Along with a perfect wedding, many brides also want a perfect smile. When making appointments for dress alterations, floral arrangements and reception details, schedule a dental visit too, suggests the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), an organization of general dentists dedicated to continuing education.
"Schedule a thorough checkup and cleaning at least one year before your wedding," says AGD spokesperson Paula S. Jones, DDS. "If you're unhappy with your smile, your dentist will have enough time to perfect your teeth by the wedding."
Several options exist to correct the shape, color, alignment and look of teeth. New and improved smiles don't happen overnight; timing needs to be considered. Veneers can take up to two months and braces can take from one to two years.
Plan to have procedures completed at least two months in advance of your big day, in case problems need to be corrected and so the mouth has time to adjust to cosmetic changes, advises Dr. Jones.
In addition to cosmetic appearance, consider breath. "What could be worse than saying ‘I do‘ with "dragon" breath?" says Dr. Jones. Try a piece of sugarless gum, breath mint or chewing a piece of parsley.
Is your smile camera ready?
The way you hold your head changes the appearance of your front teeth. Teeth are shadowed most of the time by the lips. When you tilt your head down, your upper teeth generally appear longer. If your head is tilted back, your upper teeth appear shorter.
Do not ask your dentist for upper teeth that are perfectly straight-across. They can look worn and give an older appearance in photos.
If you have a metal filling or crown, alert the photographer. They can photograph teeth from a different angle that will not reveal them. If this is not possible, photos can often be retouched so that metal does not show.
Updated: January 2012