1601 River Drive
Suite 300, Moline, IL 61265
(309) 277-3480
Beautiful Smile Makeovers, Advanced General Dentistry
Request an Appointment

Will Zoom Whitening Fix Uneven Color?

My daughter recently got off her braces. When that happened, there were white spots on her teeth. I asked our dentist about it and she sugested zoom whitneing. I don’t know if she did something wrong or not, but it seemed to make the white spots worse. It is a new service she’s offering so maybe she missed a step? I’d really like to help my daughter get this fixed because she is very self-conscous about her teeth and had been looking forward to getting her braces off. This feels like a let-down to her. Do you have any advice for us? Teenagers are really sensitive and some of her peers have been mean.


Dear Kaitlin,

Tooth whitening patient under a zoom whitening light

I am glad you wrote and am sorry for your daughter’s disappointment. It is not easy being a teenager even when everything is going smoothly. It appears that your dentist is a bit confused about the principles behind teeth whitening. You mentioned this is a new procedure for her so she may be still learning.

The reason the Zoom Whitening did not work on your daughter’s white spots is not because your dentist did anything wrong. It is actually because that is not how teeth whitening works. Both in-office whitening, like Zoom, or take home whitening are very effective, however, the bleaching process works on the teeth evenly. Because of that, the white spots get whiter along with the rest of her teeth. That is why they look worse now.

White spots after braces are caused by decalcification. These are precursors to decay and are fairly common in teens after traditional braces. Many teenagers tend to not brush adequately around all those metal wires and brackets. One solution to this is a product called Tooth Mousse. It will remineralize the teeth and preven the spots from turning into decay. They don’t make any aesthetic claims, however. If after the spots are remineralized, if there is still a color difference I recommend you bring her to an excellent cosmetic dentist to have dental bonding done on those spots.

Don’t have your current dentist do the bonding. This is a much more advanced cosmetic procedure than teeth whitening and she is still learning that. Start with the tooth mousse, then go from there.

This blog is brought to you by Moline Dentist Dr. Thomas Goebel.

A Date and Zoom Whitening the Same Day

I have an upcoming appointment to have my teeth whitened for the first time using the Zoom Whitening system. The thing is, someone I really enjoy has asked me out for a date on the same day as my whitening. My appointment is at 3:00 in the afternoon, and we’d not start the date until around 7:00 in the evening. I’m hoping I won’t be in too much pain, but I’ve never had this done before. Will I be okay to go on the date? I feel like saying my teeth hurt would be a lame excuse.


Hi Cassidy,

Patient under a zoom whitening light

What a full, exciting day you have planned! This is a great question you’ve asked here, and an important angle to consider when planning your upcoming events. The answer to your question is, it depends.

How Zoom Works

You mention never having had Zoom whitening performed on your teeth before. A short summation regarding what to expect will help you make the correct decision here.

Typically, patients do not need a local anesthetic for this procedure. It will take roughly an hour or so, sometimes a little more.

The clinician will isolate your teeth by using lip and cheek retractors, then will place a bead of material on the gum line along each tooth, which then hardens and acts as a barrier, protecting the soft gingiva from the whitening agent and preventing burns.

After that, the Zoom whitening gel is applied to each tooth, and a blue LED light is shone upon your teeth. This light helps initiate the whitening process and speeds it along. Typically, you will need 15 minutes under the light for each of the four quadrants of your mouth, equaling an hour. The gel is then suctioned and rinsed off, and the barrier is removed from your gums.

Many practitioners choose to place a fluoride varnish at this time to lessen post-appointment sensitivity. Your doctor will let you know what is best for you at your appointment. Considering your date, I would ask for this if it is not offered.

Post-Appointment Care

Your enamel is made up of tiny microscopic “tubules”, which, while typically sealed, are opened during the whitening process to allow the gel to enter the tooth. Once your teeth have been whitened, it’s best to stay away from beets, red wine, tea, coffee, and other staining foods, since during this time your teeth will be much more prone to staining. Will your date include going out to dinner? If so, try to avoid these types of foods if possible.

