One of the biggest contributors to making a great first impression is your smile. Our juries focus right in on people who hold a hand up to their faces when they smile, or keep their lips tightly together to shield their discoloured teeth.

Repairing crooked, broken or misaligned teeth can be a major procedure, but brightening stained or yellowing teeth can be relatively simple.

Over-the-counter teeth whitening strips, brush-on gels and toothpastes are popular for people who want to whiten their teeth a few shades and are willing to commit to the several weeks or months it might take.


If you’re looking for faster, more dramatic results, then it might be time to pay a visit to your dentist. Dr. Lancelot Brown ( has been in the business for nearly 20 years and runs a booming practice in Toronto’s swanky Yorkville district. He says one of the most common questions people have is about Zoom Teeth Whitening. It’s a process that uses a hydrogen peroxide-based gel that is applied to the teeth and then activated with high intensity ultraviolet light. “As the gel is broken down, oxygen enters the enamel and dentin, bleaching coloured substances while the structure of the tooth is unchanged. The ultraviolet light aids in activating the hydrogen peroxide and helps it penetrate the surface of the tooth.”

Dr. Brown says that, over time, teeth can get darkened by the consumption of substances such as coffee, tea, colas, tobacco, and red wine. “The Zoom procedure is safe, fast and effective and in most cases can make teeth five shades lighter,” he says.

However, Zoom teeth whitening isn’t for everyone. During the formation of teeth, consumption of tetracycline, certain antibiotics or excessive fluoride may cause discoloration that can’t be corrected with whitening. Also, if you are taking light-sensitive drugs, have extremely sensitive gums or a strong gag reflex, you may not be a good candidate. “We can determine if you are a viable candidate for Zoom teeth whitening through a thorough oral exam, including a teeth shade assessment,” Dr. Brown says.

The whole process takes about two hours and can cost up to $850. But prices vary and it pays to shop around for promotions. It also makes sense to get a professional teeth cleaning before whitening because you will get better results. In addition, remember that any existing caps, crowns or other dental work won’t get whiter with Zoon whitening and may end up looking darker than your natural enamel.

Dr. Brown says patients will often come in and demand a high-wattage Hollywood smile with teeth that are white as Chiclets. “Each person’s tooth colour has unique variations, and can be brightened to different degrees. Grey shades don’t whiten as well as yellow shades. A good guideline for healthy people is to aim for a shade the same colour as the whites of your eyes.”

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