In How to

Photo: Tyler Shumway. Makeup by me.

Makeup can do a lot for disguising blemishes, but so far the cosmetic universe hasn’t dreamed up a formula that can paint teeth whiter just for one day. So what are your options as a bride?

First of all, a reality check – teeth are NOT pure white. They’re not supposed to blind passersby. The perfect, snow-white teeth you see in ads are often Photoshopped to perfection, and most celebrities these days have a mouth full of veneers or get a routine dental whitening procedure. So be sure that you’re not holding yourself to an unrealistic standard. (This goes for all things beauty!)

If you’ve accepted that but still want a whiter smile for your big day, you have a number of choices. Many dentists offer a cosmetic whitening treatment that can be done in a single session or several short ones (more on that in Part 2 here!) You can also try whitening at home with strips or similar products, but definitely read the consumer reviews before selecting a brand – they don’t work for everyone, and they can cause varying levels of (usually temporary) tooth sensitivity.

Be very aware of what you eat and drink, especially after whitening – a glass of red wine or a few cups of coffee can stain, undoing the hard work and expense you’ve put into your mouth. Drink lots of water, and keep your teeth clean and flossed. And definitely pay attention to this on your wedding day as well! (Your photographer may include retouching in his or her package, but your Facebook photo-tagging guests may not be so kind!)

Certain lipstick and gloss colors (especially cooler, blue-based tones) will help make your teeth appear more white, while others (brown and purple-based colors) will bring out the yellow, so make sure to stick with a shade that won’t exacerbate any discoloration.

Then let loose and smile – everyone is more gorgeous when they smile or laugh in photos, no matter what shade their teeth are!



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