What To Expect

Occasionally, some people experience a degree of post-appointment pain and discomfort following Zoom whitening. You can simply take some over the counter pain medication to find relief, but if this happens to you, it may affect your enjoyment of the date. Will you be having cold drinks, or ice cream desserts? While the discomfort will likely be a nagging annoyance and not an emergency, you may elect to reschedule the date for a different day. However, if you’d prefer to keep it, consider taking some pain medication before your evening out.

It’s Up To You

Ultimately of course, this is your own personal decision. It’s always best to make an informed choice once you’ve been made aware of the facts–good on you for being proactive! Now that you know, have a wonderful visit and a fantastic date, no matter which day they fall on.

This blog is brought to you by Moline Dentist Dr. Goebel.

Zoom Whitening and Marijuana Stains

I smoke medical marijuana. It’s caused a funky greenish tint and film to my teeth. I have four job interviews coming up fairly soon and want to get my teeth up to snuff. I don’t think I have enough time for the normal at-home type of whitening a lot of dentists do and wondered how effective zoom whitening would be in my situation.


Dear Kris,

Patient under a zoom whitening light

While Zoom Whitening is fast and effective at getting rid of tooth stains, there are some things you’ll need to do ahead of time in order for it to work. No matter what method of teeth whitening you choose to do, you will need to have a cleaning done. Think of your teeth as a canvas. Unless the canvas starts off clean it is going to have an impact on your result. When you have film and calculus on your teeth, the results will be splotchy. That will not be a good look for your job interviews. As a result, I would start by getting a cleaning done. If you don’t have a regular dentist, look for one who offers Zoom Whitening and you can use the same dentist for both procedures. Many dentists will require a cleaning before any form of teeth whitening either way.

Your Teeth and Marijuana

Some good news for you is that if you brush your teeth immediately after smoking, the stains are fairly easy to remove. You will need to be aware that pot smokers have a much higher incidence of gum disease and build calculus on their teeth faster than most people. It will be very important going forward that you get regular checkups and cleanings.

Gum disease is especially serious because if left untreated you can actually lose your teeth. In the advanced stages of gum disease, your teeth can literally just fall out. Taking the simple precaution of regular oral hygiene at home as well as twice yearly visits to your dentist, you can save your teeth and keep them looking as brilliant as the day you have your Zoom whitening done.

This blog is brought to you by Moline Dentist Dr. Thomas Goebel.

Why Do I Have Cracks in My Teeth After Zoom Whitening?

Last month, I got Zoom whitening. My dentist asked me to wait two weeks for the color to settle before I started at-home whitening if I wanted it. Now that I am whitening my teeth and looking at them close up in the mirror, I see fine lines, like hairline cracks that I have never noticed. Is the bleaching gel too strong for my teeth and causing them to crack? Will these cracks get worse if I keep using the gel? Thank you. Krystiana from NM


Thank you for your question.

Does Zoom® Whitening Cause Hairline Cracks in Teeth?

In-office teeth whitening, similar to Zoom, being applied to teeth
In-office teeth whitening does not cause craze lines

Zoom® and other brands of in-office whitening do not cause hairline cracks in teeth. The bleaching gel breaks down stains but does not cause fractures. You may notice preexisting craze lines while examining your teeth more closely as you whiten them.

What Are Craze Lines in Teeth?

Craze lines are tiny, thin vertical cracks in teeth enamel. The lines occur with age and are most noticeable in middle-aged adults and seniors. The American Association of Endodontics states that most adult teeth have craze lines.

Factors that contribute to craze lines include:

  • Habitually chewing ice or hard objects
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Nail biting
  • Teeth clenching or grinding
  • Tooth trauma or injury

Facts About Craze Lines

What you should know about craze lines in teeth:

  • They are harmless and painless.
  • Most often, they affect the front teeth.
  • They are limited to tooth enamel and do not affect the layers beneath.

Can a Dentist Hide Craze Lines in Teeth?

An experienced cosmetic dentist can apply dental bonding to your teeth and hide craze lines. The bonding will perfectly match your tooth shade and translucence. Still, if you have prolonged sensitivity while whitening your teeth or feel any discomfort in the teeth with craze lines, speak with your dentist.

Dr. Thomas Goebel, a Moline, Illinois dentist, sponsors this post.

