What’s the first thing you notice about someone you’d never met before? Don’t say it’s their personality; that’s impossible to judge right away. Most people will probably say their face, because it’s the first thing they see. As a result, many people are self-conscious about their face, especially their smile.
Smiley people tend to come off as warmer and friendlier, but if someone thinks their smile is hideous, they’ll try to cover it up. You may have seen people literally cover their mouth when they laugh. If that’s something you do yourself, then here are a few ways you can improve your smile (even though it’s nice already).
1. Whiten those pearly yellows
One of the things most people complain about with respect to their smile is that their teeth aren’t as white as they’d like them to be. This is evident by the fact that all of the major dental brands have whitening toothpastes (we’re now getting into “even whiter” whitening toothpastes), and some even have products whose sole purpose is to whiten your teeth.
The unfortunate fact of the matter is that most people perceive whiter teeth to form a better smile despite the fact that most people have teeth more on the yellow side anyway. That said, with all the hype over having whiter teeth, it’s easier (and cheaper) than ever to get them whiter. You can opt for whitening treatments or you can use patience and some elbow grease and let the whitening variety of your toothpaste do the trick over time. Either way, your whiter smile will be even brighter than it was before.
2. The “B” word
Sometimes it’s not the shade of your teeth that bugs you but rather the symmetry (or lack thereof) that makes you hesitant to really let your smile shine. For most people, braces might conjure up images of a dorky teenager who can get radio signals at night if he keeps his mouth open. Braces aren’t just for kids, though. Even adults who never got braces as a kid often take advantage of the straight smile braces can give you.
If you really don’t want to walk around with metal in your mouth scratching you up, you could consider something like Invisalign. They work the same as braces in that they straighten your teeth, but unlike braces, you can remove them when you eat and brush and they’re nearly invisible. You get all the benefits of braces without the stigma, inner-cheek pain, and stuck food particles. Win, win!
3 Have a Contagious Smile
The final suggestion to improve your smile is simply to do it more often. This won’t literally change your smile and make it better, but come on, admit it – your smile is already pretty nice. They say that smiles are contagious, and there’s actually some science to sort of back that up. How does that improve your smile though?
Well, it doesn’t, specifically. However, the root of your problem is confidence, not a poor appearance. Confidence will help you smile more naturally, and your whole face will show the joy you feel. The sincerity and the confidence you exude will automatically make your smile seem warmer to everyone who sees it. That trick doesn’t even cost any money!
So whether you need to lighten up, straighten out, or just start doing it, you’ve got a few options to start working on your smile. Really, it’s all up to how you feel in your own skin, so do what you think will help you the most. Just don’t stop smiling – you never know who’s about to fall in love with it.
My name is Sarah and I’ve been a written beauty columns for nearly 5 years.