How to Achieve a Perfect Smile for Your Wedding Day

Learn important tips for achieving a radiant bridal smile.

How to Achieve a Perfect Smile for Your Wedding Day

Photo: Katelyn James Photography

Bride with groom smiling and windswept veil

As a bride, you’ve planned everything down to the last detail for months. Now picture yourself at the altar in a stunning white dress, your hair looking amazing, and your makeup impeccable as you look into the eyes of your beloved. The day you have always dreamed of is coming to reality.You say the words "I do" and suddenly hear your guests clapping and the flash of multiple cameras going off, yet you are so embarrassed to smile because you think the space between your front teeth and the details of your discolored, uneven smile will be magnified in photos that you and your loved ones will be looking at for years to come.

Stories similar to this are not uncommon. I’ve heard countless men and women share this fear with me over the years. However, the day of your dreams doesn't have to be marred due to your smile. Cosmetic dental procedures continue to evolve and offer a wide range in choices – from in-office whitening, to porcelain veneers, to dental implants – there are many ways dentists can work to give you the smile you desire for your special day. Take a look at the suggestions below. 

Get a Consultation
The key is to arrange a cosmetic dental consultation months before the big day. Just as you organize your reception dinner options, shop for your dress, and prepare your guest list, you also need to create a plan for dental procedures, so you have the wedding-day smile you long for. If you schedule an appointment too close to the wedding day, you simply may not have enough time to achieve the desired results. Setting up a consultation – for you and your partner – soon after your engagement is ideal because it allows the dentist months to outline the necessary procedures.

There are multiple factors that can impact the final result of your smile, such as discoloration, fractured teeth, missing teeth, and gum disease. Proper planning is the key to the success of any dental procedure. You may think you just need teeth whitening before your big day, but there could be several underlying factors that also need to be addressed.

Teeth Whitening
The most common pre-wedding dental request is teeth whitening. There are multiple options for this procedure from over the counter products to in-office teeth whitening. The best way to achieve this is to have an in-office teeth whitening session one to two weeks prior to your big day and follow up with at-home whitening trays – or even an over-the-counter product. Don't wait until the final days leading up to your nuptials to get an in-office whitening treatment because teeth will be the most sensitive during the first 72 hours due to the concentration of bleach. Following up with whitening trays over the next two weeks will indeed give you a bright white smile, along with other behaviors, such as avoiding red wines, dark soda, and coffee. Your dentist should provide you with after-care steps for long-lasting results.   

If you’re concerned with aesthetics of your teeth – more so than just the color, you may consider porcelain veneers. Veneers are thin porcelain facings for your teeth that can rejuvenate your entire smile. The teeth are prepared at the first appointment and the veneers are bonded to your teeth on the next visit. The beauty of veneers is that they not only eliminate discoloration, but they can beautify your entire smile by also masking any minor teeth crowding and matching the shape of your teeth to your facial structure. In fact, many people have teeth that do not match their facial profile. For example, someone with a long, defined face and a lean torso should have slender, defined teeth as opposed to teeth that are wider and rounded. 

Some dental offices can work closely with dental laboratories to create same-day or overnight smile makeovers. Brides can receive anywhere from six to 24 veneers completed overnight, which is great because they can go back to focusing on other, more fun, aspects of their weddings.

For many individuals with severe teeth crowding the best solution is getting braces. Braces are not just for teens anymore. With options such as Invisalign or porcelain brackets, gone are the days of having bulky, unsightly metal braces. However, even with all of the technology available to dentists today, even clear braces need months of strategizing for the best result. 

The most severe situation could be missing teeth, which could result in an unsightly gap in your smile in all those wedding photos. Utilizing the most advanced technology and surgical procedures, your dentist can place dental implants to fill the gaps in your mouth. Just like clear braces, dental implants require months of planning and healing before the desired result is accomplished, which once again stresses the importance of early preparation. 

No matter which procedure you have done, the most important factor is to pick a dental professional that you can trust. Gather as much information as you can before entrusting your teeth to just anyone. Ask your dentist for before and after results of his previous cases. Similar to selecting the right event professional, do your homework and choose the right cosmetic dentist to address all of your needs.

Opening photo by Katelyn James Photography