Category Archives: Whitening

Veneers Will Fix Your Smile | Oak Lawn Dentist

thinkstockphotos-78812411Having become increasingly popular over the past few years as the way to go for white teeth, porcelain veneers have become a household name. In fact, you may have even thought of getting the procedure done on yourself. But, while porcelain veneers do help whiten teeth, they can help with much more than that. This simple, yet effective cosmetic dental procedure can not only get you a brighter smile, but the smile that you’ve always wanted.

But first, a little history. Porcelain veneers started off as a temporary product in the film-making industry about a century ago. Yes, a century ago. It was used as a cosmetic fix, improving the appearance of the actors’ teeth because permanent fixtures were not yet available. In the last few years, however, modern dental medicine has made porcelain veneers look more natural and a lot more convenient to use. The newest types of porcelain reflect light in the same way that the natural enamel of your teeth does, and they’re also quite as strong.

Plenty of dental care experts today can easily perform porcelain veneer restorations to make sure that they match the exact shape and color of their patient’s teeth. Veneers may also be used in conjunction with other procedures, like dental crowns and teeth whitening treatments. So it’s true – porcelain veneers can whiten your teeth, but they can also help improve the appearance of your smile and teeth.

If you plan on getting porcelain veneers, you may want to know that they can correct more than just cosmetic issues. Veneers can also help with structural dental issues like such as: chipped teeth, cracked teeth, gaps in between your teeth, minor tooth misalignment and even tooth discoloration.

Porcelain veneers are also made out of different types of ceramic. Here is a quick breakdown: Stacked ceramic material are more customized and more precise. Those made from pressed ceramic are much more durable, but are a bit thicker or bulkier and won’t look as natural. Lithium disilicate is so strong that this type of veneers may be used by those suffering from bruxism, or teeth grinding. Your dentist will be the one to determine which type of porcelain veneer material is best suited for your needs and of course, your budget.

As durable as veneers are, it’s important to exercise extra care when you have them. Of course, proper oral hygiene is still necessary, but more than that, you should avoid excessive biting or chewing as well. If you excessively grind or clench your teeth, you may want to wear a bite guard. It is also important to avoid food and drinks that may cause staining. While veneers are typically resistant to stain, the natural teeth around them are not, making your veneers stand out and appear brighter.

If you would like to find out more about veneers, contact Dr. Bartz in Oak Lawn, IL at 708-430-4440 to schedule a consultation. Or visit for additional information about veneer options.

Dr. Bartz proudly serves Oak Lawn, Chicago, Orland Park, Burbank, Palos Hills and all surrounding areas.

Eat Your Way to a Whiter Smile

natural teeth whiteningIf I were to tell you that you could eat your way to whiter smile, would you believe me? Chances are you wouldn’t believe a word I said. However, just as there are certain types of food that can stain our teeth, there are also foods that can naturally whiten them.

According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, there are several foods that can naturally cleanse and brighten your teeth, while also defending against bad bacteria that could potentially harm your teeth or gums. Your teeth and gums essentially mirror what is going on inside of your body, meaning that what you consume can influence the health and integrity of our teeth. If you’d like to achieve a healthier and whiter smile, try munching on these healthy foods:

