All About Zoom Whitening

Don’t you deserve a more radiant smile and newfound confidence? If you’ve been considering getting a teeth whitening treatment, it can change your life. Zoom In Office Whitening is safe, effective, and fast.

What is Zoom Whitening?zoom-logo-Copy-640x213
Zoom is a bleaching process that lightens the discoloration of enamel and dentin that is caused by drinking tea, cola, red wine, from smoking, or from the body’s natural aging process.

The Zoom in-office treatment uses the Zoom Advanced Power Chairside Lamp, which speeds up the whitening process by activating a ph balanced hydrogen peroxide whitening. As the peroxide is broken down, oxygen enters the enamel and dentin to bleach the stained substances, leaving structure of tooth unchanged and your teeth whiter.

Primary Consultation
Before deciding whether Zoom is right for you, we will conduct a comprehensive examination of your teeth and gums to be sure your teeth are healthy for the procedure. We’ll also discuss oral hygiene and lifestyle habits to determine if you will benefit from whitening. From there, we’ll recommend a whitening product that is best for you. During this consultation, we will also note existing dental work like crowns and veneers, which won’t respond to conventional whitening agents.

shutterstock_111721961The Procedure
Before the procedure, we will schedule you for a regular teeth cleaning. From there, the whitening treatment will take a little less than an hour. We’ll start by covering your lips and gums, leaving teeth exposed. Then Zoom hydrogen peroxide whitening gel is applied to the teeth.

The gel stays on teeth for 15 minutes while the light is activated. During this time, patients can relax by watching TV or listening to music.

Gel is applied for three 15-minute sessions of light activation, for a total treatment time of 45 minutes.

Are there any side effects?
You may experience some temporary tooth or gum sensitivity for a few days after the procedure. If this sensitivity doesn’t go away, please schedule a follow-up appointment. Rarely, minor tingling is experienced immediately after the treatment.

Maintaining Your Pearly Whites
After the procedure, you will be given a Zoom home-use touch-up kit that includes custom-fitted whitening trays. We’ll walk you through how to use your touch up kit and discuss your after treatment habits.

To help maintain your white teeth, we may recommend you to avoid certain foods and beverages, including tea, coffee, red wine, and colas. Additionally, we recommend you avoid tobacco products, as they will stain teeth, even after whitening treatments.

You should also continue your regular dental hygiene routine. We recommend brushing your teeth two or more times per day, flossing once per day, and using a fluoride rinse if you do not drink fluoridated water. If you are interested in selected a whitening toothpaste, we can also advise on the best product for your teeth.

Not sure if you can afford Zoom Whitening?
We offer flexible monthly payment options for all of our dental procedures. To learn more about our financial services to help you get the care you need and deserve, click here.  To request an initial consultation, click here.

10 Dental Myths Debunked

With so much information out there about dental health, it can be hard to distinguish what information is accurate. Today, our team at Shane McDowell, DMD is debunking common dental myths to help you with your dental hygiene routine.

Myth: Brushing alone is sufficient enough to keep teeth clean
While brushing is a very important aspect of keeping teeth clean and healthy, you also need to floss, which removes food debris and bacteria from between teeth that your toothbrush can’t reach.

Myth: Hard and soft bristled toothbrushes are the same
Soft-bristled toothbrushes are actually a little better for your teeth, as they get teeth and gums clean but without any damage. Hard-bristled toothbrushes can cause damage to gums, causing them to shrink away and wear away tooth enamel.

Myth: If your gums bleed, it’s best not to brush your teeth
Bleeding gums is a sign of gingivitis or unhealthy gums. Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums, which if left untreated can lead to Periodontitis, inflammation and infection of the ligaments and bones that support the teeth. If you have bleeding gums, you should have a dental consult as soon as possible. Until then, continue to brush, but make sure you do so gently with a soft-bristled brush.

Myth: The only cause of bad breath is not taking care of your teeth
There are multiple reasons why someone may have bad breath. Smoking and eating certain food types can affect breath. In addition, dental infections including gum disease or an abscessed tooth can cause bad breath. If you are experiencing bad breath, see a dentist for a consultation.

