There are plenty of ways to ensure your teeth look perfect on your wedding day Image Credit: Shutterstock

The big day is not for off and there’s so much to be done! And to get the perfect smile it takes a bit of time and effort and a little help from your friendly neighborhood dentist!

Dr Tanveer Ahmed

First things first – Get a professional clean and polish! Also called scaling, the process takes about half an hour but a deep cleaning if required can take up to an hour or more. Scaling is done to not just remove stains and tartar which build up over time but also to eliminate gum disease called gingivitis. You know you have gingivitis when you see blood on your toothbrush, and if you have bad breath, it can mean you have more advanced gum disease called periodontitis. Bad breath is not just because of stomach issues as is commonly thought.

Another thing to look for when you have persistent bad breath is to relook at your oral hygiene regimen. It might be a good idea to invest in a water flosser. They blast away the plaque in areas where your toothbrush and even dental floss does not reach and the results can be seen as quickly as two to three days of use. The brands and models do vary however and it might be a good idea to check with your dentist about the best model available for you. Most water flossers can be ordered online.

If you have any areas where plaque or food is constantly accumulating because of broken or worn-out fillings, then this might be the time to get them sorted out. You don’t want an emergency on the big day when an annoying filling pops out while biting on the wedding cake or you need to dig with a toothpick because some morsels have decided to camp in between your teeth! Sometimes those old ugly amalgam fillings can be replaced with white ones, and metal caps can be replaced with porcelain or zirconia. The 3D technology available to manufacture crowns and indirect fillings – called inlays - have improved remarkably and excellent well-fitting crowns can be delivered within hours. Even veneers can be done as an emergency appointment if required but these ideally should be done at least a few weeks ahead.

Teeth before and after whitening Image Credit: Shutterstock

Now for the clincher – a dazzling white smile! Whitening can be done as a one-hour procedure at a dentist’s office. But if you have never done a whitening session before, this might not be the best time to start office whitening! Dental Office whitening can cause some sensitivity and it’s usually temporary but you don’t want to be cringing when you have a drink. A safer option would be to use customized whitening trays that your dentist can make for you. These work gently but predictably to whiten your teeth over a few days. Try not to get the over the counter whitening kits at the pharmacy or online because those ‘boil and bite’ whitening trays cannot be made accurately and the gels are weaker to compensate for the poorly fitting trays.

Something to remember is that whitening will not work on veneers or over existing caps or crowns! Here the best option is to have the teeth polished with a technology called air-flow, which uses an extremely fine powder mixed with air and the stains are gently lifted off revealing clean and smooth teeth within. This teeth polishing procedure is completely safe and will not cause any sensitivity and is relatively inexpensive.

A last thing to consider is a very commonly overlooked procedure called enameloplasty. It’s a very simple treatment that involves reshaping the teeth that might be chipped or oddly shaped. The process is completely painless and can be done in minutes for a quick face-lift of the teeth.

What we need to remember is that teeth shouldn’t just look healthy, but be healthy!

Dr Tanveer Ahmed is Medical Director at New Ivory Dental & Implant Clinic, Dubai