Is a Bleeding Sore Under My Tongue an Emergency?

I have a sore under my tongue that bleeds. It doesn’t bleed constantly, but maybe every few days. It doesn’t hurt. I noticed it a month ago when I was doing a Zoom whitening touch-up and taking my trays out of my mouth. Also, the sore is hard to see. At first, I couldn’t tell where the blood was coming from. Is this something that will heal in time, or do I need to see my dentist? My boyfriend keeps telling me to go to the doctor. Thanks. Charla from S. Carolina


You should call your dentist right away for an appointment.

Is a Sore Under Your Tongue Serious?

A sore under the tongue can be related to oral tissue, nerves under the tongue, or blood vessels. Most often, the growths are non-cancerous. Even when a growth is precancerous, early detection is the key to successful treatment.

If a sore appears and does not go away in a week or two, it is a reason to see your dentist. Your dentist is trained to examine the mouth and tongue for abnormalities and may want to remove the growth for a biopsy. The biopsy will evaluate the tissue to determine whether it is cancerous.

Custom teeth bleaching trays perhaps for Zoom whitening
Discontinue Zoom whitening touch-ups if you have unusual mouth sores

Blood vessels under the tongue can burst and cause abnormal and alarming bleeding. A dentist can cauterize the vessels to stop the bleeding. It is impossible to say what the growth is beneath your tongue without an examination. We recommend scheduling an appointment with your dentist right away.

Your dentist will thoroughly examine your mouth, tongue, and throat. Also, your dentist will ask about your general health and any recent changes in your health, medication, or weight. Please discontinue your Zoom whitening touch-ups until you see your dentist.

Dr. Thomas Goebel, a Moline, Illinois dentist, sponsors this post.

My New Crowns Are Not White Enough

Woman expressing disappointed, portraying dental crowns not white enoughI got my teeth whitened before replacing four crowns on my front teeth. My dentist and I agreed to BL1 shade for the crowns, so I got my teeth super white. My dentist ordered the crowns a week before I finished the whitening treatment. When I tried the crowns on, they were not white enough to match my teeth.

My dentist sent the crowns back to the lab to get them whiter. I still think the shade is off, but now the crowns are turning yellow. I asked my dentist for a refund, but he wants to try again with the crowns. I hate going through this again. And now, my teeth are not as white as they were at first. If the crowns were not turning yellow, I would accept this mess. But new yellow crowns are not acceptable. What are my options? Thank you. Lydia from Cedar Rapids, IA



Thank you for your question.

If your crowns are truly ceramic and in good condition, they will not turn yellow. It is possible that something damaged the glaze on your crowns and caused discoloration.

What Can Cause Dental Crowns to Discolor?

Dental crowns may discolor if exposed to equipment or chemicals that damage the glaze. Some factors included:

  • Power polishing equipment – The Prophy Jet and other instruments work well on natural teeth but may damage the glaze on ceramic tooth restorations.
  • Acidulated fluoride – The acid can etch the glaze and leave your replacement teeth with a satin finish that attracts stains.

We recommend asking an expert cosmetic dentist to examine your crowns and determine why they are yellowing.

Challenges Matching Crowns to Super-White Teeth

It is challenging to match crowns to super-white teeth without advanced cosmetic dentistry training. You chose BL1 as the shade for your crowns, which is whiter than any shade of natural teeth. And in most cases, your teeth are so bright that they do not look natural. But you whitened your teeth before getting crowns, as you should, to ensure the crowns match your natural teeth.

Although teeth whitening can get your teeth brilliantly white, not everyone’s teeth will lighten to shade BL1. Without advanced cosmetic dentistry training, it is challenging for a dentist to match your crowns with your teeth. Unfortunately, your dentist requested your crowns before completing your at-home whitening allowing your tooth color to settle.

Although you may not achieve BL1 shade for your crowns and teeth, a cosmetic dentist will help you

get natural-looking results. Before requesting treatment from a cosmetic dentist, request a consultation. Ask to see before and after pictures of dental crowns on front teeth.


Dr. Thomas Goebel, a Moline, Illinois dentist, sponsors this post.

Did Zoom Whitening Impair My Taste?

