Last weekend at the Bridal Showcase Showdown, I was pretty surprised by the high presence of dentists. Peddlers of Invisalign braces and ZOOM! teeth whitening sandwiched between booths handing out one-inch-squares of buttercream-frosted cake? Seems a little out of place.
But upon further thought, it’s a pretty brilliant business scheme. Seems like many people stop getting regular dental care in their twenties (I am no exception), and what better time to lure women back to the dentist’s office than their engagement, when writing scary-big checks becomes second nature?
Plus, telling a bride her teeth are inadequate is a pretty easy sell: mention her wedding will be “the most photographed day of her life,” that she’ll be smiling with joy all day long, and likely wearing white—all the better to make her teeth look like hideous kernels of maize poking out from her unhealthy gums.
I’ll admit that I am self-conscious about my teeth, especially when I’m photographed with my fiancé, who has straight, blindingly white teeth. And I’ll probably try to drink a little less coffee and rinse with hydrogen peroxide a little more often in the year leading up to my wedding. But boy do I ever not have room in my wedding budget for cosmetic dentistry.
My teeth are one of many things the bridal industry tells me are not good enough, and I need to get used to not caring about what “they” think. When I get married, I’m going to smile with joy all day, and my smile will be a little crooked, and not-quite-white, but it will be good enough.