There's something about a bright, beautiful smile that makes a person really attractive. I know some people like the moody broody look in their partners….. but melancholy only gets you so far.
Imagine waking up to the glums every morning. Ewwww. It would feel like a Monday everyday. 😣
Most people are like me though! I like happy faces. RBFs or RAFs don’t quite cut it; as shown by studies. In fact, 2011 findings by researchers at the Face Research Laboratory at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland found that both men and women were more attracted to images of people who made eye contact and smiled, than those who did not. (Facial attractiveness: evolutionary based research Phil Trans R Soc B June 12, 2011 366: 1638-1659)
So read on for 7 steps to get that healthy radiant smile!
1. Clean in between your teeth
You need to clean in between your teeth to prevent bacteria from accumulating in those spaces. When bacteria lodges in these nooks, the body tries to attack the bacteria with immune cells.
However, sometimes the body also ends up damaging the bone in the interdental areas, and you end up with large black spaces in between the teeth. We dentists call them black triangles.
It’s not just unaesthetic, but may also cause you to lisp when you talk! So it's really important to floss or use interdental aids to take out any food debris or bacteria before they cause permanent damage to your interdental bone.
2. Correct your bite
Some smiles are less attractive because there are just TOO many teeth that look like a traffic pile-up. Or the teeth just stick out too much and makes you look like a rabbit. Cute when you are 4, but it’s not so hot to look like a bunny when you are 30.
If you're bothered by crooked teeth or teeth with multiple gaps in between them, see an orthodontist. They can move your teeth around with braces, and give you well placed, aligned teeth.
3. Go for gum re-contouring if your smile is too gummy
I know a lot of girls with gummy smiles who feel too embarrassed to let out that hearty laugh. They have practised hard to not smile too widely.
In general, for a smile to be aesthetic, not too much gums should show above the teeth in a full smile.
FRET NOT if you have a gummy smile! Your periodontist can do plastic surgery for your gums, and give you well contoured teeth that fit your facial proportions.
4. Whiten your teeth if they are yellow
I'm sure many of you have considered whitening your teeth at some point in your life, as white teeth makes you look youthful and fresh.
Check out this article for more details on tooth whitening. It might help you take the plunge to whiten your teeth if you're still sitting on the fence!
5. Reshape your teeth with crowns and veneers
Have you felt that your teeth were just foreign invaders from another planet? I have seen really pretty girls with teeth that are square and fat. The teeth just don’t suit their faces. It’s the equivalent of having a really bad haircut.
You could look so much better! The shape of your teeth can lend a feminine or masculine look to your smile. Cosmetic dentistry is so developed nowadays - it's relatively straightforward to reshape your upper front teeth with tooth coloured fillings or veneers to fit your face shape.
6. Smile with your eyes
Once you have that healthy and perfect smile, make sure you smile with your eyes as well, because joy shows in the eyes.
"Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy." Thich Nhat Hanh
As with many things in life, it works both ways. :)
7. Brush your gums, not just your teeth!
Most people don’t realise this, but the prettiest smiles have light pink, healthy gums.
If your gums appear dark or bright red, it immediately looks gunky and honestly kind of jarring. To get pink, healthy gums, you have to brush your gums with a soft toothbrush at at 45 degree angle.
Here's a “home made” video that I did with my daughter…. so you get the idea. You can also ask your dentist how to brush properly! Ask and you shall learn!
So do work on that smile. If it doesn’t come naturally to you, fake it till you make it! :)
Dr Marlene Teo is a Periodontist (gum specialist) at TP Dental. She holds a joint appointment as Adjunct Senior Lecturer at the National University of Singapore. Dr Teo passionately believes in leading a holistic and healthy lifestyle to boost immunity and combat periodontal disease.