Myth: Bleaching weakens teeth
Whitening teeth only affects the color of the teeth, not the health or strength. Bleaching works by removing some of the teeth’s pigmentation. Temporary side effects of bleaching can include tooth sensitivity and irritated gums – but it does not result in weaker teeth.

Myth: Only sugar from sweets and desserts are bad for your teeth
Depending on your dental hygiene habits, sugar from any kind of food can affect the health of your teeth. Many foods have sugar in them, not just candy. Both natural and processed sugars can cause tooth decay if they stay on teeth. It’s best to brush at least 2x per day and floss daily to prevent sugar from causing decay or infection. Even rinsing your teeth with water after you’ve eaten a lot of sugar can help prevent dental issues.

shutterstock_188637977Myth: Tooth sensitivity means you have tooth decay
Cavities can cause sensitivity in teeth, but it’s not the sole reason why you may be experiencing sensitivity. Sensitivity can be a symptom of teeth grinding, gum disease, excessive plaque, and cracked teeth. If you have sensitivity after a dental procedure, that is common and will go away after a short time.

Myth: Gaps in teeth lead to cavities
Actually, the bigger the gap, the easier it is to properly clean. So as long as you keep up with your dental hygiene routine and keep bacteria out of the spaces, they will actually be less prone to decay.

Myth: You should avoid the dentist when pregnant
It’s important that women who are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant visit their dentist’s office for a check-up to ensure that teeth and gums are healthy. It is best to make sure there is no dental procedure needed early on as a preventative measure. For more information about dental health before or during your pregnancy, click here.

Myth: Teeth-whitening treatments take too long
We offer a few different options for whitening procedures, and based on your personal needs we will advise which we think is a good fit for you. Teeth-whitening treatments come in a variety of options, but at Shane McDowell Dentistry, we offer Zoom Whitening, which is an in-office treatment that will make your teeth whiter in just over an hour. How it works is the Zoom Advanced Power Chairside Lamp accelerates the whitening process with a hydrogen peroxide solution. Our at-home whitening kits will produce similar results in about 4-6 weeks.

Our practice provides a full array of dental care services including general dentistry, implants, and cosmetic dentistry. For questions about our dental services, contact our office at (239) 936-0597 or request an appointment.

Dental Care 101 for Sparkling Teeth

Our smiles are very public. We smile at strangers, at our friends, coworkers and loved ones. For those of you dedicated to keeping our pearly whites bright, we’re sharing our secrets to keeping your teeth strong and sparkling white!

Brush 2x per day
Studies show that on average, people spend about 1 minute brushing their teeth, which only removes about 60% of plaque. It is recommended to brush twice per day for two minutes to prevent gum disease, infection, and to keep your teeth nice and white!

Use a good toothbrush and toothpaste
All toothbrushes are not equal. Choose a scientifically designed toothbrush that will help you reach all corners of your mouth and a toothpaste that has fluoride in it. If you’re shopping for a new toothbrush, look for the ADA Accepted Seal of Approval, or visit their website to peruse your options. For the best whitening toothpastes, choose Colgate, Crest or Tom’s brands. Click here to see all of the ADA Accepted whitening toothpastes.

Eat a healthy diet
If you can avoid certain acidic foods that may damage your teeth, why not try to eat foods that can strengthen the health of your teeth? A study done by the Dental Investigations Society says that cheese and dairy items can help strengthen teeth because they are high in calcium and low in acid. Cheese also contains a protein called casein, which can stop bacteria from attaching to teeth. This means that dairy products can actually help prevent cavities!

High-fiber fruits and veggies like apples and broccoli can be great for teeth. Since they require some effort to chew and break down, this results in extra saliva production which helps neutralize harmful acids in the mouth.  As you chew on these foods, it cleans your teeth with their fibrous pieces acting as natural scrubbers, getting rid of bacteria as you chew. Another study done by the Dental Investigations Society shows that the iron in broccoli acts as a natural acid barrier over teeth, preventing acid from decaying teeth.

Change your toothbrush
You should change your toothbrush every 3-4 months, when it shows wear, or when you feel better after being sick. In-between, be sure to give it a good rinse using  hot water and store it upright in a rack or a cup (this can help prevent mold).

Floss every day
Flossing daily is extremely important to maintain dental hygiene and white teeth. This removes plaque that is harmful to your teeth, and believe it or not, your heart. Click here to find ADA approved floss.