Female open mouth with tongue depressorEver since I got Zoom whitening in August, my taste has been impaired. Sometimes it goes away completely. I am not sure what the process did because the bleach was not on my tongue, and the dentist kept rinsing my teeth after each session. I don’t understand it. What is there about the Zoom process that might impair my taste? Thank you. Regina from Ohio


Thank you for your question. We understand your concern. Loss of taste affects your ability to enjoy eating. According to the National Institute of Health, more than 200,000 people visit a doctor each year because of lost or impaired taste.

Can Zoom Whitening Impair Taste?

Zoom whitening and other types of in-office professional whitening are not related to impaired or lost taste. But taste disorders can be caused by different factors. Although your loss of taste began after your Zoom whitening sessions, another issue must have caused it.

Not Zoom but Opalescence Boost in-office whitening applied to a patient's teeth
Zoom and other types of in-office whitening do not impair taste

Some causes of taste disorders

  • Middle ear and upper respiratory infections
  • Ear, nose, or throat surgery
  • Radiation therapy of the head or neck
  • Head injury
  • Exposure to certain chemicals or medications
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Certain medical conditions, including sinus and allergy issues, hormonal disturbances, dental problems, and more
  • Genetics
  • Tobacco smoking
  • Age  (60+)

Should You Do Anything About Loss of Taste?

If you lose your taste, or if it is impaired, please do not ignore it. Loss of taste or impaired taste can ultimately affect your health. It can cause you to eat too little or too much. And it can cause you to add too much sugar or salt to your food, which can lead to diabetes or high blood pressure complications. Loss of taste can even cause depression.

Consult an otolaryngologist (ENT) for your taste disorder to find out the cause and treatment methods.

Thomas J. Goebel, DDS of Moline, IL, sponsors this post.

Dental bonding for fluorosis stains keeps sliding off my teeth

I have fluorosis stains on my teeth, so my dentist recommended Zoom whitening and dental bonding. The Zoom whitening was because the teeth that are not stained were so yellow that he wanted all my teeth to have even color. My dental bonding is a mess and seems to just peel off like melting plastic. My dentist is blaming the issue on my bite. Even after repeat bonding, it still falls off. The peeling bonding looks as bad as the fluorosis stains. I am done with my dentist but wondering if bonding is not the right thing for my teeth. What should I do? – Thank you. Angelica from Maine


We are sorry about your experience with your dentist. Fluorosis stains occur from consuming too much fluoride as a child while teeth are still developing. Fluorosis stains can be mild, moderate, or severe. Hiding the stains is challenging for most dentists, and only an experienced cosmetic dentist can

Mild Fluorosis

Mild fluorosis stains appear as white, blotchy stains on teeth. If you have mild stains, you may not need any treatment.

Moderate Fluorosis

Moderate stains can cover the entire fronts of teeth and make them blotchy.

Many patients suffering from very mild fluorosis may feel that no treatment is necessary. However, if the white spots become more extensive, they can cover the entire front surface of the teeth giving a mottled appearance to the teeth.

Severe Fluorosis

Severe fluorosis stains are white or brown and can cover teeth, detracting from your smile severely.

Cosmetic Dentistry for Fluorosis Stains

Not Zoom but Opalescence Boost in-office whitening applied to a patient's teeth
Teeth whitening before dental bonding can give your smile even color

Fluorosis stains often appear on the tooth enamel only. A skilled cosmetic dentist can conceal the stains with dental bonding. An advanced cosmetic dentist might use this process:

  • Grind out the discoloration
  • Apply a base layer to your teeth
  • Layer composite as required
  • Cure the composite
  • Polish your teeth

Your dentist did well to bleach your teeth so that the bonding would match. But if your dentist cannot get the bonding to adhere to your teeth, you need an advanced cosmetic dentist’s help. We recommend scheduling an appointment with a dentist who has advanced training and experience concealing fluorosis stains with bonding.

Thomas J. Goebel, DDS of Moline, IL, sponsors this post.

How many days should I have pain after a repeat root canal?

