Getting a White Wedding Smile: How Long Does it Take?
There will probably be more pictures taken of you on your wedding day than on any other day of your life, so it makes sense to want a perfect smile. There are lots of teeth whitening products out there – as well as a few home remedies – but how long will it take to get whiter teeth?
Making your teeth whiter means removing the stains that have built up over the years. Just as it takes time for your teeth to become stained, it takes time for them to be whitened. There is no such thing as an effective overnight teeth whitening treatment, so don’t wait until the week before your wedding to sort out your smile. Dentists provide power whitening: they paint a bleaching solution on to your teeth and then activate it with a laser or UV light. This takes about an hour. Although you may see some improvement after the first treatment, you’ll probably need several for best results. It’s also one of the most expensive ways to remove stains from your teeth. You can use a bleaching gel that doesn’t need lights shone into your mouth. If you have this done at a dentist, they will take an impression and make a tray that holds the gel and fits exactly over your teeth. This is likely to take a few appointments over the course of several weeks to make a significant difference. Home kits are also available, although the bleaching solution is weaker than that used by dentists. But don’t be tempted to leave it on your teeth for longer as this could permanently weaken the enamel. In addition, the tray isn’t designed specifically for you and if it’s a poor fit then bleaching gel may damage your gums. Some people prefer bleaching strips; they don’t have the risk of gum damage but if your teeth are uneven you may get patchy results. Home kits vary enormously in price and effectiveness and even if you’re buying a top of the range product you should allow a few months of treatment before the wedding. Whitening toothpaste is an inexpensive way of brightening your smile. Although some people report whiter teeth after only a few weeks, results vary from person to person. If your teeth are quite porous then they’ll stain easily but you’ll also find it much easier to remove stains. Check whether the toothpaste has an abrasive action, e.g. by using baking soda, or whether it contains a stain remover such as active charcoal. You may want to consider using a combination of both of these methods and you should allow several months of regular brushing to see best results. Most home remedies for stained teeth either use the same active ingredients as toothpaste or will simply kill bacteria in your mouth. This isn’t a bad thing, but it won’t make your teeth any whiter. Some methods, such as rinsing your mouth with cider vinegar or scrubbing with mashed strawberries and baking soda, can remove the top layer of enamel from your teeth and will make them appear more yellow. Although some people swear by them, there’s no guarantee that “natural” teeth whiteners will work at all, however long you try. When you first start planning your wedding, begin using a whitening toothpaste regularly. If this makes a difference, continue to use it up to the big day so that your teeth don’t become stained again. If you can’t see a difference a few months before the day, consider a home whitening kit, or work out if you can afford professional treatment. Don’t leave it until the last moment though; if something does go wrong while using a home treatment solution, you’ll need time to get it put right. Everyone wants to have their best smile in their wedding photos, so it makes sense to consider teeth whitening. You’ll need to think about what you can afford as part of your overall budget; remember that less expensive treatments will usually take much longer to achieve noticeable results.