The Importance of a Picture-Perfect Smile
Everyone wants a picture-perfect smile. No wonder the smile is the most well-studied facial expression! Research shows that the simple act of smiling can lengthen your overall lifespan, decrease stress, elevate your mood, boost your immune system, lower your blood pressure, and more!
Smiling is especially important in today’s digital age, where impressions are based on profile pictures. In fact, upon looking at a person’s picture for the first time, in only 39 milliseconds, a lasting first impression is formed. Put your best foot forward! Make sure that impressions of you are positive by posing with a smile on your face!
The Anatomy of A Great Smile
Whether it’s for a selfie for an Instagram story, a professional portrait for LinkedIn, or a profile picture for a dating app, here’s how to have the perfect smile in every picture!
1.) Practice Makes Perfect
Spend some time in front of a mirror and practice your smile! Don’t know where to start? A 2017 study argued that a smile has three important components: the angle of the mouth, the extent or wideness of the smile, and the amount of dental show on display. The highest-rated smiles are those with low to medium extents and medium to high angles. Try to avoid extreme angles, as this is a common feature of unsuccessful smiles.
Specifically, this study found that the best smiles have mouth angles of about 13–17° and smile extents of about 55–62% of the interpupillary distance. However, don’t worry if you don’t hit these measurements exactly! This study concluded that while an optimal smile may exist, there is still a diversity of great smiles. Practice until you find a smile that feels right for you.
2.) Be Genuine
People can tell the difference between a real smile and a fake one! It’s all in the eyes – or rather, the orbicularis oculi muscle, which surrounds the eyes. A true smile, also called a Duchenne smile after the French anatomist G. B. Duchenne who first made the observation in 1862, involves the orbicularis oculi muscle. When you genuinely smile, this muscle raises your cheeks, creating laugh lines at the outside corners of your eyes.
You’ll be happy to know that you can produce a Duchenne smile on command. However, if your smile isn’t quite reaching your eyes, remember that a real smile reflects felt, positive emotion – think happy thoughts when you snap that selfie!
3.) Oral Hygiene Is Everything
The star of a perfect smile: perfect teeth! Practicing good oral hygiene is essential to getting the perfect smile in every picture. This means using the best products and making an oral hygiene routine that you can stick to. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing at least once a day. Moreover, don’t forget to visit your dentist regularly.
To make your teeth extra shiny and bright, I would also recommend teeth whitening! There are a variety of methods you can use to whiten your teeth. You can go the DIY route and use easy-to-find ingredients like activated charcoal. You can buy over-the-counter teeth whitening products. You can also visit a teeth whitening salon and get your teeth professionally whitened at The Smile Bar!
The Smile Bar
The Smile Bar – Uptown Parade BGC
Address: 2/f Uptown Parade, 9th Avenue, corner 36th St, Taguig
Opening hours: 10 AM – 10 PM
Telephone: 02 8541 2853
Instagram: @ thesmilebarph
The Smile Bar – Ayala Malls, Vertis North
Address: 4/f, Cinema level, Ayala Mall, Vertis North 173, Quezon City
Opening hours: 11 AM – 8 PM
Telephone: 0917 590 0792
Instagram: @ thesmilebarph
4.) Find Your Side and Your Angle
How flattering a picture is will highly depend on the angle you use when taking it! When you strike a pose, try emphasizing the left side of your face. Research shows that for most people, the left side of their face often looks better than the right. This is hypothesized to be because the left side of the face displays a greater intensity of emotion.
Aside from this, if you are taking a selfie, try holding the phone higher than your forehead and tilt your camera down at a 45-degree angle. This top-down angle has been found to be the most universally flattering!
5.) Good Posture Makes A Difference
Stand up straight, relax your shoulders, and keep your head held high. This will help you look poised in every picture.
Just like smiling, good posture can also change your mood. Not only does standing tall with your shoulders back make you look confident, but it also makes you feel more confident too. This can pull you out of self-doubt, disappointment, dread, and any other self-defeating emotion.
6.) Lights, Camera, Action
Celebrities and influencers use ring lights to look more attractive and professional in their photos. While using a ring light to highlight your picture-perfect smile is an option that you can choose, there is no need to spend on one. Natural lighting works just as well as a ring light! You can position yourself in front of a window or outside in the shade for the best lighting.
7.) Be Yourself
Last but definitely not least, be yourself! Remember, you want your smile and your picture to be representative of who you really are. Your smile, as long as it is that of your authentic self, is picture-perfect already! Don’t tire yourself out by presenting an idealized version of yourself, you are fine just the way you are.