Countdown to a Perfect Wedding Smile

Countdown to a Perfect Wedding Smile
Posted on 01/18/2024
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Was there a wedding engagement in your family over the holidays? Perhaps you are the bride or groom, a member of the wedding party, or a family member of the newly engaged? You’ll want to look your best for the wedding season and events! In addition to planning the timeline for finding the perfect dress, photographer and cake, and your smile should be a priority. Having a great smile will ensure you are confident when mingling with your guests and that you will look stunning in the wedding photos.


As with virtually all the steps to planning a wedding, achieving a great smile by the wedding day takes time and advanced consideration. Breaking the process up into steps can help make it manageable and easily allow you to add it into your overall wedding checklist.

Consider what your goals are. Do you have a problem you'd like to fix, such as crooked teeth? Would you like your teeth straightened or whitened or both? Knowing what you need to do will ensure you easily fit everything in the plan.



as soon as possible


Before creating a plan, it's crucial to talk to an orthodontist. Experienced orthodontists know how long each process takes before it delivers results, and they can work with you to cater to your wedding timeline. So, the best way to meet your smile goal by the big day is to start as early as possible. Most orthodontists offer complimentary consultations where one can learn the options for treatment and the costs without obligation. These professionals are experts at getting you to your goal in the manner that works best for your lifestyle. Don’t want to have to think about it? Maybe clear braces are the way to go so you can go about your life and have the braces do the straightening work for you. Or, if you want flexibility, maybe clear aligners are best for you since you can temporarily remove them for an event.

get a dental cleaning

Good oral health is important every day, but making sure you receive regular cleanings and checkups will ensure that you won’t have any dental emergencies pop up close to your big day. Call your general dentist to get scheduled for a cleaning and check up as early in the process as possible.




With diligent attention to wearing your aligners, you should have good movement as early as 6 months into treatment, so even if your wedding day is sooner than one year away, you could still improve your smile before the big event.

If you choose to straighten with braces, your orthodontist will likely be willing to be flexible with your timeline and do as much straightening as possible before the wedding then finish up treatment once the wedding has taken place, if needed. Talk to them about your hopes and dreams for your smile right upfront so they can guide you to the best treatment plan for you and your timeline.



Select your teeth whitening method

Professional teeth whitening methods come in two major forms, either in-office, high strength whitening or take-home, lower strength, more gradual whitening. What’s the difference? In-office whitening products are generally a high percentage of whitening agent, typically about 35% hydrogen peroxide. Professional take-home whitening agents are typically less than half that percentage, generally around 14% hydrogen peroxide.

The higher concentrate in-office whitening solutions can cause some people sensitivity, so plenty of time should be given ahead of the wedding to ensure there won’t be any discomfort on the big day. Scheduling two to three weeks prior to the wedding is ideal. Schedule at the three month prior mark to ensure you get an appointment that fits your schedule.

Alternatively, the custom take-home whitening allows for gradual, self-paced whitening done at the patient’s convenience in their own home. The take-home option takes more time because the concentration of the whitening agent is lower, so starting this method of whitening two to three months prior to the wedding is best.

plan your teeth straightening completion appointment

Call your orthodontist office to schedule an appointment for about one week prior to your wedding to have your braces or aligner attachments removed. Scheduling this appointment at the three month prior mark will allow you to get the maximum effectiveness out of your straightening while still allowing you to get the appointment day and time that will work best for those busy days you will have just prior to your wedding. This would also be a great time to schedule your second dental cleaning appointment with your general dentist for a date a week or two out from your wedding.


In-office whitening

If you have chosen the one-time in-office whitening method, doing the procedure two to three weeks ahead of the wedding will help to make sure you won’t have any discomfort the day of the event.

practice healthy eating

Consume enough water to make sure your lips and skin are well-hydrated. The experts suggest 11.5 cups for females and 15.5 cups for males. Cut down or cut out cigarettes and/or alcohol to allow your teeth and skin to have their most healthy glow.


Regular teeth cleaning should be a component of your oral health routine. It helps to schedule a session close to the wedding day. That way, professionals can remove any plaque and other stains for the big occasion. And cleaning the teeth only a couple of days before the event means they'll remain bright for the wedding.


You’ve planned ahead, and the big day has come. Now you’re ready for the last minute prep for the wedding day:

  • Pack your smile care items in your wedding day kit. You’ll want to pack a pocket mirror to check for lipstick stains that could ruin the photos. Speaking of lipstick, choose a shade that makes your teeth look whiter. See our blog on choosing a lipstick shade here. And don’t forget to toss in a tiny floss pick and some sugarless gum to give your breath a boost if you need it.
  • Don't eat foods that cause bad breath. For several days before the event, cut down on foods that are known to cause bad breath, Steer clear of horseradish, onions, and garlic which could also get stuck between your teeth.
  • Drink plenty of water, get plenty of sleep. The big event will be filled with excitement and a lot of socializing. Make sure you are well hydrated and rested so you can enjoy your day to the fullest.

Whether you are the bride, the groom, the family or the guest, your smile can be its best by adding it to your wedding timeline and planning. The pictures captured that day will last a lifetime and so will the results of your new smile, with just a little bit of on-going care.




Erin Eves is a mom of two who has been married for 26 years. She is Vice-President and General Manager of Tollgate Orthodontics in Rhode Island. Tollgate Orthodontics is led by a board certified orthodontist Daniel Eves who provides expert guidance and care for smiles at offices located in Warwick and Jamestown. The office has an experienced, multilingual team who are regularly mentioned in online reviews for their caring treatment of patients. Tollgate Orthodontics offers evening appointments, convenient no-finance-charge payment plans, and accepts most insurances. When he is not working on creating beautiful smiles for weddings and just everyday life, Dr. Eves can be found running, hiking, fly fishing or reading non-fiction.

Tollgate Orthodontics: 401-739-3900