With the rise of social media, the availability or user-friendly apps and access to high-resolution cameras on phones or tablets, self-portraits have become the documentary of modern times. These developments have certainly made it quicker and easier to take candid photos, emphasizing the importance of having a camera-ready smile all the time. While many have mastered the art of always looking good in photos, there are multitudes who shy away from spontaneous photo sessions. Some may be introverts, eccentrics or fiercely private individuals. But for others, the underlying cause of their camera shyness may be as simple as an awkward smile.
Anatomy of a Healthy Smile
If you were to examine the most dazzling smiles on celebrities or commercial models, you would notice a common element. Fresh, dewy skin and perfect lips help, but these are not the most important factors that determine the appeal of a smile. The one element that automatically qualifies a smile as an appealing one is having healthy teeth. It is always possible to smile without exposing your teeth, but the type of smile that usually draws a reaction is one that flashes your pearly whites in all their well-cared for glory. It is the kind of smile that reaches your eyes and almost automatically draws a positive response from others. Smiling is contagious: Evidence from various social research projects indicate that humans have an instinct for facial mimicry as a way to develop empathy and understanding of the other person’s experience or feelings. Inability to mirror the other person’s face limits your own ability to read their verbal and nonverbal messages and react appropriately to their expressions.
Importance of Dental Health
A healthy smile begins with good dental health. When it comes to oral health, there is no substitute for consistently practicing dentist-recommended habits such as brushing at least twice daily, flossing once a day and using your choppers only as intended. It is tempting to open packages with your incisors or use your canines to cut off stuff because they are handier than scissors, but these practices can damage the enamel and even the roots. For that matter, you should also pay make sure that no tooth is ever exposed to undue stress such as very hard food, overly sticky pieces and extreme temperature changes. Visiting your dentist at least twice a year is good practice because only trained and licensed professionals should perform the checks and procedures needed to keep your mouth healthy.
Smiles Should Come Naturally
You are more confident when you don’t have to worry about hiding a snaggletooth or other tooth imperfections such as discoloration, chipping or missing dentition. You tend to be friendlier when you’re not dealing with an abscess or a painful cavity. Many put up with these issues because of a fear of dentists, inadequate access to dental care, financial constraints and lack of dental insurance. Even when you have none of these issues but suffer from uneven or misaligned teeth, it is nearly impossible to smile naturally. As often happens, the tendency is to compensate for the imperfection by keeping the lips together for a closed-mouth smile, which is often unconvincing and uncomfortable.
Smile Makeover 101
Smiling is not only a form of expression, it is also part of a set of critical social skills that help you navigate through life. The good news is that an imperfect smile can be made more perfect with proper care and the help of professionals. With dental insurance, you will have access to the professional care that will help keep your mouth healthy for a camera-ready smile at all times. The month of May is designated as Photograph Month, which would be a good time for a personal smile review and makeover.