I regret agreeing to root canal treatment from my new dentist. I went for an exam, cleaning, and Zoom whitening consultation. The dentist told me that an old filling in an upper left molar was cracked, and I had decay beneath it. I had no problems with the tooth, but the root canal was traumatic and took three visits. My dentist completed the root canal in March, but the tooth still hurt. My dentist referred me to an endodontist who reviewed my x-ray and said my dentist might have missed a canal. The endodontist repeated the root canal and found no untreated canals. She said that the tooth would hurt for a few days. Now, almost six days later, I’ve had intense pain, and it is only a little better today. I am worried that I am going to lose the tooth. I regret seeing this dentist. All I wanted was clean and white teeth. Why is my tooth still hurting? Thank you. Aleksandr from IL


Thank you for your question. Root canal failure is not determined by the length of time you feel discomfort. But if the pain is even improving slowly, it is a good indication that your tooth may be healing.

How Long Should a Tooth Hurt After Repeat Root Canal Treatment?

After root canal treatment, some patients feel no pain at all. But others can expect to feel tenderness and discomfort for a few days. Tissue inflammation around tooth roots often causes irritation and pain. Previous infection or an endodontist’s file—used to clean the canals—can irritate your tooth.

Not Zoom but Opalescence Boost in-office whitening applied to a patient's teeth
Prevent excessive sensitivity with Zoom whitening. Wait until your tooth heals fully.

Your endodontist said that your tooth would hurt for a few days, so your discomfort is as she predicted. You did not mention increased pain or swelling, so it seems that the second root canal succeeded. Although your dentist did not miss any canals, perhaps he did not seal the end of the tooth root properly. If so, the pain would linger.

Professional-strength bleaching gel, like Zoom, can cause some irritation to healthy teeth. So be patient with starting Zoom treatment. After two or three days, if your tooth does not improve any or if it gets worse, call your endodontist. Your endodontist will let you know when it is safe to do so.


Thomas J. Goebel, DDS of Moline, IL, sponsors this post.

My dentist can’t match bonding to my whitened teeth

I decided to get Zoom whitening before dental bonding because my teeth were dull. I needed the bonding because I had sensitivity near my gumline. So my dentist completed Zoom, and we waited to see if my teeth were white enough, then she did a repeat office treatment. I loved the whiteness of my teeth, and I got compliments on my smile. I thought I was ready for bonding until my dentist finished it. Now my teeth look pasty and rough. My dentist failed to tell me that she didn’t know how to match the bonding to my whitened teeth. So I am going to find another dentist to redo the bonding. But I would like to know if a dentist must remove the current bonding. Or can they add new bonding on top of it? – Thanks. Chase from IN


We are sorry to hear about the disappointment with your bonding after you completed Zoom whitening.

If a dentist has cosmetic dentistry training, it should not be difficult to match the color and texture of your teeth. And matching bonding is not a complex matter.

Does Botched Dental Bonding Need to Be Replaced?

Whether or not a dentist must replace dental bonding depends on the extent of the color difference. Another dentist might be able to remove some of the surface of your existing bonding and use another color to resurface it. Otherwise, a dentist can etch off the current bonding and replace it. A dentist can tell the difference between composite bonding and your tooth structure.

Not Zoom but Opalescence Boost in-office whitening applied to a patient's teeth
A cosmetic dentist knows how to match bonding to your whitened teeth

A dental bur is a tool used for cutting, grinding, and removing tooth structure or dental work. A bur can remove your existing composite without harming your tooth structure.

Abfraction Lesions—Causes and Treatment

An abfraction lesion is an area above the gumline where the tooth structure is worn away. An abfraction is usually caused by clenching or grinding your teeth.

  • Appearance – It looks like an indentation in the tooth
  • Effects – Lesions expose layers beneath the enamel and create sensitivity
  • Progression – Although an abfraction is not a cavity, it can become difficult to clean and promote decay if it extends below the gumline.
  • Long-term treatment – If you know you grind your teeth—or if your dentist detects grinding—you can get a custom nightguard to wear while you sleep. It will protect your teeth from the force of grinding and help your bonding last longer.


Although a good family dentist can match bonding to the whiteness of your teeth, look for a dentist with advanced cosmetic dentistry training. It will minimize the chances of being disappointed with the results again.

Thomas J. Goebel, DDS, a Moline, IL cosmetic dentist, sponsors this post.