on the go and need something quick and easy, a whitening pen from Zimba might be your best bet. It's perfect for touch-ups and reaches those tricky spots with precision. On the other hand, whitening strips could be more up your alley if you're looking for a more comprehensive whitening session that you can do at home while relaxing or doing chores.

Both products offer an affordable way to achieve brighter teeth and boost your confidence without breaking the bank, thanks to Zimba’s commitment to natural ingredients. 

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Frequently Asked Questions About Teeth Whitening Pen vs Strips

What are teeth whitening strips?

Teeth whitening strips are thin, flexible plastic (polyethylene) strips with a thin film of hydrogen peroxide bleaching on one side. Wrapped around the teeth, they work to bleach the surface, removing stains and whitening your smile.

What is a teeth whitening pen?

A teeth whitening pen is a small, portable device filled with a whitening gel. It features a brush applicator to paint the gel directly onto the surface of each tooth. This method is designed for on-the-go use and precise application.

How do teeth whitening pens work?

Teeth whitening pens apply a clear whitening gel directly to the teeth, typically made with hydrogen or carbamide peroxide. The gel then works to break down stains on the surface of the enamel through a chemical reaction that whitens the teeth.

How do teeth whitening strips work?

Teeth whitening strips are coated with a gel that contains hydrogen peroxide or another chemical bleach. When applied to the teeth, the bleaching agent is activated and begins to break down complex stains on the enamel, resulting in lighter and whiter teeth.

What are the main ingredients in teeth whitening pens?

The main ingredients in teeth-whitening pens generally include either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide as active whitening agents. Additionally, some pens might contain glycerin, sodium hydroxide, and flavoring agents to improve the product's usability.

What are the main ingredients in teeth whitening strips?

Whitening strips typically contain hydrogen peroxide as the primary bleaching agent. Other common components include a polymer that adheres to teeth and compounds such as glycerin which thickens the solution to create a gel-like consistency.

How long does it take to see results with a whitening pen?

Results from using a whitening pen can usually be seen within a few days of consistent use. For the best results, it is recommended that you apply the gel as directed, frequently and regularly.