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Smile Bright on Your Wedding Day

During your wedding the only thing whiter than your gorgeous gown should be your teeth. After all, this is supposed to be one of the happiest moments in your life, and you'll probably be smiling bright for about five straight hours.

Because achieving a pearly white grin takes a bit of planning, we chatted with cosmetic dentist Marc Lowenberg, DDS, about the simple steps every bride should take in the busy weeks and days before her wedding.

One week before:
In-office bleaching is easier than ever. Lowenberg suggest checking to see if your dentist offers The Pola Office +, which "offers one of the strongest bleaching products on the market: 37.5 percent hydrogen peroxide -- which is the major ingredient that whitens teeth by breaking down stains on the molecular level -- for optimal results." Plus, this particular bleaching system takes less than 30 minutes, perfect for fitting into any busy bride's tight schedule.

The night before:
Lowenberg says it's OK to mix in-office bleaching with at-home touchups. He recommends applying Crest 3D White 2-Hour Express Whitestrips, $44, which also contains hydrogen peroxide. If your gums and teeth are really sensitive you may want to avoid mixing the two treatments, and you should definitely apply the strips a few days before so your mouth has time to recover.

The morning of:
It goes without saying that you should brush and floss each morning, especially on the big day. You also want to avoid dark beverages such as coffee and tea while you're getting ready -- don't want to stain your teeth or that dress! "If you can't live without caffeine, apply a thin layer of Vaseline to the teeth prior to drinking to create a protective barrier," says Lowenberg. "You can also chew on raw, crunchy vegetables such as celery and carrots to mechanically remove surface stains from the enamel." Another important tip to keep in mind when applying your makeup: lipsticks with blue undertones give the illusion of whiter teeth.

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