How to have a beautiful smile?

Smiling man

Having a beautiful and genuine smile can affect your surroundings and how people perceive you because it's a way to communicate something positive and peaceful.

Some people are luckier than others, in the way that they have straight teeth with no orthodontic misalignments. Nevertheless it is a matter of perception because well-aligned teeth are only one of the features that make a smile beautiful. Most of the other criteria can be worked on, and this over a lifetime, to always have a beautiful and healthy smile.

Let's put in mind that for a smile to be beautiful, it also has to be truthful. It is important to be honest when you smile because the feeling that you project cannot lie. A smile is free and when given generously, a good part is done to make it beautiful! For the other part, read what follows.

Beautiful and healthy teeth

Smiling woman

When you smile, your teeth are the first feature that people notice. Caring for them daily can help them look great!

It is important to brush your teeth every day, preferably after each meal. This will remove food debris and dental plaque that can cause cavities and gum disease. Use a soft brittle toothbrush (or extra-soft) and proceed with light vibrations and up and down motions. Don't brush too roughly or too quickly to avoid long term damage on your teeth and your gums. An electronic toothbrush can clean remarkably, but is not necessary if you do a good job with a regular toothbrush.

When you brush your teeth, use a fluoride containing toothpaste that is not abrasive in order not to damage your teeth. If the toothpaste contains fluoride, don't swallow any of it while brushing and do not let young children use it.

Floss your teeth daily. Brushing alone only cleans 65 % of teeth surfaces. Flossing will remove the remaining dental plaque and food debris in between your teeth.

Don't smoke! Not only it causes dark stains on your teeth, but also it is excessively bad for your health.

Avoid foods that can harm or stain your teeth. Such foods may be soft drinks or energy drinks, which are also tremendously harmful for your health. Red wine and coffee can stain your teeth but do not harm your health if consumed moderately. Tea, especially green tea, can stain your teeth a lot, but green tea is excellent for your health. If you consume green tea regularly and notice that your teeth are stained, consider having dental cleanings more often.

If you already have tooth decay, excellent dental hygiene will not heal it. It is important to consult your dentist and have the necessary work done. You might need simple treatments like white fillings, ore more extensive ones like crowns and veneers. You might also not need any treatments at all! Once all your teeth are healthy, regular check-ups every 6 months are imperative to make sure your teeth stay healthy.

Sometimes your teeth are very healthy but not well aligned. This situation needs orthodontics or braces, which is more costly. It is something that needs to be discussed with your dentist or your orthodontist as they might have payment plans. Put in mind that an orthodontic treatment can be done at almost any age, and it is something that can be planed in the future if impossible to perform today.

If you would like your teeth to be whiter, consider having tooth whitening. But sometimes just having your teeth cleaned makes the stains go away and make them look whiter.

Caring for your gums

Smiling woman gums showing

A healthy smile also needs healthy gums. Periodontal disease (or gum disease) is very common among the adult population, and is not only harmful for your health, but it can make your smile look awful! Pink and healthy gums are nicer than red and puffy gums. Unhealthy gums also cause bad breath. Furthermore when periodontal disease reaches an advanced level, gums around teeth become reduced, making teeth look longer in a non-aesthetic way.

Caring for your gums is similar to caring for your teeth, by brushing after each meal and flossing at least once a day. Dental plaque that is left between teeth and gums are the main initial cause of gum disease.

Some dentists recommend the daily use of mouthwash in order to disinfect gums. If you do so, consider using mouthwash that doesn't contain alcohol. Sometimes warm salted water is enough to do the job.

Tartar is also a contributing factor for gum disease. But tartar cannot be brushed or flossed away. It can only be removed by a dentist or a dental hygienist. Regular dental cleanings every 3 to 6 months are important to remove tartar.

If you already suffer from gum disease, multiple treatments exist that you can discuss with your dentist or periodontist (gum specialist). They can range from curettage to surgery. After gum treatment, it is important to maintain your gums healthy by brushing and flossing daily, and also by having regular dental cleanings every 3 to 6 months.

Beautiful and healthy lips

Smiling man takes care of his lips

Your smile consists mostly of your teeth and your gums. Your lips frame your smile and they need to look good as well.

Here's how to take care of your lips:

  • keep them hydrated by drinking 6 to 8 glasses of water a day;
  • do not smoke, as smoking makes your lips dry, wrinkled, thin, and creates dark stains on them;
  • try not to lick your lips because your saliva contains irritating acids that remove natural oils, which keep lips moisturized;
  • do not exfoliate your lips as you would do with your skin; lips are covered with a mucous membrane which does not regenerate the same way that skin does;
  • why not colour your lips, as women have been doing it for millennia! It is mostly recommended to use light colours for day time (pink, peach or neutral) and dark and dramatic colours for evenings (dark red or wine); some men can also benefit from colouring if their lips are very pale;
  • look out for what you put on your lips as some lipsticks or lip balms can cause allergic reactions.

Caring for your face

Smiling woman yoga

The face should be treated like the body. It needs regular exercise to tone up the muscles, strengthen them and keep your face and your smile looking young and healthy. Some experts have suggested yoga-like exercises that can be done bi-weekly to help the muscles of your face stay toned.

The following smiling exercise will benefit your facial muscles, which will improve how you control your happy expressions. This exercise needs to be performed in front of a mirror, and you start by relaxing your lips and your face:

  • stretch your mouth to the sides while you keep your lips together, and hold for 10 seconds;
  • expand that stretch and let your lips separate naturally to show the edge of your teeth; again hold for 10 seconds;
  • expand even more that stretch, showing about half of your teeth, and hold for 10 more seconds;
  • expand further by making a very wide smile which will show all your teeth, and hold for 10 seconds;
  • repeat all those steps in a reverse order until you close your mouth.

There are other yoga exercises that can tone up your eyes, your cheeks, and other parts of your face.

Having a genuine smile

Woman smile genuine

After you have taken care of your teeth, your gums, your lips and your face, you have a solid foundation to achieve a great and healthy smile. All that you need now is the attitude to make your smile genuine and real.

To achieve a genuine smile, follow this advice:

  • be confident; talk to yourself in a positive manner and acknowledge the things that you are good at;
  • relax; because when you are not relaxed, your lips and your facial muscles will look tensed;
  • learn how to smile with your eyes; when you are happy the corners of your mouth will push upward towards the corners of your eyes;
  • when you smile with your eyes, they will close lightly and look rested;
  • have positive thoughts; when smiling, think about things that make you happy: your family, your friends, a funny memory, or anything that makes you feel good.

Practice carefully all of the above advice and you will be ready to brace into the world with your uniquely amazing smile!

Smiling man funny

References

  1. wikiHow (How to Have a Great Smile).
  2. Cowden Family Dental (3 Facial Exercises for the Perfect Smile).
  3. WorldwideHealth.com (Yoga Facial Exercises: A Nonsurgical Facelift using Yoga Facial Exercises).
  4. The Telegraph (Open wide and smile – you'll look years younger with face yoga).
  5. Tooth Mingle (How To Get Those Full Sexy Lips!).
  6. Mama Natural (7 Surprising Benefits of… Facial Yoga?!?).
  7. Aeon (The first smile ).

The information above should be used as a reference only. Any medical decision should not be done before consulting a health care professional.

The masculine gender has been used without prejudice to make reading easier.

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