Want to make your stunning natural smile even more gorgeous? Whether you want whiter teeth, straighter teeth, a whole smile revamp, or just want to ensure that your every-day smile is looking more beautiful than ever, there are easy steps to take before your big day to help. Follow these expert tips for getting a million-dollar smile by your wedding.
If you want whiter teeth...
What to do: Start with a regular cleaning, says New York City cosmetic dentist Michael Apa: "Air abrasion, polishing, and hand instruments can make a big difference in stains." Then try bleaching; after about $300 and an hour at the dentist's, your teeth will be several shades lighter. Or use an at-home kit — slower but very effective — like Crest 3D White Luxe Supreme FlexFit Whitestrips ($65, Crest).
When to do it: For in-office options, a few days prior to the wedding, says Apa; for at-home, two to three weeks before.
But remember: "Whatever stains your shirt will stain teeth," says Lana Rozenberg, a cosmetic dentist in New York City. You can have coffee, red wine, berries, et cetera during your engagement year, she says, but brush your teeth, swish water, or chew sugarless gum right after. Then, two weeks before the big day, abstain entirely from the dark stuff. Can't survive without your morning coffee? Go for it. Just drink through a straw.
If you want straighter teeth...
What to do: Invisalign is still the gold standard (around $5,600, Invisalign). After an initial fitting, you'll get removable "aligners," invisible trays that fit snugly over your teeth to guide them into place. You'll pop into the dentist's office every two weeks for six months to swap them out.
When to do it: At least half a year before your wedding for traditional Invisalign; 10 weeks out for the express version (which costs around $2,300 and is available for minor adjustments only).
If you want a major change...
What to do: Veneers! Wafer-thin layers of porcelain are bonded to your teeth to change their shape, color, and alignment dramatically. They're an investment — $800 to $2,500 each, and you'll likely need at least eight — but they should last 15 to 20 years, says Apa.
When to do it: Anytime. Veneers are a big deal but a relatively quick one, requiring three office visits over one to two weeks.
Want more genius planning tips? For the best wedding dresses, advice, and big-day inspiration, pick up the BRIDES October/November 2015 issue, on newsstands now and available for download here!