Selfie-shy? Here are 5 tips for a better (and healthier) smile

According to a survey conducted by the AACD (American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry), 99.7% of adults believe a healthy smile is socially important. In other words, nearly everyone thinks that a good smile is key to social success.

Weirdly, there is a whole host of articles online giving advice about how to make a smile more photogenic in pictures, ranging from facial exercises to positioning the tongue for optimal lip pout. While these weird tips might make someone look better in the mirror, they likely won’t help with real smiles during day-to-day interactions, and they’ll do absolutely nothing for your oral health.

However, there are real ways to care for your mouth to actually foster a good-looking smile. Here are a few tips from Health.com and MouthHealthy.org for a socially and physically healthy smile:

  1. Get Dental Crowns
    If you have broken or discolored teeth, asking your dentist about crowns can improve the appearance of your smile while also helping your teeth heal. According to Mouthhealthy.com, crowns can make your teeth stronger and protect them from further weakening or breakage. Since they are made to look like natural teeth, crowns are a great way to improve your smile and your oral health.
  2. Try Braces
    Many people think braces are only for children, however, adults can greatly benefit from tooth-straightening methods like braces and clear tooth liners. Straight teeth can improve your smile, and they can also help your mouth health by reducing crowding and making brushing and flossing more effective.
  3. See Your Dentist Regularly
    Brushing regularly is extremely important, but it doesn’t let you off the hook for visiting a dentist’s office twice a year. Going to the dentist often can help prevent cavities and other tooth problems that can hurt your health and ruin your grin.
  4. Eat the Right Foods
    Cutting back on sugar can improve your smile by reducing cavities, but that is not the only dietary step you can take for a healthier and prettier smile. Reducing intake of acidic foods of beverages that stain teeth can help enamel stay strong and white. Try eating more veggies, and cut back on diet soda, which can damage enamel. Also reduce intake of wine, coffee, tea and tomato sauce, and rinse your mouth with water after eating acidic foods.
  5. Quit Smoking
    Cigarettes are terrible for your overall health, and your oral health is no exception. From bad breath to damaged taste buds to yellow teeth, your mouth and your smile are none the happier when you smoke. Addiction is difficult to overcome, but remembering how much your smile could improve might be good inspiration to quit for good.

Your smile is important for both your health, your social status, and your happiness. By following these steps, you can keep grinnin’ pretty for years to come.