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Getting that Natural Smile

We’re all about aesthetic dentistry and at the very core of this dental art—the very principle that everything is founded upon—is creating a beautiful smile. Now that’s the goal of our mission, but there’s an objective on top of that one, one that’s addressed here: how to show off that beauty with a natural smile.

There are those who are gifted with the ability to—on command—show off a breathtaking, natural looking smile. Then there are those of us who—also on command—display a stiff grin with an eeriness that rivals a wax figure’s face. Everyone can smile naturally. It occurs all the time, when you laugh, when you hear good news, when you make a connection with someone. But it’s when you’re front of a camera without any stimulus that you run into trouble.

 

If this is how you look, don’t worry, you’re far from being alone.

Good news is there are a few excellent and easy tips to save your smile from yourself.

  1. Whatever you do, DON’T say “cheese.” This pulls your mouth into a strained, unnatural position. Instead, say words that end in an “uh” sound such as ‘yoga,’ ‘vanilla,’ or just plain “duh.”

    Why anyone thought “cheese” would create a good smile is beyond me.

  2. Laugh while taking a photo. This is very effective, but don’t go overboard. We don’t need a hysterical laugh a la the Joker; just a nice chuckle to yourself.
  3. Try to keep your face relaxed. The only places that shouldn’t be relaxed are around your mouth and the corner of your eyes.
  4. Lift the tip of your tongue up behind your front teeth. Doing this will put your lips in a more natural position.

    A prime example of smiling with one’s eyes. Notice how the eyes are somewhat narrowed.

  5. Learn to smile with your eyes. It might be the most crucial aspect of conveying a natural smile. When you laugh, you feel the smile push up into your eyes. This kind of genuine smile is called a Duchenne Smile and a good way to imitate it is to squint your eyes slightly, creating little pillows beneath your eyes and wrinkles around the corner of eyes. Master this and you’re golden.
  6. Lastly, combine all these techniques together and voila, you’ve got the most enviable smile in the crowd.

Personal suggestion: if you don’t want to spend too much time working on these or trying to come up with the perfect smile, number 2 usually does the trick all by itself.

Dr. Sam Sadati is the owner and practitioner of The Sadati Center of Aesthetic Dentistry in West Palm Beach and a leader in the world of cosmetic dentistry and smile design. He is the only accredited cosmetic dentist in all of South Florida and is one of only forty dentists in the world to receive an Accredited Fellow honor from the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD).  Apart from creating beautiful smiles, Dr. Sadati enjoys photography, travel, and the opportunity to tell a good joke.  If you have a question or comment, dental-related or otherwise, connect with us on Facebook orTwitter. We always reply to our fans and followers!

 

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