Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you. If you’ve ever felt self-conscious about your smile, you’re not alone. It’s quite common for people to feel insecure about their teeth. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
There are several ways that you can enhance your smile to project positivity and be more comfortable in public or on-camera. Here are seven steps you can take to create a captivating smile you’ll be proud of.
#1 Follow Good Oral Hygiene
The easiest way to boost your smile is to follow good oral hygiene practices. Not only is good oral hygiene important for the health of your smile, but regular brushing also reduces plaque and discoloration. You should brush your teeth at least once per day (twice is even better) for a full two minutes. Many electric toothbrushes have a built-in timer feature that can help keep you on track for the full two minutes.
Use a fluoride-enhanced toothpaste, and if the yellowing is a concern for you, make sure to choose one that also whitens.
You should also be flossing twice per day. Floss before you brush to remove build-up in places where a toothbrush cannot reach. Brushing after flossing helps remove any remaining particles completely. Finish off with a quality mouthwash to freshen your breath and promote healthy gums and teeth.
Practicing these habits daily will help reduce stubborn stains. Keep your smile bright and white with these proper brushing techniques.
#2 Visit Your Dentist
A lot of people are afraid of the dentist, but you don’t need to be. Twice-yearly dental checkups are essential for a captivating smile.
Even with daily brushing and flossing, your dental hygienist is able to get the places your toothbrush and dental floss will miss. They have the specialized tools and training to thoroughly clean your teeth.
Plus, your dentist can warn you about potential issues before they become big problems. For example, if you begin clenching your teeth at night while you’re sleeping, you’re at risk of chipping or cracking your teeth, which will detract from your beautiful smile. Your dentist will see the signs and suggest solutions to prevent damage.
Your dentist will also be on the lookout for other issues, like the beginnings of gum disease. Gum disease causes red, swollen gums, which do not contribute to a stunning smile. Daily flossing and regular dental visits are vital components of a healthy smile.
#3 Teeth Whitening & Straightening
If your teeth are crooked or misaligned, you may want to look into orthodontia. This can take the form of traditional braces or more subtle options such as Invisalign treatment. Consult your orthodontist on the best teeth straightening treatment for you. Once your teeth are straightened, you can be a lot more confident in your smile.
If your teeth aren’t quite as white as you’d like them to be, consider whitening treatments. These can be over-the-counter products like whitening strips or whitening toothpaste. If you need extra whitening power, consult your dentist. They might have specialty whitening treatments like laser teeth whitening that can brighten your smile and protect your enamel.
#4 Use Alternative Products
There are dozens of products on the market that can help improve your smile. If you wear makeup, try finding a shade of lipstick that blends well with your skin tone and use it. Blue or pink-based tones will help minimize yellow stains, and deep colors will make your teeth look whiter in comparison.
If you have facial hair, consider a trim or style that flatters your features and especially your mouth. Don’t let your hair grow too close to your lips. Use your facial hair to frame your mouth and your smile will get an instant boost.
#5 Limit Teeth-Staining Foods
In addition to regular brushing, flossing, and trips to the dentist, limiting foods and drinks that can stain your teeth will help them stay clean and shiny. Beverages like coffee, red wine, tea, sodas, and more can all contribute to stains to your teeth.
Certain foods can stain your teeth as well. Berries, curries, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, and more may be to blame for a less-than-white smile. It’s best to limit your consumption of these drinks and foods to help your teeth stay as bright as possible.
If you can’t limit the amount of teeth-staining foods and beverages you consume, try to get in the habit of rinsing your mouth with water as soon as you’re finished eating or drinking. Because these items contain acids that wear away at your enamel, wait at least 30 minutes to brush your teeth. Brushing right away combines the acids with the bristles of your brush, which can contribute to damage of the enamel.
#6 Exercise and Practice
Facial exercises can help improve your smile by strengthening the muscles around your mouth. Try smiling in about five stages, beginning with your lips together and ending with your biggest, brightest smile. Hold each stage for about 10 seconds before moving on to the next one. This helps tighten your facial muscles for a more youthful look.
One of the other easiest ways to feel better about your smile is to simply practice. It might feel odd to practice smiling at yourself in the mirror at first, but it’s a skill you can develop like any other. When you practice smiling, you help to teach yourself all the fine details, like the ideal tilt of your head, position of your lips, how wide you open your eyes, and more.
Don’t forget to keep your shoulders pulled back and your body language loose and natural. You’d be surprised how much better your smile looks when the rest of you is radiating self-confidence. When practicing, also pay attention to your eye muscles. If you imagine smiling with your eyes, it will look more natural and you’ll feel more at ease.
#7 Don’t Neglect the Rest of Your Health
Your smile is part of your complete picture of health, just like healthy hair and skin. So don’t neglect your skin care, hair care, and nutritional needs. In fact, healthy teeth, gums, skin, and hair are greatly influenced by what you eat.
Fresh fruits and vegetables should be a staple in your everyday diet. Foods high in fiber are especially great for the health of your teeth and gums. Make sure you’re getting enough lean protein either from meat or plant sources, and switch out empty carbs for whole wheat options.
This doesn’t mean you have to give up all your favorite foods. You can still have days where you treat yourself to dessert, pizza, or takeout. The goal should be to strive for a balance where your diet is mostly fresh, wholesome foods and treats are occasional.
Invest in quality moisturizers, shampoos, and conditioners that match your body’s needs. Try to find as many natural products as you can, especially for your skin, as it’s the largest organ in your body and absorbs up to 60% of everything you put on it. Avoid products with fillers, parabens, and phthalates, and instead, opt for products with ingredients you can pronounce.
With these easy-to-implement tips, you should be smiling brightly and confidently in no time.