By Joanne Rosa
Ever notice the one thing nearly all celebrities have in common? Great teeth. Whether they’re getting their teeth whitened, bonded, or a full set of veneers, dental work needing more than a toothbrush and tooth fairy dust isn’t unusual in Hollywood. There’s no doubt that getting cosmetic work changes everything about your smile, but we cannot all afford to drop $2,000 per tooth.
The good news is that there are secrets to getting your best smile that don’t require dental work. Oh yes. There’s nothing better than wearing a great smile, so get on it!
Chapped lips are a big no no. You could be doing everything right when you smile for pictures, but no one will notice it with that flakey dead skin hanging off of your lips. Lips should feel like soft pillows, and they should look irresistible. Lipsticks, lip stains, and a $10,000 smile won’t mean a thing if your lips look like they just hiked through a desert of cacti. Lip balms are cheap, so buy a pack and keep one by your bedside, in your purse, at your desk, and in your car.
When you smile because it’s socially appropriate to do so but you don’t want to, it is so much more obvious than you think. The key to faking a good smile isn’t to smile as hard as you can, it’s to smile with your eyes. This requires more than just squinting your eyes like you’re trying to read your boss’ presentation in the conference room on a day you forgot to put your contacts in. Try smiling with just your eyes like Tyra Banks. Slightly move your upper facial muscles so your eyes have a faint squint to them. If you can nail this in the mirror a few times, you can be a fierce bitch like Tyra (kind of). You get the point.
You might not be able to afford porcelain teeth, but you sure as hell can afford to go to your yearly dental cleanings. Seriously, y’all know how important dental health is. Maintaining healthy gums, teeth, and mouth will result in a better smile. Going to the dentist might seem like a scary place, but you’re just being a wimp. Regular visits to dentist along with daily brushing and flossing will improve your appearance and your quality of life. This means whiter teeth, better looking gums, and a mouth that actually wants to smile. You can’t NOT afford to do this.
Water is good for your body, and it’s good for your teeth. In fact, staying hydrated is closely connected to our dental health. Staying hydrated will help your mouth producing saliva, and saliva will help delay tooth decay. Water also contains fluoride, which will help prevent tooth decay. It’s hard to smile with a dry mouth, so make sure you drink at least two liters of water a day (eight 8-ounce glasses). Not for nothing, but water will also help with bad breath. You can be the best looking person in a room, but no one will remember if your breath is rank.
Even if you have great dental and oral health habits, it’s natural for teeth to yellow overtime. Luckily, it’s so easy to whiten your teeth at home that you won’t need to get them professionally done. Dr. Jonathan Levine showed Wendy Watchers how to get pearly white teeth without breaking the bank.
We warm up our muscles before working out. Our face has muscles, yes? Believe it or not, there are actually smile warm up exercises you can do before you know you have a lot of smiling ahead of you. One of the smile exercises starts by stretching the corners of the mouth without opening your lips for approximately 10 seconds. Partially opening your mouth to expose the teeth edges, hold for another 10 seconds. Do this two more times until all teeth are exposed, and repeat. These exercises could help improve muscle tone and increase blood flow, which can make you look younger.
When in doubt, go for a red lip with blue undertones. This will make your teeth appear much whiter than they are. Don’t ask questions, just follow directions.
If you’re in a pinch, easy tricks like these can make your smile go from great to beat. Try clamping your teeth together to define your jawline. Place your tongue at the roof of your mouth to tighten your face and neck muscles. Close your eyes then slowly open them while also pulling your mouth into a smile. We know that last one sounds like it could look creepy in theory, but we promise you won’t look creepy when it’s all said and done. These tricks and ideal for any photo taking scenario. We do NOT recommend doing this in front of friends, colleagues, and family.