Here’s something you can’t hide on your wedding day… your SMILE. Every angle, that thing is gonna be on full display - there’s just way too much joy to stifle that! But a huge thing I see clash with a gorgeous white dress or snappy tux are yellow or discolored teeth. When you’ve got em, you feel self-conscious, which is not something you ever deserve to be feeling on your best day ever. Even if your front teeth are a lovely shade of white, make sure to check the sides in the mirror… I’ve photographed a lot of “ombre” mouths, haha! Just like getting your nails done, a facial, or a haircut, whitening your teeth is a must-do before your wedding. My boss lady friend and super skilled orthodontist Dr. Ella Osborn is here dropping her knowledge to help couples like YOU!
You’ll want to smile freely, laugh fully and carry the memories of this joyful day eternally. And you KNOW that the secret sauce to a legendary celebration is in the planning. If you ever have a moment’s hesitation about grinning your biggest grin or flashing a big open mouth smile for a selfie, then a strategy for your pearly whites should be high on your list. It’s no surprise that your best bet is to think about this way in advance.
Depending on your goals, it may be wise to start contemplating this bit as soon as you get engaged, if not before! To ensure that nothing gets in the way of your beaming, gleaming grin, start by checking in with a professional. As with anything very important (you only have one set of teeth!) it is ill-advised to take risks – your best bet is to leave it to the pros. If your teeth are beautifully straight and your smile brilliantly broad, you may only need a bit of whitening to brighten your smile.
Don’t worry. We’ve got loads of options for you. But first, no amount of external whitening (applying stuff to the surfaces of your teeth) will be effective if the discoloration is from the inside-out. This can be the result of trauma or tetracycline, among other reasons. That is why it’s important to have a discussion with your dentist about what's making your teeth look dull. Most common reasons for not-so-bright teeth are extrinsic (the result of coffee, tea, wine, turmeric and everyday life) The degree of discoloration and the condition of your teeth will affect how well any whitening regimen works.
Brighten your smile
A gently whitening toothpaste is a great place to start as are small changes like cutting down on teeth-staining drinks like coffee and tea (or drinking them through a straw). But that alone will not deliver the result you’re looking for. For a little more impact and a conservative investment, look to at-home teeth whitening kit. These are little strips with over-the-counter grade whitening material that are placed directly on the teeth twice a day for 30 minutes. Beware that these don’t go all the way to your back teeth (molars and premolars). If you have a wide smile that shows your back teeth, you’ll have the tooth equivalent of a “tan line” with the back teeth slightly darker than your 6 front teeth.
Leave it to the pros
If that’s not cutting it, or you’re in a rush or plain don’t want to spend an hour a day fighting drool, there are professional whitening options that will deliver faster and more substantial results. Varying strength of in-office and at-home whitening treatments are available through dental professionals. These are stronger than what you’ll find in the toothpaste isle and may not be suitable for everyone. Your trusted dentist or specialist will work with you to come up with a tailored whitening plan that meets your goals, timeline and budget.
There’s always the temptation to DIY and “hack-it” or look for the most economical option or fad. Right now, that fad is whitening with activated charcoal. A quick search and you’ll read that it will absorb staining from your teeth, along with being therapeutic, all natural, eco-friendly, organic, pure and every other consumer-appealing claim out there. In reality, these claims are unsubstantiated without any science or clinical studies to confirm that these products do what they say they do. We know that activated charcoal is very abrasive and can damage your enamel, much like scrubbing your hands with steel wool to get them clean. Ouch.
The last thing you want to fret about is a dull smile during your wedding festivities. See a professional, come up with a plan and leave yourself a buffer to avoid a stressful mad rush at the eleventh hour. It’s your moment to shine! Enjoy every single second!
Dr. Ella Osborn is a board-certified specialist in orthodontics, Invisalign and accelerated tooth alignment. Dr. Osborn’s extensive training and experience combined with a passion for harmonizing the smile with a balanced facial aesthetic yields an unmatched result. She is ecstatic to bring the life-changing power of a new smile through holistic mile rejuvenation to all who live, work and play in Seaport.