One of the major hesitations people have when wearing braces is smiling. They often don’t want to smile in pictures with braces. Even though the stigma of wearing braces is changing, people still feel self-conscious about showing off their orthodontic hardware. Our primary message is to show off those braces!
Why Smile in Pictures with Braces?
The biggest argument for smiling in pictures with braces is that you should be proud of yourself. Braces, although somewhat unsightly, are a sign that you care about your appearance. You are taking an active part in self-improvement. Be proud of that!
There are many benefits to braces, regardless of your age. Although many people think that straight teeth are simply a cosmetic issue, they are incorrect. A straight smile offers:
- Boost in self-esteem
- Greater confidence
- Health benefits
- Easy oral hygiene
Aside from the boost in self-esteem and confidence, the health benefits from a properly aligned smile are great.
First, straight teeth and an aligned jawline promote better chewing, making it easier to eat. Second, with better chewing, comes better digestion. When food is properly chewed, our body can process it better. Third, because food is easier to process we can gain more nutrient value from everything we eat (yes, even that donut).
Although oral hygiene is a challenge with braces, it is much easier once the braces come off. While you have to work around the archwire to floss correctly with braces, the task is much easier with a straight smile.
Don’t be shy. Be proud that you are taking an active role in the improvement of your overall health by wearing braces.
Altering the Way You Smile with Braces
You can keep your lips closed the entire time you have braces. This will undoubtedly cause difficulty in speaking, though, so maybe not. We get it — having braces isn’t the most appealing look on the planet. The good news is that brackets are a lot smaller and less visible than they were even ten years ago.
Another good thing is the ability to select clear, ceramic braces. These clear brackets allow the natural color of your teeth to show, making the braces less noticeable. In many instances, you can even have a white wire rather than stainless steel. This makes clear ceramic braces even more low-profile.
Pretending that you are Humphrey Bogart might work. The famed film star had scar tissue on his upper lip that restricted his movement and his ability to smile. Although the feature gave him an iconic style of speaking, it might not be the easiest trick to pull off.
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There is a better argument to encourage smiling, even while wearing your braces.
Smiling is a Great Mood Booster
Believe it or not, just the act of smiling can boost your mood. The muscles in our face that control lip movement connects directly to our neural network. When you smile, the zygomaticus major (aka the smile muscle) raises the corners of your mouth. The zygomaticus major is also responsible for dimples, but that is a discussion for a different day.
When you smile, your brain releases neurotransmitters (endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin). These little messengers travel through your entire body to boost your mood. They are also called the “Happy Hormones” because of this wonderful side effect.
You’re going to have an awesome smile when the braces come off. Now is the perfect time to start practicing!
Practice How to Smile in Pictures with Braces
You probably never really worried too much about how your smile looked. Or perhaps you were embarrassed by a less-than-perfect smile and kept it hidden. The good news is that when your braces come off you will have an awesome smile! Why not start showing it off now?
Start flexing those facial muscles and exercising your new smile. It’s OK that you still have your braces. You can smile with confidence knowing that every day you are closer to your dream smile. The first step is to get those muscles moving.
Tips For How to Smile in Pictures with Braces
Always start with a clean and fresh smile. Be sure to brush and floss before pictures. If your lips are dry, apply some moisturizer.
Never pinch your lips tightly closed. Practice smiling with at least some of your teeth showing. You aren’t the first person who has ever had braces. You won’t be the last. Don’t be embarrassed — just smile! A toothy smile is warmer, more appealing, and more engaging than a tight-lipped grimace.
Avoid using the flash. Unfortunately, with stainless steel braces and wires, you could get glints that would draw unwanted attention to your hardware.
Practice Your Smile
Always practice smiling before a picture. Yes, stand in front of a mirror and practice until you find a look that you like. Try to keep your smile natural and use all the muscles in your face.
Believe it or not, even fake smiling can boost your mood. If you’re feeling a little down about picture day, practicing your smiling can help boost your mood a bit. That will make your smile more natural too.
It’s OK to laugh at your reflection as you practice your smile. Some of the faces made while stretching the facial muscles can look pretty silly.
Final Tips on How to Smile for Pictures with Braces
Mind your posture. Sitting up or standing straight will do wonders to portray confidence. Shoulders back, tall and straight. It might amaze you how much this simple act can improve how you are perceived in pictures.
Smile with your whole face, including your eyes. This is one of the most natural expressions in our toolbox. It conveys confidence, and is warm and inviting.
Don’t be afraid to look at the camera. So many people take side-angle selfies or refuse to look at a person taking their photo. Looking at the camera gives you a friendlier appearance.
Don’t forget to smile. Show off your braces. Get accustomed to smiling wide, natural smiles. When you get your braces off you’ll already be a pro. Keep your smile relaxed and natural. You can practice as much as you need to.
Be Proud of Yourself!
Smiling is good for you with or without braces. Don’t be shy while wearing your braces. You are making a positive change for yourself. Mill Creek Orthodontics is here for you. Our staff is available if you have questions about how to smile in pictures with braces or anything else about your treatment.
Your first visit with Mill Creek Orthodontics is complimentary. If you are not already a patient, consider making Mill Creek your orthodontist. We serve patients throughout the Charlottesville, VA area. Whether you need traditional braces or Invisalign, we have the solutions for you.