How To Smile

How To Smile

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You’ve taken excellent care of your teeth throughout your life. You spent a few years in braces, visit your dentist regularly, and brush and floss to keep your enamel bright. But there’s just one problem: you don’t know how to smile!

If you notice that your smile looks unnatural or forced in photos, you may be inclined to smile with your mouth closed or not at all. So today, the Tharp & Klaus team is here with advice on how to make your smile look natural and beautiful.

The Smile Exercise

Like the rest of your body, your face is controlled by muscles. Practicing regular facial exercises can improve your skin tone and elasticity, reduce lines, and help you perfect the look of your smile.

The smile exercise strengthens the facial muscles that control your smile, which will give you greater control over our happy expressions. Start out by standing in front of a mirror with your face in a natural and relaxed state.

  1. Stretch the corners of your mouth to the sides while keeping your lips together. Hold that for 10 seconds.
  2. Stretch your lips to the sides even further to expose the edge of your teeth and hold for another 10 seconds.
  3. Expand one more notch to expose about half of your teeth. Keep that pose for 10 more seconds.
  4. Smile as wide and hard as you can with all of your teeth showing for yet another 10 seconds.
  5. Reverse the smile gradually to return to the neutral position.

The Line Eraser

This exercise helps reduce the appearance of the fine lines around your mouth, helping you look younger and giving you a more natural smile. In yoga, this exercise is known as the Fish Pose. Here’s how it works:

  1. Pucker. Purse your lips as dramatically as you can by sucking your cheeks in and rolling your lips out.
  2. Try to smile while puckering.
  3. Hold this position until you feel a mild ache in the muscles around your mouth, and then release.

Make sure that you only practice this exercise once per day to avoid straining the muscles in your face.

The Bunny Rabbit

The bunny rabbit exercise works to tone your cheek muscles while increasing the flexibility and control of your smile. After practicing this one a few times, you might notice that it’s easier to make your smile appear less forced and more natural in photos.

  1. Grin from ear-to-ear without opening your lips.
  2. Start wiggling your nose like a bunny rabbit until you feel your cheek muscles engage with the smile.
  3. Hold that pose for 5 seconds.
  4. Repeat the process 10 times.

The Face Lift

One particular muscle in your face, the quadratus labii superioris, is what helps you maintain a youthful appearance. Strengthening this muscle works to prevent sagging and guarantee resiliency. The facelift exercise can help make your smile look young and fresh.

  1. Open your mouth slightly and relax your upper lip. Flare out your nostrils and wrinkle the nose with an exaggerated motion.
  2. Pull your upper lip up and hold for a count of 10.
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2, 10 times.

Smile Naturally

Even though you’re now equipped with new facial exercises that strengthen your smile muscles, you still might not know what makes a smile look good. If you find that you’re avoiding the camera or cringing after seeing yourself in family photos, think about these tips:

  • Be natural – When it’s time to smile for the camera, do it gently so that your face looks natural. Open your mouth slightly and push your tongue to the back of your front teeth so that your facial muscles relax. If you squint just a little bit, your smile looks more natural as well.
  • Don’t say cheese – While this has been a staple of photography for a long time, saying “cheese” actually stretches your mouth in an unnatural way. Instead, say a word that ends in the “uh” sound, like “toga.”
  • Laugh to yourself – Before the camera goes off, chuckle to yourself or think of something funny.
  • Tilt your head – Most of the time, we talk and communicate with our heads tilted back. By leaning it forward about 3 degrees, you look more approachable and flattering.

Need Some More Smile Help?

The Tharp & Klaus team is dedicated to enhancing the smiles of each and every patient that comes through our doors. But visiting your dentist every 6 months is only half the battle toward a healthy smile. Ensuring that you eat properly and establish a good dental health routine is essential in attaining bright, healthy teeth.
If you want to learn more about the best smile tactics, contact our office to make an appointment today.

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