A beautiful smile has the power to light up anyone’s day, especially your own. If smiling is not your habit or you are unhappy with the smile you present, there are some steps you can take so that you can have a beautiful smile you love to show around. Here's how to spread the joy.
- Relax. Smiling should be fun, not forced or formal. Take a deep breath if necessary and wiggle your jaw until it unclenches and your face is relaxed.
- Take care of your mouth. Dental hygiene is important to a healthy smile. Make sure you brush and floss twice daily. If yellowing or staining have you hiding your smile, try a quick over-the-counter whitening or see your dentist for assistance.
- Add color and lushness to your lips. When taking care of your mouth, don’t forget your lips. Use lip balm to keep them supple and avoid being chapped. Try a hint of color to perk up your smile. Sometimes just applying lipstick or gloss makes you want to smile in order to show it off.
- Think positive thoughts. Smiles are mental (not just physical), so you need to think positive. Whatever it is that makes you want to smile, keep it in the corner of your mind and you can draw a natural smile any time you need it.
- Flex your facial muscles by pulling both corners of your mouth. The physical act of smiling requires that the muscles in your cheeks and around your jaw pull upward. These muscles can be sore if unused or if you plaster a false smile on regularly. Now that you’ve completed steps one through four, the muscles should be relaxed enough for you to flex into a more natural-looking smile.
- Practice smiling. There are several types of smiles and you may need to practice until you find the one that you are most comfortable with. Try a small smile tipping up only one side of your mouth or both with just a minor edge. This smile is closed lipped so it doesn’t show your teeth. While this may feel comfortable for many occasions, it is often the most likely look to be mistrusted. When people view others smiling the closed lipped, small smile, they may find it false, so be careful where you practice. Just remember that the more you do it, the easier smiling will become.
- Widen your smile to show teeth. Once you’ve practiced, you are ready to up the ante on your smile. Flex those facial muscles again and pull your lips up and away from your teeth. This open-mouthed, toothy smile often appears most natural.
- Laugh until your smile reaches your eyes. If you become concerned that your smile doesn’t appear genuine, consider taking an additional step. Laugh. Watch a comic on television or at a club. Chat with friends who tickle your funny bone. Just find something funny and laugh. The act of laughing will take your smile all the way up through the rest of your face and into your eyes.
Now you can present a genuine emotion. Smiling is a natural facial expression that adults sometimes grow out of. Babies smile even when they have gas and don’t know if they are happy or not. Relax and remember your inner child. Then you, too, will know how to give off a happy smile.