Nix the aerated drinks
Colas and energy drinks cause stains to your teeth. To keep your teeth their whitest and brightest, try not to drink them. If you do, try using a straw to minimize the stains.

Avoid tobacco
The nicotine will deteriorate teeth and will cause tooth decay and bad breath.

Whitening treatments
Zoom: Zoom is an in-office teeth whitening treatment that will lighten the discoloration of enamel and dentin. Discoloration may be the result of smoking or drinking coffee, tea, cola, and red wine. This whitening procedure uses the Zoom Advanced Power Chairside Lamp to accelerate the whitening process, activating accelerated hydrogen peroxide whitening. It will make your teeth their whitest in just over an hour!

In-home Whitening Kits: Another option is our in-home whitening kits, which are easy to use and will produce great results in about 4-6 weeks.

With each of these treatments, it’s important that you schedule a consultation first so we are able to discuss your options further.


The benefit of cosmetic dentistry is a greater confidence and a new outlook on life! Contact our office today at (239) 936-0597 for a consultation if your teeth aren’t at their brightest. We can’t wait to see you!

What you should know before whitening your teeth

Teeth Whitening Before and AfterIf your eyes are the window to your soul, perhaps your mouth is the window to your thoughts, feelings, and dreams. Every day we want to live as our best self, and if you’re hiding your teeth from years of accumulated stains, you may not be able to.

If you don’t feel that your teeth are at their whitest and brightest, our office uses a variety of teeth whitening techniques that can make your teeth gleam. Whether you want in-office or at-home treatments, we have many options for you!

Teeth Whitening FAQ’s

Q: What causes my teeth to turn yellow or brown?
A:  There are natural and habitual reasons for your teeth to be discolored. The most common is food or drink; coffee, tea, colas, wines, and certain foods like cherries or potatoes can cause surface stains that can stain further if teeth are not taken care of. Using tobacco or smoking can also result in stains, as well as certain medications, disease, or genetics.

Q: How do I know if I am able to get my teeth whitened?
A: First, you will need to set up a consultation with us so we may assess your oral health and decide on the best whitening method for you. If you have sensitive teeth or periodontal disease, we can recommend non-chemical whitening treatments to avoid tender teeth or gums. Every case if different, but we’re here to help!

Q: Is tooth whitening harmful to my enamel?
A: There is no permanent damage caused to enamel or other tooth structures by teeth whitening. The immediate effect may be tooth sensitivity, which will typically go away within one or two days after the treatment. After that short period, your teeth will return to its regular state of sensitivity

Q: How long will it last?
A: Depending on the type of teeth whitening procedure you have done, it can last from 6 months to 2 years. The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry reports cases in which teeth whitening has lasted for 10 years. After your whitening treatment, it’s best to avoid red wine, coffee and smoking, which can all cause teeth to become stained.

Q: I have fillings. Will whitening affect them?
A: Whitening your teeth have little to no effect on restorative materials such as porcelain crowns, but it can temporarily reduce the bond strength between enamel and composite restorations, like fillings. If you have cavities when we do your pre-whitening evaluation, we may advise certain care instructions for your teeth if you have fillings, veneers or crowns.

Q: Is a whitening toothpaste enough to help whiten my teeth?
A: Typically, whitening toothpastes will only clean surface stains of your teeth. If your teeth have had years of stains, it will be nearly impossible to remove them with just a whitening toothpaste.

Q: What are the types of whitening services that you offer?
A: We offer different options based on your needs. We evaluate what type of whitening treatment you need or can have based on the current health of your teeth, your preferences, and your habits. In some cases, teeth that are yellow respond best to bleaching. Brown, gray, mottled teeth, or teeth exposed to too much fluoride, may be more challenging to whiten. We use Zoom teeth whitening, which is a revolutionary in-office process that gets your teeth their whitest in just over an hour. If you’d prefer an at-home treatment, our whitening kits are easy to use and achieve great results in 4-6 weeks.

Q: Is there any type of procedure other than my pre-whitening visit that I will need to have done?
A: First we will need to do a professional cleaning to remove external staining caused by food and tobacco. The regular use of a whitening toothpaste, as we mentioned, removes surface stains will help us in this process. After your cleaning, if you are having an in-office teeth whitening procedure, we are able to begin.