  • Apples- I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Well, that saying may apply to your dentist as well. Apples acts as a natural abrasive that can scrub away leftover food particles and stains. Apples contain a high concentration of malic acid, which is natural astringent that acts as a bleaching agent to whiten teeth.
  • Broccoli- When eaten raw, broccoli, just like apples, acts as natural abrasive that can scrub away leftover food particles and stains. Broccoli is high in fiber, and if eaten regularly, it can go a long way in preventing gum disease. Also, the iron found in broccoli can provide a barrier that can protect your teeth from stains and cavity-causing acids.
  • Celery- Say goodbye to tooth stains as you snack on a piece of celery. The yummy veggies are low in calories and high in water content, which can help stimulate saliva production. Saliva is our mouths way of natural cleansing.
  • Cheese- Though the color of some types of cheese may throw you off, most cheese doesn’t stain teeth. Cheese is rich in calcium and phosphorus, which helps provide your teeth with necessary nutrition to keep your enamel healthy and strong.
  • Garlic and Onions- The key is to eat these both raw. Eating both garlic and onions raw releases a bacteria-reducing compound called thiosulfinate and thiosulfonates, which promotes healthier teeth by reducing the production of plaque.
  • Pineapple- This particular fruit is quite unique considering that it is the only food that contains an enzyme called bromelain. Bromelain is a natural stain remover that can help remove plaque buildup from the surface of your teeth, while also preventing tooth erosion and cavities from forming.
  • Strawberries- Like apples, strawberries contain malic acid, which acts as a natural bleaching agent that can remove tooth stains. Strawberries also contain vitamin C, which can help boost your immune system and aid in plaque removal.
  • Water- If you ever needed another reason to up your water intake, it’s that it can help keep your pearly whites bright and healthy. In addition, drinking water throughout and after meals can help rinse your mouth of any leftover food debris and loosen plaque.

As you’ve read, there are many ways that you can go about whitening your teeth aside from teeth whitening treatments. Of course, regular consumption of these foods isn’t enough to maintain a white and healthy smile. You must also make it point to practice proper oral hygiene, and to visit your dentist for checkups and professional cleanings routinely.

If munching on these foods are not enough and you would like to look into teeth whitening treatments, contact Dr. Bartz at 708-430-4440 to schedule an appointment today. Or visit for additional information regarding teeth whitening.

How to Maintain a Bright Smile After Teeth Whitening

Woman brushing her teethBrightening your smile is as easy as a simple visit to your dentist’s office for teeth whitening treatment. However, there are many factors that can affect your newly whiten teeth. To help keep your pearly whites as bright as possible after having them whitened you must practice proper oral hygiene. On top of that, there are a few foods, beverages and products you should avoid, especially immediately following your teeth whitening treatment. I’ve compiled a list of things you can do to help you maintain a bright smile after having a teeth whitening treatment, which includes the following:

  • Be sure to avoid dark colored drinks, especially immediately after a teeth whitening treatment. Drinks such as black tea, coffee, dark soda and red wine can easily stain your pearly whites. If you do enjoy a cup of joe or black tea every morning, consider using a straw to lessen the exposure of the drink to your teeth.
  • Be sure to avoid eating any dark or brightly-colored foods immediately following a teeth whitening procedure. Stick to eating light colored foods such as potatoes, pasta and chicken.
  • You should avoid wearing lipstick immediately following a teeth whitening treatment. Lipstick can stain due to the semi-permanent color.
  • Be sure to avoid using tobacco products, such as cigarettes and chewing tobacco for at least 12 hours, or 24 hours if you can help it. Tobacco products are known to cause staining, among other oral problems.
  • Be sure to practice proper oral hygiene, which involves brushing twice a day and flossing at least once. Brushing and flossing removes plaque buildup that can cause staining.
  • Rinse your mouth out with water after every meal to get rid of any leftover food debris that could possible stain your teeth.

After having your teeth whitened, your long term results ultimately rely on your lifestyle choices and how well you keep up with practice oral hygiene. If you follow these advice mentioned above, you should be able to maintain a bright smile for a much longer period.

If you’re pearly whites are looking a little duller than before, contact Dr. Bartz at 708-430-4440 to schedule a consultation to find out which teeth whitening treatment best suits you. Or you can visit for additional information.

Will Custom Teeth Whitening Trays Brighten My Smile?

whitening trayDo you avoid flashing your smile due to having stained or yellow teeth? If so, you’ll be happy to hear that there are many teeth whitening options to choose from that can safely and effectively brighten your smile.

One common dental treatment that’s done to whiten teeth is a bleaching procedure using custom teeth whiten trays. This specific whitening option is effective and most of all, it cost significantly less compared to alternative teeth whitening treatments.

Why should I choose custom whitening trays?

