Sparkling Smiles

Getting married is definitely something to smile about, but sometimes hang-ups about our teeth can get in the way. Jacinta Walsh discovers how you can improve your smile in time for your nuptials.

Your wedding day will leave your cheeks sore from smiling as you share in the pure joy of the occasion. A surefire way to emphasise your smile is to invest in teeth whitening; a simple and effective solution that guarantees fast results. However, if cosmetic procedures aren’t really your thing, there are many ways to achieve whiter teeth naturally. Give yourself an extra boost of confidence for your special day, because we all know that if you feel great, you’ll look great too!

The Natural Choice

Many things influence the colour of your teeth, and limiting these factors can have a profound effect. Food, drink and other habits such as smoking can alter the pigmentation of your teeth, which can cause them to become yellow. Coffee, tea and red wine are some of the most common causes of discolouration and can contribute to teeth losing their whiteness over time. By replacing these with alternatives such as water and water-based fruits and vegetables, your teeth can remain naturally white.

The quality of your diet is relative to the health of your teeth, so think twice before putting certain foods in your mouth. Consuming foods that are high in calcium will ensure you’re getting the nutrients that you need.

A Cosmetic Solution

Dental practices are seeing an influx in couples undergoing teeth whitening procedures prior to their wedding day. These procedures are a simple and effective way to enhance your smile in a short amount of time. The accelerated effects of teeth whitening often leaves participants with a new sense of confidence that they carry with them through to their wedding day.

If you are preferable to a cosmetic treatment to achieve whiter teeth, then an effective and proven procedure involves using customised bleach trays, which are considered better than off-the-shelf, one-size-fits-all trays. When used in combination with profession-grade bleaching agents, the custom tray perfectly seals the bleach in place due to limited saliva flow, thus achieving a whitening effect.

In-chair procedures may also appeal to bridesand grooms-to-be who prefer a one-off approach. However, they may not be as effective in the long run. Compared to overnight whitening systems, in-chair procedures may also cause tooth sensitivity. If you experience this, make sure you use desensitising toothpaste before and during treatment to counteract any sensitivity that you may experience.

For those who have never bleached their teeth before, it’s better to not leave whitening to the last minute. To ensure an even result, aim to undergo your teeth-whitening procedure three to four weeks prior to your wedding, particularly if you have never bleached before. However, the beauty of this procedure is the fact that it can be completed ahead of time, with an additional top up just prior to the wedding. Some individuals may also be more susceptible to patchiness or fading, so arranging this procedure in advance may benefit you in the long run.

Alternative Treatments

Depending on the system you choose, professional bleaching ranges from $250 for an overnight kit, to $1000 for in-chair systems. Another dental procedure that is effective in the lead up to the big day is Invisalign, which is not only a great investment for your wedding day, but also for life. Straightening your teeth has never been easier and less invasive. A clear, ‘invisible’ mouthguard is fitted to your teeth to promote movement, which has proven to be highly effective when used correctly. Treatment time for this product can range from as little as six months to up to two years, and the exciting part is that it can be removed at any time!

Crowns and veneers may also improve the shape and colour of your teeth. Having your teeth professionally cleaned is also a good idea in the lead up to your wedding day, as it will leave your mouth feeling fresh and looking healthy.

Be wary of LED lights and other gimmicks, which have been scientifically proven to have little to no effect on the whitening of teeth and can instead cause sensitivity. However, it’s also important to remember that having white teeth doesn’t mean that they’re healthy, so investing in a diligent cleaning regime is a must when improving the overall appearance of your mouth.

Maintaining Your New Smile

To maintain your new pearly whites, it’s important to stay away from food and drink that is prone to staining teeth, as well as habits like smoking. Harsh toothpastes or mouthwashes may also affect your teeth after a whitening treatment, so opt for toothpastes that don’t contain bicarbonate soda and mouthwashes that are free of alcohol. A maintenance application of bleach one or two nights every other month is also a great way to ensure that your teeth stay whiter for longer.There are many other quick fixes that will create the appearance of whiter teeth. Try incorporating bold colours into your bridal look; cool red lipsticks will counteract the yellow in your teeth, while taupe bronzers will minimise the warmth in your complexion. Stay away from gold tones and instead opt for silver-based eye shadows and highlighters.

Regular visits to the dentist play a vital role in maintaining the overall health of your mouth. When selecting a dentist, ensure that you find a professional who you’re comfortable with. The right practitioner will make you feel relaxed during your appointment, while providing a proactive service that will leave you feeling confident in the lead up to your wedding. Remember, when you smile, the world smiles with you!

Image Credit: Vellum Studios