Think how many photos there are of you online now: hundreds, probably; more than a thousand, possibly. And think how many of these pictures you’re happy with. Way less than half, most people would say.
And the reason is because often our smile – the first thing people notice, and which should ideally convey friendliness, trustworthiness and attractiveness – is not how we want it to look.
If only we could have the perfect smile, wouldn’t we be much happier with all those photos?
Which leads to the question: how can you get the perfect smile? The answer is a two-stage process. First, you need to have great teeth. Second, you have to know how to show them off well.
If you’ve been born with naturally great teeth, then consider yourself lucky. You’re in the minority. The majority of people have a flaw or two (or half a dozen) that stand in-between the smile they have and the smile they want.
If you’re in the unlucky majority that doesn’t have naturally great teeth, the good news is that you’re living in a time when cosmetic dentistry procedures are both widespread and affordable. Those teeth flaws you’re not happy with can be fixed for less than the price of a nice holiday abroad.
What are your options? Consider these treatments:
Teeth Whitening – Laser whiten your teeth back to their original, natural colour, ridding them of discolouring and staining from coffee, tea, red wine and cigarettes.
Veneers – Hide all manner of imperfections, like chipped teeth, short teeth, gaps between teeth, and stained teeth using ultra-thin shells of enamel-like porcelain bonded to your teeth.
Bonding – Fix minor chips and misshapes, especially on more visible front teeth, with a tooth-coloured composite resin that bonds to the damaged area with ultraviolet light.
Implants – Replace one or more missing teeth with permanently placed, aesthetically pleasing, artificial ones, that look natural and provide long term reliability.
Braces – Fix issues like overcrowding of teeth, gaps between teeth, asymmetrical teeth and protruding teeth with fast working, invisible to others, braces.
Once you’ve given your teeth a makeover, how can you then show them at their best in photos? How can you mimic the perfect smile sported by celebrities on the front covers of glossy magazines?
Less Is More – Open your mouth slightly in a relaxed manner, rather than all the way. The latter looks fake and awkward.
Get An Angle – Turn your head slightly – showing a bit more of your “good side” – so your face is not entirely square with the camera.
Close Your Eyes, Then Open – Close them a couple of seconds before the picture will be taken, and then slowly open them, drawing up the corners of your mouth at the same time.
Breathe – In on the lead up to the shot, then out as you smile for the click. This relaxes your facial muscles and looks more natural.
Think Funny – A real smile involves both the mouth and the eyes, and if you want your eyes to smile you have to be laughing inside.
Be Prepared – Practice makes perfect, so spend five minutes per week in front of the mirror trying out different smiles.