woman with big smileThe quickest way to come across as kind, friendly, happy, and confident is by showing a fantastic smile. Comedian and actress Phyllis Diller once said, “A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.” As one of the funniest people Hollywood has known, she would certainly be an expert.

But what if you weren’t born with the perfect Hollywood smile? If, like many people, you’re not confident in flashing your pearly whites, what steps can you take to brighten up your day and your smile? Thankfully, there are a lot of steps we can take.

  1. Take good care of your mouth

This step is just common sense, but it’s also the most critical and easiest to accomplish. Brush at least twice a day, floss regularly, use mouthwash, take care of your lips, and wash your face. It’s a lot easier to flash a smile if you know that your teeth are clean and your breath is fresh. If you don’t have a thorough oral care routine, it’s easy to develop one.

Many of us have gum in our desk at work, in our car, or in our bags. Add in a toothbrush, travel-size toothpaste, and a spool of floss, and you’re set for ongoing, daily dental self-care. Having those tools on hand will remind you to use them. As you make it easy to care for your mouth during the day, your smile will brighten and your confidence will grow.

  1. Get regular checkups with your dentist

You should be visiting your dentist at least twice a year for checkups and examinations, and one of those visits should include x-rays. Dentists get a bad rap for being an unpleasant experience, but wouldn’t you rather get a little work done now instead of losing teeth to neglect?

Periodontal gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults and can result in many painful and inconvenient health issues if left untreated. Ask plenty of questions when you’re at the dentist’s office so that you have a solid understanding of what’s going on with those pearly whites, and how you can maintain proper dental health between checkups.

  1. Sometimes teeth need to be straightened out

With advances in dental practices, there are now options beyond traditional braces to straighten your teeth. Invisalign is one such procedure that can straighten your teeth without the cost and pain of braces, and without needing to visit an orthodontist. Invisalign molds are custom fitted to your teeth and as the name implies, are nearly invisible to the people around you. Give that presentation, or go to that interview, or just hold a conversation knowing that your smile is improving without anyone noticing a thing.

  1. Get those teeth white and bright

There is a whole range of products and services designed to brighten your teeth. There are mild, over-the-counter treatments that you can get at any supermarket or pharmacy and do yourself in the comfort of your own home. For more advanced cases, where teeth may have been stained by years of smoking, coffee, or neglect, you may need to seek the aid of a professional.

                At your dentist’s office, you can get more information about whitening treatments, inlays and onlays, porcelain veneers, crowns and bridges, and other services that can correct oral health issues and brighten smiles at the same time. Services and pricing varies from office to office, so the easiest way to get information is to ask your dental health provider for it the next time you’re in their chair.

  1. Life is too short not to smile

Regardless of the condition of your mouth and teeth, the best thing about a smile is the energy and confidence behind it. A natural and easy smile is welcoming, friendly, and is a great way to make a strong impression on people you meet. Think of someone in your life who has a great smile. When you picture them, do you think more about how perfect their teeth are, or how happy it makes you to see them with a big grin?

People around you will feel the same way. Pay more attention to the things in your life that make you smile, and spend less time thinking about the daily stresses and trials that can turn that smile upside down. Optimism, confidence, good cheer, a positive outlook, and a beautiful smile all go hand in hand together, and as you strive to increase one in your life, the rest will grow at the same time.

So show off those killer smiles! Take care of your mouth and teeth at home, seek out a competent and professional dental health team that cares about you, and enjoy the world around you. Smiles are contagious, so share yours with the people around you and you will be amazed at the smiles you’ll get back in return.