In a world of Instagram selfies, Facebook albums, and Snapchat snaps, you can’t seem to escape from a constant barrage of smartphone photos and videos. Furthermore, many businesses require a professional headshot as part of your application, so you need at least a few good images of your beautiful or handsome face readily available.
But though you may pose hard for the camera, you have one feature that your family, friends, and followers look for first: your smile. In fact, surveys show that 37% of people look at your smile before they notice your eyes, hair, nose, or body shape.
So what can you do to ensure your smile looks its best in front of the lens?
1. Correct Gaps With Implants and Bridges
Although a small tooth gap may seem cute or iconic for certain celebrities, missing teeth pose a lot of problems for your oral health.
If you lost a tooth to injury or decay, your surrounding teeth may lean together to try to fill the space, resulting in crooked teeth and a misaligned bite. If left untreated, your missing teeth may lead to bone loss in your jaw and can increase the likelihood of additional tooth loss.
To protect your teeth and improve your bite, talk to a cosmetic dentist about your restoration options. Implants and bridges can look and function like natural teeth, allowing you to enjoy a straighter, healthier, and camera-ready smile.
2. Remove Stains Through In-Office Whitening
Teeth tend to stain and yellow over time. Though regular brushing and flossing keep away the worst of the stains, you will likely want a professional cleaning and whitening to keep your pearly whites as white as possible.
In-office whitening, unlike at-home treatments, work quickly, so you can brighten your smile right before your upcoming photo. Because professional treatments use powerful bleaching agents, you can whiten your teeth by several shades in less than an hour.
Keep in mind that some stains don’t come from pigments on your tooth’s surface. Trauma to the tooth, fluorosis, or tetracycline antibiotics during childhood may darken or tint your teeth from the inside out. These kinds of stains don’t respond to regular whitening treatment, though you can cover the teeth with veneers or crowns.
3. Avoid Dark-Colored Foods and Drinks
A thorough cleaning and whitening can ensure your teeth look great for months. But even the strongest bleaches and most powerful brushes can’t give you a lifetime of blinding white teeth. Soon enough, you’ll need to make another appointment with your dentist to repeat the process.
However, you can make the most of your whitening treatment when you avoid dark-colored foods and drinks. Coffee, tea, wine, and berries all contain pigments that can lodge in the grooves of your teeth, discoloring and staining your enamel.
If you don’t want to sacrifice your favorite foods entirely, swish and rinse your teeth with water immediately after snacking or sipping. An hour later, don’t forget to brush and floss so you can scrub away any lingering food particles.
4. Choose the Right Shade of Lipstick
Healthy teeth and good habits go a long way toward giving you a camera-ready smile. But you can enhance your appearance and create the illusion of whiter teeth through makeup.
To start, consider wearing a berry- or plum-toned shade of lipstick. Makeup with blue-toned hues will counteract any lingering traces of yellow or brown on your teeth. In contrast, lipstick with orange hues will reflect light onto your teeth, making your smile seem aged and yellow.
For a mega-watt smile, try a lip liner and gloss to highlight your lips, and apply a light concealer near the border of your lips. With this technique, your lips appear fuller and more vibrant while your teeth seem whiter in contrast.
5. Apply a Thin Layer of Petroleum Jelly
Have you ever noticed how white teeth seem to reflect light? They shine and sparkle in a way that nearly blinds you. But on camera, that shine and shimmer often disappears, even when you have stunning white teeth.
To recreate that shine in front of the lens, apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly or Vaseline to your teeth. The coating gives your smile a shimmery, eye-catching look, much like lip gloss enhances the shape and curve of your lips.
Additionally, if you apply petroleum jelly before you put on your lipstick, the gel will prevent the makeup from staining your teeth. And, of course, the taste may make you reluctant to close your mouth, so you’ll be more likely to give the photographer your biggest smile.
Enjoy Your Beautiful Smile
When you follow these five tips, you can transform your teeth into one of your favorite features. With a little practice and care, you ensure your teeth look great for any photo-worthy occasion, whether you want to spend the day with a family member or enjoy a formal evening with a date.