By Dr. Jeff Beyer
Shouldn’t the perfect wedding day come with the perfect smile? It’s a question that a number of brides fret over: “Should I get braces before or after my wedding? And then what if I have to wear braces for my wedding…?!”
While a wedding day doesn’t last forever, the pictures do. And with the great lengths that brides and grooms take to be at their best for their big day, it makes sense that correcting tooth alignment and bite problems with an orthodontist could come up sometime after “I will” but before “I do.” It’s a topic I speak about with a number of patients, and I thought I’d share three things to consider to help you make your decision easier.
1. If possible, consider Invisalign: Invisalign has become increasingly popular with brides because of their nearly invisible design, ability to be removed at any time, and also because these appliances improve a patient’s smile in a relatively short period of time. As an Invisalign Preferred Provider for more than 15 years, I’ve found this to be a great solution for a number of patients who are planning their weddings. Best of all, the average treatment time with Invisalign is 9-12 months in our office, which is actually less than the average engagement time!
2. Can I remove my braces for my big day? I get this question a lot from patients who are anticipating their upcoming nuptials, but aren’t due to have their braces removed until well after the ceremony: “Can you take my braces off?” There are a number of individual factors to talk through before reaching a decision. Whether a patient requests to have all of her brackets removed or just those in front, we need to carefully assess the risk. Removing braces for an extended period (3 weeks or more) can cause some of the progress that has been accomplished to relapse. However, removing some or all of the braces can be done for short periods of time. In cases where this is manageable, patients should wear a retainer whenever possible during this short window of time. Keep in mind that removing some or all of the braces and then having to reapply new ones will incur additional costs. Many times with patients who are wearing clear braces, simply removing the wire is sufficient as the high quality ceramic braces we use are practically invisible anyway. There are also many brides who are just fine smiling with their braces on during wedding photography, knowing they will have that perfect smile to look forward to.
3. Have the photographer remove the braces: A photographer’s willingness and ability to effectively remove braces from your wedding photography using Photoshop or other editing software can widely range. If this is your plan, ask for work samples and references that clearly demonstrate the photographer’s ability to make this happen to your liking.
The issue of brides and braces comes up a lot more than you might imagine. It’s a great privilege to make a couple’s special day even brighter by helping patients achieve the perfect smile. Be sure to ask as soon as you get the ring — or even sooner — to make sure you are aware of all of your options.