You’ll be photographed non-stop at your wedding; not just by the professionals, but also by your friends, family, and other wedding guests. After all, everyone needs a #theonewiththebride picture for their social media, and you need to seal in the memories of your magical day. Flashing a gorgeous smile is inevitable, and so is wanting to have a brighter and whiter set of teeth.
“Brides usually come to us for a bright smile with straight teeth,” says Dr. Shruti Goel from Veda Dentistry, Delhi. Having perfect teeth is just one of the many things on the bride’s to-do list. And it is better to leave it to the experts. “The most common concern brides have are teeth stains and yellow teeth, followed by chipped edges and misaligned teeth,” says Dr. Tanvi Thaper from Thaper Dental Clinic, Jaipur.
Apart from the usual home remedies like mustard oil + salt, charcoal powder, etc. for teeth whitening, brides are increasingly turning to teeth whitening procedures in a dentist’s chair. If you’re thinking about it as well, and have any doubts, this ultimate guide to teeth whitening is exactly what you need.
Experts Consulted For This Blog:
- Dr. Shruti Goel from Veda Dentistry, Delhi
- Dr. Tanvi Thaper from Thaper Dental Clinic, Jaipur
What is a teeth whitening procedure?
A teeth whitening procedure is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a method wherein the discolored teeth are treated to unveil your sparkling white teeth. Winter’s warm chai sessions and bounty of colored vegetables will make your teeth more prone to staining. This can happen despite your diligent brushing and flossing sessions or sipping drinks through a straw, so don’t feel betrayed by these habits. Luckily, a benign teeth whitening session in a dentist’s office is all you need for a bright wedding smile. Even if you’re thinking of using at-home procedures like whitening strips or gels, having a frank discussion with your dentist first is a good idea.
When should a bride consult their dentist before the wedding?
“The best time to consult a dentist is 3 months before your wedding because cosmetic procedures like dental veneers or crowns can take time,” says Dr. Thaper. Although, this is just an average time. All in all, it depends on your teeth and how you want them to look at your wedding. For instance, if your teeth are quite uneven, it might take up to a year to move them into the right positions. Coming to teeth whitening, “getting them cleaned and whitened before 2 weeks is recommended,” advises Dr. Shruti.
Who should opt for a teeth whitening treatment?
Well, if your teeth are too yellow to be fixed by at-home procedures, go for a teeth whitening treatment. “A good home test is to observe the color of the white of your eyes. If your teeth are yellower than white of your eyes, you will benefit from teeth whitening,” says Dr. Shruti Goel.
Another thing to note is whether your teeth discoloration is intrinsic (any prescription medications or illness) or extrinsic (like tea, coffee, red wine, colored vegetables). The former might require a teeth whitening procedure more than the latter.
How many sittings do you require? Any after-care that’s needed?
“Any procedure for a perfect white smile like teeth polishing, laser bleaching, or veneers requires just a single sitting. And bleaching only requires a single sitting of 45 minutes,” says Dr. Thaper. Only in rare cases would you require more than one sitting for teeth bleaching. Don’t leave the treatment for the last few days – both professional and home-based ones.
DIY options like teeth whitening strips (try this one here), teeth whitening pen (buy here), or charcoal powder shouldn’t be used last minute as well. They might cause subtle irritation in the gums, ruining your perfect wedding experience.
Give your teeth whitening at least two weeks time prior to the wedding. “Usually your dentist will first clean and polish your teeth 1 week before the bleaching and put you on an anti-sensitivity treatment for a week before doing the actual bleaching procedure to minimize chances of sensitivity post-bleaching. You will be asked to follow a “white-diet” after bleaching. Smoking has to be avoided for 2-3 days. Apply smudge-proof lipstick. Avoid extremely hot, cold, and sour food,” says Dr.Shruti Goel.
What’s the average cost of these sessions?
“On an average teeth whitening costs between 10-25 thousand rupees depending upon the number of sittings required and the method of bleaching used,” says Dr.Shruti. The cost can also vary depending on your city. Your package would include polishing, cleaning, bleaching, and maintenance kits.
Is teeth whitening harmful to your teeth?
“Teeth whitening is a safe and harmless procedure,” says Dr.Thaper. It’s done using a peroxide-based bleaching substance, mainly hydrogen peroxide. The percentage of peroxide in DIY teeth whitening kits is 3% to 20%, but 25% to 40% with in-office methods. Peroxide can lead to teeth sensitivity and gum irritation. That’s why dentists use a gingival barrier to protect your gums from peroxide.
At-home treatments have low peroxide levels but can lead to teeth sensitivity, especially if you leave the gel on for a longer time. It’s always best to have a word with your dentist before trying on these bleaching kits. Depending on your teeth and gum health, they’d be able to give you a reality check on what will work best for you!
What are some home remedies for teeth whitening?
Home remedies are cheap, popular, and effective. But they are not overnight cures, you’ve to regularly use them to see results. Here are some teeth whitening DIYs and tips to brighten your smile.
- Charcoal Powder: It might seem counterintuitive to rub something black to get white teeth. But the theory behind charcoal powder (buy here) DIY is it pulls out stains from your teeth by a process called adsorption. Rub a little on your teeth with your fingers for a week or two and see the results for yourself.
- Teeth Whitening Toothpaste: Just like you have toothpaste for sensitive teeth, you can get one for teeth whitening as well. Here’s one that has amazing reviews and is perfect for brides-to-be to start right away.
- Follow White Smile Diet: “Drinks such as tea, coffee, red wine, etc when consumed in excess discolor teeth. A good idea would be to sip them using a straw to avoid contact with teeth,” says Dr.Shruti Goel. Avoid them completely after your teeth whitening appointment till your D-Day.
- Proper Dental Care: “Maintain good oral hygiene at home – brush twice a day and floss once a day to avoid the buildup of any stains,” says Dr. Tanvi. Skip mouthwash daily as it can stain your teeth as well.
- Custom-made whitening kits: A dentist-approved, DIY whitening can be done by custom-made whitening kits; yes, similar to the fancy LED light ones you’ve seen. The kits hold a peroxide-based gel that has to be worn daily for around an hour for a certain number of days – as prescribed by your dentist. “They’re a safe and effective procedure being used by many of our clients right now,” says Dr.Shruti.
What’s the deal with coconut oil though?
Recently, swishing coconut oil daily around your mouth for 20 minutes has gained traction as an effective method to whiten teeth. While research has proved it helps remove plaque, decrease gingival indices, and promote oral hygiene, there’s no evidence it can whiten teeth. It can be used as a prevention method as it cuts plaque, but not as a cure.
Getting a professional teeth whitening by a dentist or trying your hands on DIY – the goal is to have a whiter set of teeth and ultimately, a perfect smile on your big day. It’s going to take a mix of working on cause and cure – and it will be all worth it in the end.