Wondering what’s holding you back from a great first impression? Research shows it may be your smile! According to a study by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, just under half of all adults in the US think a smile is the most memorable part of any first impression.
In other words, if you’re hoping for the confidence boost every time you open your mouth, you might want to start with your pearly whites!
But if you’re not sure how to get the nice smile you’ve been aiming for, you’re not alone. With so many products and solutions promising a glowing grin, it can be hard to know where to turn. Keep reading for a few simple tips and best practices to help you learn how to have a nice smile.
- Brush Your Teeth
First things first: if you want nice teeth, you have to start with the basics. In other words, you have to take good care of them!
You’ve been told by every dentist you’ve ever seen to brush your teeth twice a day. However, if you’re like most people, you may let this habit slide every now and then, especially after a busy night out or during a rushed morning.
Avoid the temptation! Brushing is the single best way to safeguard your smile for the long-term. Proper brushing habits can rid your teeth of bacteria and even prevent bad breath.
You should also avoid the temptation to let this process become automatic. You should brush for two minutes, taking care to scrub all surfaces of the teeth and to massage the gums. If it’s been a while since you considered this habit, it might be worth brushing up on best practices!
You can use the typical manual toothbrush for your needs, and it’s certainly better than nothing at all. However, an electric toothbrush may be worth the cost, as they offer a more rigorous clean than their stationary cousins.
The toothpaste matters as well: while natural toothpastes have become a popular trend recently, if they don’t contain fluoride, you aren’t getting the strengthening and whitening benefits you’d see with traditional toothpaste.
- Floss Once a Day
If you aren’t flossing, you’re leaving a significant part of every tooth open to bacterial nastiness. However, you aren’t alone if you haven’t struck up this habit: fewer than half of all U.S. adults actually floss every day, with 32% saying they never do.
However, flossing can help keep your teeth free of decay, meaning you’ll have your natural nice teeth around for longer. If you don’t like the plastic thread floss and haven’t flossed in a while, check out modern methods like water- or air-flossers as well.
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- See Your Dentist
Dental anxiety can be a big deal. If you’re like many people, you dread your regular dental visits. You may even be tempted to skip a cleaning every now and then.
However, experts recommend that you have your teeth cleaned by a professional every six months, and for good reason. Your dentist can help clear away stubborn plaque, keeping your teeth healthy and strong.
- Straighten Your Teeth
We know, we know: teeth straightening seems like a teenager’s game. When most of us think of straightening, we picture the classic metal braces that are every high school student’s nightmare.
But straightening your teeth is a great way to get that classic, nice smile for photos, and it’s not as difficult as you think. Even as an adult, you may want to consider asking your dentist about what can be done to straighten any crooked teeth. This is especially true as you age, because your teeth actually never stop moving around in your mouth!
Modern straightening options come via clear retainers from popular brands such as Invisalign, for example. These retainers are customized to your teeth and your needs for straightening, and they’re easy to pop on and off as needed. Better still, they won’t draw unnecessary attention to your smile!
- Brighten Your Pearly Whites
If you indulge in staining beverages like coffee, wine, or tea, your teeth may have grown yellow or discolored over time. The first step toward whitening is to cut these beverages out of your diet as much as possible—or at least to drink them through a straw to preserve your teeth.
In addition, there are many solutions to help your teeth regain their “pearly white” look.
Simple drugstore products like whitening toothpaste and whitening strips can help you boost the clean color of your teeth by a shade or two. You can even find a blue light teeth-whitening kit to use at home.
However, for results that help you get your teeth a couple of shades whiter, no home method can beat an in-clinic visit. You’re probably wondering, “But where do I find teeth whitening near me?” The best place to start is with your local dentist, who can either do it on-site or offer recommendations for a nearby service.
- Practice a Winning Smile
People say the best smiles are the ones you do naturally, and this isn’t wrong. However, if you want to get a nice smile for photos or for that critical first impression, you may want to put a little thought into how you smile.
First, make sure you stand up straight, with your chin dropped a little so that you aren’t looking at the camera dead-on. When your face is tilted too far forward or backward, your smile can look strange or unnatural.
Next, think about your posture. Studies have shown that posture has a dramatic effect on confidence, and that’s no less true when you’re trying to show off your smile! Even when you feel anxious, falling into a confident posture can help you convince yourself of your own confidence.
Practice standing tall and proud with your shoulders back, and feel good about the way you smile!
Work on Your Nice Smile
You may not get the beautiful teeth and gums you want overnight, but following these simple best practices can help you take small steps toward a nice smile. Remember that adopting these habits into your everyday life will help you hang onto your natural pearly whites for longer, allowing you to make great first impressions and take stunning photos for years to come!
Want more of the tips you need to get ahead in life? Check out our other posts for more insights!