Your eyes may be the windows to your soul, but your smile, which communicates an array of non-verbal information to the people around you, is also an important factor in your appearance. It’s one of the most significant physical attributes you have and will directly influence how people see you (good or bad).
Healthy Tips for Improving Your Smile
There are a couple of different ways you can change or improve your smile. The first category has to do with physical changes to your teeth and lips that subtly change the appearance of your mouth (and thereby have an impact on your smile). The second category has to do with conscious changes to how you smile (like pursing the lips, using your eyes, smirking vs. grinning, etc.).
In this article, we’re going to focus on the first category. If you want to learn more about the art of smiling and how you can execute a specific smile in a photograph, check out this guide by fashion insider Bobby Schuessler. However, if you’re interested in improving the appearance of your natural smile, read on and leverage the following tips:
Practice Proper Oral Hygiene
A beautiful smile is a direct byproduct of doing all of the little things right. You should be brushing two to three times per day and flossing at least once. If you can’t bring yourself to floss – either because you don’t like the process, or it’s too painful – try an oral irrigator that sprays water between your teeth and gumline.
Get Regular Teeth Cleanings
It’s recommended that you see your dentist twice a year to have routine teeth cleanings. While this may seem expensive and excessive – particularly for those without dental insurance – it’s a smart investment in your long-term oral health.
“Having routine cleanings every six months helps to promote good oral health and a beautiful smile,” Healthline suggests. “When your cleanings are irregular, you can develop periodontal disease. This can cause unsightly swollen, receding, and bleeding gums. It’s also linked to health conditions like heart attack, stroke, diabetes, obesity, premature births, and sleep apnea.”
As part of your regular cleanings, you may ask for whitening treatments. (They can be either given by the dentist, or you can purchase a kit for take-home use.) There are a variety of whitening products on the market, so be sure to use the one that’s best for your teeth and specific needs.
Use Cosmetic Bonding
Keeping your teeth clean and white is one thing, but what are you supposed to do when your teeth are naturally irregular or unsightly? One option is to ask your dentist about cosmetic bonding.
Also known as tooth bonding, cosmetic bonding is used to improve the overall look of teeth in a safe, non-invasive manner. It’s often used to help patients who suffer from tooth decay, chips, cracks, gaps, or short teeth.
Be Careful With What You Drink
What you choose to drink on a regular basis can have an impact on the health and appearance of your teeth. This includes soda, coffee, and wine. The acidic nature of these drinks causes them to attack enamel and, in some cases, can lead to erosion and discoloration.
“If you’re having a more acidic drink, enjoying your drink with a meal will help neutralize the drink’s higher acidic content,” Madi Helfrich writes for Spoon University. “This can also help to create a sort of barrier from the acids of the drink on your teeth, limiting the amount of contact the acidic drink and your teeth will have.”
Use the Right Lip Balm
Finally, don’t forget about your lips. While teeth get most of the attention, crusty, chapped, or discolored lips will render the appearance of your teeth quite irrelevant. Make sure you’re using the right balm product to keep your lips soft, smooth, and healthy.
Embrace Your Appearance
While you can do something about chipped teeth or chapped lips, it’s not always possible to change the entire structure of your smile. Learn to embrace the natural elements of your smile and love who you are. The notion of a “perfect” smile is subjective. You have a unique smile that makes a unique statement about your personality and identity. Love yourself and don’t do anything drastic. Subtle changes will yield the best results.