Whether it's your own wedding or you're just a guest, one thing is for sure: You want to look great in the photos. The problem is your smokers teeth.
After years of smoking, your teeth are likely to be stained. You might have a number of cavities yet to be filled, and a gum infection along with it. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) points out, smokers are twice as likely as nonsmokers to have periodontal disease. Fortunately, you have time before the wedding to improve the look of your teeth.
Your best bet at improving the look of your teeth for wedding photos is to quit smoking. And admittedly, quitting is tough. If you don't ultimately quit, however, any improvements you make to the appearance of your smokers teeth will be temporary at best. Give yourself plenty of time before the big day to quit, ramping down your habit a little each week. If you're the person getting married, it might be easiest to quit before you launch into making the plans themselves.
Handling quitting and a wedding simultaneously might be just a bit too much for most people. Set a quit date that is well in advance of the wedding, get a few friends and family members on board for support, and talk to your doctor or dentist to get the medical advice you need.
Fix the Structure
Along with changing the color of your teeth, smoking can lead to an increased risk for gum disease. When you smoke, keep in mind you might also have some gum recession. Before focusing on the more superficial details of your teeth, it helps to fix any structural or medical issues currently affecting you.
Start by seeing your dentist to fill or repair any cavities. If you have severe gum recession, your dentist might advise having a gum graft procedure to cover the roots of the teeth so they don't interfere with your photos. Depending on the severity of the damage, you may even need to have a tooth pulled and replaced with a dental implant.
Consider Teeth Whitening
Your tobacco habit may not have caused severe damage to your teeth, but it did stain them. Certain types of teeth whitening products can help you avoid a yellow smile in wedding photos, as long as the stains are extrinsic, meaning on the exterior of your teeth.
Discuss your goals for whitening your teeth with a dentist before you start. He or she can recommend the best whitening option for you, whether it's an in-office treatment or using an over-the-counter product. The dentist will also give you a good idea of the time you'll need for the treatment, and help you determine if you have enough time before the wedding to see a noticeable difference.
Keep Up Good Oral Hygiene
Once you've quit smoking, repaired the damage done to your teeth by tobacco and built a brighter, whiter smile, you'll want to maintain it even after the cake is gone. Starting a good oral care routine at home, which should include twice-a-day brushing and at least once-a-day flossing, will help you protect your teeth's look and health. Both done regularly will minimize your risk for gum disease, too. Using Colgate® Optic White® whitening toothpaste will help you extend the life of any whitening treatments and reduce your risk for cavities and decay well into the future.
Quitting smoking can be tough. But when you have a goal in mind, such as improving your smile before a wedding, it can be easier to give up your habit and focus on the health of your mouth no matter what's on the calendar.