You should have the smile you deserve. And we can help you get there! Have more questions for us? Comment below, or contact us! To schedule an appointment or inquire about other services, call us at 239-936-0597.

Smile Makeover: What you need to know

Couple on the beach smiling

At Shane McDowell, we know that your smile says it all, and we want you to be able to say it confidently! If your teeth are discolored, crooked, unevenly spaced, too long or short, or worn down, we’ve got solutions for a healthier looking smile today (Just in time for summer!):

Whitening Teeth can become stained for many reasons, from the beverages we drink to smoking or even just from aging. We use a variety of different teeth whitening methods, including Zoom to get your teeth their whitest and brightest! We also have available in-home whitening kits which are easy to use, and achieve great results in 4-6 weeks.

Veneers are thin, tooth-colored shells that are bonded to the front of your teeth. Veneers are customized to look like natural teeth, and can be used to fill spaces between teeth, or to cover teeth that are stained, poorly shapes or maybe even crooked. Veneers are a great alternative to braces, and can give you the smile you’ve always dreamed of!

Crowns, also known as caps, are used to restore broken or cracked teeth. We offer a new, metal-free crown that eliminates the unsightly black line you may have seen next to the gym line on older crowns. With newer porcelain covered crowns, these crowns are very natural looking.

Tooth Colored Filling We have all experienced a time when we received a filling, and embarrassingly enough, you could see the silver filling in your mouth. These new tooth-colored restorations look completely natural and typically require that far less of the tooth be removed.

Invisalign New techniques in orthodontia can sometimes align your teeth in as little as ten months! Invasalign is designed to transform your smile without wires, comfortably and less noticeably than traditional braces. Dr. McDowell has advanced training and participates in many hours of post graduating study pertaining to orthodontics and invisible braces, so if you have any questions, please be sure to contact our office.

Bridges A bridge is a dental restoration, also known as a fixed partial denture that is used to replace a missing tooth by joining it permanently to adjacent teeth or dental implants. The great part about bridges is that it can reduce your risk of gum disease, and can help correct some bite issues, and perhaps even improve your speech and appearance.

Getting a smile makeover is a lot to decide, and can sometimes be overwhelming.We know that you deserve the smile that you have always dreamed of! Call us today at 239-936-0597 for a consultation, or email us at, and we will help find the right solutions for you!

Take a bite out of teeth stains

If you’ve ever dropped spaghetti sauce, curry or even a popsicle on your clothes while indulging, you may have noticed a powerful shutterstock_115820041stain. The top foods and beverages that stain your clothing also stain your teeth. These stain causing foods and beverages also include candy, berries, colored sauces, soda, sports drinks and coffee. Since the worst culprits not only stain your teeth and can also cause tooth decay, knowing how to counter the effects of teeth stains can help keep your smile pearly white.

Foods that help counteract teeth stains

  • Apples are not only healthy for your diet because they offer soluble fiber and are high in antioxidants, but they also help produce saliva in the mouth which reduces teeth stains over time. Other foods that increase saliva production include cauliflower and cucumbers.
  • Spinach is considered a super food. It is rich in iron and Vitamin A and helps protect teeth from stains by creating a protective film over the teeth when eaten. Leafy vegetables like kale and lettuce also make a great addition to your natural tooth whitening remedies.
  • Cheese. Rich in protein, calcium, phosphorus and it lowers pH levels to help fight against tooth decay and protect teeth.

In addition to eating the right foods to help keep your teeth protected against staining and decay, switching from high-sugar beverages, like soda, to fluoridated water or green tea (without the added sugar) will also make a difference.  While no foods will replace a quality brushing and flossing dental routine, there are also options for those who need an extra tooth whitening boost.

For people who feel their teeth have turned a few shades too yellow or discolored, there are options available at our dental practice, which include Zoom – an in-office process to help get your teeth their whitest in just over an hour. Our in-home teeth whitening kits are also easy to use and can help you achieve results in around 4 to 6 weeks.

If you have questions on teeth whitening options, we are here to help. Call our office at Shane McDowell Dentistry at (239) 936-0597 or visit our website at today.

