How to Get a White Smile by the Wedding Day
Dr. Gregg Lituchy dishes on the best ways to whiten your teeth for your big day
Dr. Gregg Lituchy is a partner in Manhattan-based cosmetic dental practice, Lowenberg & Lituchy. Since co-founding the practice, Dr. Lituchy has transformed the smiles of a multitude of actors, models, singers and other public figures. A graduate of Columbia University's School of Dental and Oral Surgery, Dr. Lituchy's expertise has been featured in a myriad of publications and television shows, including: The New York Times, GQ, Self, Good Morning America and The View. We asked Dr. Lituchy for his top tips on how a bride and groom can guarantee a brighter smile on their wedding day. Here's what he had to say.
Many brides and grooms want to brighten their smile for their wedding day, what is the best way for them to get their teeth whiter?
There are three methods to use to whiten smiles: porcelain veneers, bonding and bleaching. Bleaching is the least expensive of the three, and therefore often a great option for an engaged couple, who may be experiencing financial stress that often accompanies planning a wedding. For the best results, I recommend in-office power bleaching at a dentist's office, followed up with at-home bleaching trays. For patients who cannot afford veneers or bonding, this is an effective bleaching technique. Some patients can also achieve nice results using over-the-counter whitening strips.
Are store-bought bleaching kits just as good as the type you get from your dentist? Is there a difference between the two?
In general, store-bought bleaching kits contain a significantly weaker percentage of bleaching solution than the solution offered at the dentist office. In addition, over-the-counter bleaching trays and strips do not provide a custom fit. The trays that a dentist can create provide a superior, custom fit that is comfortable, and hold the bleaching solution on the tooth enamel for a more even and effective whitening.
For brides and grooms that don't love their teeth, what non-evasive treatments can they go through in the months (or year) before their wedding to make their teeth straighter, or at a minimum more comfortable with them?
Brides and grooms who have moderately crooked teeth can often get them straightened by having their dentist make them Invisalign trays—which act as braces, are removable and are barely visible—in the year or even months leading up to their wedding day. Another non-invasive solution is composite bonding, which can immediately make crooked teeth look straight, close gaps, lengthen teeth, and fix chipped and discolored teeth.
What should you do every day for clean and healthy teeth? Do you have to brush and floss twice a day? Do you have to brush for a certain amount of time?
I recommend that my patients brush twice a day for two minutes, floss once a day, and rinse twice daily with an ADA-accepted antiseptic mouth rinse, such as Listerine, to kill the plaque-causing bacteria that might have been missed from brushing and flossing alone. And of course, twice a year cleanings and checkups at the dentist.