While there are several over-the–counter teeth whitening treatments that can be used, like whitening strips or trays, they won’t work quiet as effectively as custom whitening trays. This is because unlike custom teeth whitening trays, over-the-counter strips or trays aren’t customized and don’t have the ability to whiten your teeth as effectively. One of the risks that come along with using over-the-counter teeth whitening products is that the bleach can leak from the tray or strip. This can cause your gums to become irritated or sensitive. Custom whitening trays are made to fit your teeth perfectly.

What can I expect with them?

If you decide to get custom teeth whitening trays, your dentist will begin with a professional teeth cleaning and correct any existing dental problems you may have. Once your dentist is finished, he or she can proceed to fabricate your custom tray.

The process starts off with your dentist taking an impression of your teeth, then using the mold your dentist can create the custom trays. This process can take a few days to complete, so after taking your impression, you will have to be called back for a second office visit.

Once your custom whitening trays are complete and your go in for your second visit, your dentist will give you instructions to properly use them. This typically involves you wearing the trays up to four hours a day for a week, two weeks at the very most. You only have to use a very little amount of the bleaching solution to achieve optimal results.

During the whitening process, you should start to notice a difference in the shades of your teeth as they begin to whiten. Once this short process is over, you should be able to enjoy flashing your significantly whiter teeth. To maintain the appearance of your pearly whites you may want to get treatments done every now and then.

Of course, to help maintain their appearance you should also practice proper oral hygiene and avoid stain-causing food, drinks or products. Proper oral hygiene involves you brushing twice as day, flossing once and visiting your dentist for regular checkups. As far as stain-causing food, drinks and products go, those include tobacco products and foods or drinks such as blueberries, coffee, tea, beets and so on.

If you’re feeling a bit down about having stained or yellow teeth, it may be the perfect time for you to get in contact with Dr. Bartz at 708-430-4440 to schedule an appointment to ask about custom whitening trays. Or you can visit for additional information.

Teeth Whitening | Oak Lawn, Il Dentist

multiple smilesEvery day you see commercials for teeth whitening products, toothpastes, kits, whitening rinses. Or you see all the celebrities with seemingly unobtainable bright white smiles. If you desire those same white teeth, you’re in luck!

We’re all familiar with the idea of teeth whitening. Many brands of toothpaste claim to whiten teeth, and stores sell all varieties of tooth whitening products – trays, gels, strips, and rinses – over the counter.

The most basic form of teeth whitening is available as toothpaste – toothpaste, whether it’s labeled as whitening or not – typically contains small abrasive components that gently polish the surface of your teeth, removing discoloration caused by surface staining.

Other over the counter whitening products typically contain a bleaching agent – such as hydrogen peroxide – to lighten the color of your teeth by chemically bleaching them.  By applying the bleaching chemical to strips or trays, the peroxide can stay in contact with your teeth for 30 minutes at a time, often twice a day, providing quite a bit of whitening benefit.

Your dentist, however, can typically offer two different whitening options. The first is take-home tray based, using chemicals stronger than over-the-counter trays, but working on the same basic principle. Often times dentist provided trays are custom-molded to the patients teeth, providing a smooth, comfortable fit suitable for wearing for multiple hours each day – often even overnight.  Beyond the trays, dentists can often perform whitening in the office, using light and heat activated bleaching chemicals, providing a significant whitening in as little as 60 minutes. Because the procedure is supervised by a dentist, much stronger chemicals can be used, and much more dramatic results can be seen almost immediately.

No matter which method of teeth whitening you choose, the results will likely not be permanent. Your teeth are exposed to foods and drinks that will stain them over time, but your dentist can advise you on the proper procedure for repeating the whitening process at regular intervals. Dr. Bartz is here to guide you on your options for personalized optimal results.

For more information on cosmetic dentistry contact Dr. Bartz at (708) 430-4440 or visit our website at

Dr. Bartz also welcomes patients from Chicago, Orland Park, Burbank and Palos Hills.