Brighten your smile for holiday cheer

shutterstock_121906693If it’s been awhile since you last visited your dentist, consider fitting in a dental appointment as a part of your holiday preparation. The importance of regular dental appointments can never be over-emphasized, as dental checkups can help address minor issues now that if left untreated could become major dental problems in the future. Additionally, your dentist could help you showcase your best looking smile with teeth whitening techniques, including Zoom, for those lovely [and timeless] holiday portraits.

Zoom teeth whitening is the revolutionary in-office process that gets your teeth their whitest in just over an hour. Dr. McDowell uses Zoom for patients who are looking for long term tooth whitening results, but don’t necessarily have the time to wait for the in-home teeth whitening process to take effect.

The benefits of in-office professional tooth whitening include how quickly a patient can see results, the Zoom procedure is also safe (as our dental staff will be with you monitoring the results), and Zoom teeth bleaching is meant to last for months.

Maintaining and caring for your teeth and gums by having a dental cleaning this season, may also lead you to the brightest holiday smile you have had in years. That may be the greatest gift you can give to yourself!

For more information about Zoom teeth whitening or to schedule your appointment, call us at (239) 936-0597

Keep those stains away

We’ve all come across those people who would rather drink white wine instead of red because of the “staining effects”. If you’ve ever had a couple of glasses of red wine, you know you probably noticed those stains right away. But, contrary to popular belief, if you spend the evening sipping on white wine, you will still notice those stains, you’ll just notice them later.stainedmouth_146891180

In a recent study conducted by New York University, researchers compared the staining effects of red and white wine on your teeth by submerging cow teeth in wine for one hour, which are fairly similar to human teeth, according to Mark Wolff, DDS, Ph.D, a professor and chairman of the Department of Cariology and Comprehensive Care at NYU’s College of Dentistry. The researchers then submerged the wine stained teeth in black tea, in an effort to mimic the same exposure you’d get from drinking several cups of tea, if you are a wine drinker. The white wine-soaked teeth had “significantly darker stains” thanks to the way white wine set the stage for staining.

“Red wine is an amazing staining material, but white wine makes the teeth more susceptible to staining,” says Wolff. “When you drink an acidic beverage, you wind up in a scenario where you etch the outer surface of the tooth slightly, making it more susceptible to chemicals that have pigment in them.”

“As a result, white wine drinkers can wind up with stains nearly as intense as red wine drinkers simply by following a glass or two of Chardonnay with tea, coffee or cola,” says Wolff.

The good news? The office of Dr. Shane McDowell has a variety of teeth whitening treatments to help those wine-stained teeth. Dr. McDowell uses a variety of teeth whitening techniques, including Zoom, to get your teeth their whitest and brightest. Zoom teeth whitening is the revolutionary in-office process that gets your teeth their whitest in just over an hour.

Another teeth whitening technique is the professionally dispensed home-use whitening systems, which use a lower-concentration peroxide gel than when having services done in my office. The gel is much stronger than that found in store-bought whitening kits, however, and it is applied using a set of custom-made beaching trays rather than strips, brushes or one-size-fits-all trays used with over-the-counter kits. The results are often better also because the custom trays provide even application to all the teeth, whitening the full smile.

Easy to use, professionally dispensed home-use whitening systems often yield the best long-term results, but the process does take an hour or longer. Sometimes, the gel may need to be applied overnight.

For more information about teeth whitening, please make an appointment with us. You can go online to or call 239-936-0597.

What do you like most about your smile?

lady smilingEver look at a photo of yourself and think “I wish….” Well, when it comes to your smile, your wish is our command.  Schedule an appointment with us for a Smile Makeover – just tell us what you would like to change, and we’ll discuss the options with you. Here are some of the cosmetic dentistry services we provide to help patients love their smile more:

Invisalign – straighter teeth without the use of braces

Crowns – protect and restore damaged teeth

Tooth colored fillings – fillings that blend with the natural color of your teeth

Bridges – replace missing teeth

Veneers – cover severely stained or damaged teeth

Teeth whitening – restore the teeth’s healthy youthful color

Schedule your appointment for a consultation for your personal Smile Makeover today or visit for more information on cosmetic dentistry and the individual procedures listed above.