In today’s media-friendly world, the perfect smile is more important than ever. Whether you take endless selfies of yourself, or are tagged in social media photos, or need some professional profile pictures, everyone needs to know how to smile to look their best.

If a disarming, dazzling smile doesn’t come naturally to you or you’re just never happy with how you look in photographs, take heart. Here are 6 steps to getting to that perfect smile.

Photo Smile

Exercise your face.

If you’re not used to using your facial muscles to their full extent when you’re smiling, it may come across as awkward and unnatural in photographs. Why not try a few regular facial exercises to relax your face?

Here’s a simple exercise you can do anywhere: Grin from ear to ear while keeping your mouth closed. Now wiggle your nose rabbit-like until you can feel it in your cheek muscles and hold for 5 seconds. Repeat ten times.

Prepare your teeth.

A little preparation can go a long way to lift your confidence, and this alone will improve the quality of your images. If your teeth are discoloured, uneven or otherwise unsightly to you, it may prevent you from giving a happy smile.

Luckily, cosmetic dentists are trained to deal with these issues every day, and they’re experts at teeth whitening, straightening, veneers and implants – everything you could wish for to restore your confident smile. Make an appointment and discuss your cosmetic dental issues with a professional – it may be the best decision you’ve ever made.

Look after your gums.

Healthy gums are just as important as healthy teeth, so make sure you look after them well. A good oral hygiene routine is key. Brush, floss and use an antibacterial mouthwash every day, while making sure your diet is healthy – sugar and alcohol are especially bad. Obviously, so is smoking.

Wear lipstick.

If you wear a lipstick that works with your skin tone it can make your teeth appear whiter than they actually are. Conversely, if you choose a colour that’s too dark, it will make you look older and your lips thinner. Choose wisely. You could also try lip balm or gloss to add moisture to your lips, which will make them look fuller and more appealing, softening the overall look.

Straighten up.

Body posture is everything. Don’t slouch, shoulders back and don’t drop your head – you can banish double chins and look thinner simply by standing up straight. Try turning your head slightly so the face is not square with the camera; this reduces the width of your face and makes it look slimmer while eliminating unflattering shadows. Now tilt your chin down ever so slightly; this looks more naturally and the camera won’t be pointing up your nose.

Practice being natural.

The trick is to smile gently and naturally when the picture is being taken; you need to look relaxed and not as if your muscles were forced into a grimace. Practice makes perfect, they say, so if you have a big event coming up, there’s nothing wrong with trying out your photo smile home alone, in front of the mirror. Check you posture, head position, and angle, and keep practising until you’re happy with the result.

Article provided by Mike James, an independent content writer working together with Glasgow based dental practice Precision Dentistry, who were consulted over the information in this post.

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