We have reopened for regular dental appointments. In light of Covid-19 public health concerns, there will be some changes to our usual protocols. Click here to learn more.


The Secret to Smiling Perfectly in Photos Every Time

a man smiling

Ask anyone how they feel about having their picture taken, and you’ll likely hear some variation of, “I just hate the way I look in photos.” This comes up especially around the holidays, when families and friends gather and mark the occasion with some photos to remember it by. They may cherish the memory, but you may be unable to look at the photo without feeling disheartened by how you look.

If your smile isn’t as bright and attractive as you wish it were, there are plenty of ways to change that. One is cosmetic dentistry, which we’ll address at the end, but there are some tricks you can use whenever you’re having your picture taken that don’t require anything more than a moment of thought.

Close Your Eyes & Relax Your Facial Muscles

When someone gets ready to take our picture, most of us tense up. It’s a natural reaction to being put on the spot or receiving more attention than you’re used to, but that tense feeling extends to your face, which is why, even if you’re smiling as brightly as you can, the result is a photograph that looks hard or even hostile. If you have time before the picture, take a moment – it doesn’t have to be more than two or three seconds – and close your eyes. Focus on relaxing your face, letting it go slack, and then look up and smile. The result will look much more natural and approachable in the final photograph.

Think About One of Your Favourite Things

Genuine happiness or joy is tricky to fake, so if a fun moment out with friends has been put on pause by the stress of taking a photograph, let your mind drift to something that makes you happy. It can be a loved one, a funny memory, a place that you love to go, or something else that literally brings a smile to your face. As you look at the camera, keep that thought in mind.

Don’t Ever Say “Cheese”

It’s been used so often in Western culture that it’s almost a trope of large gatherings. Someone grabs a camera, directs the rest of the group to stand together, and, as they raise the camera to their eye, declare, “Okay, everyone, say ‘cheese’!”

If you want to look natural and happy in photographs, never, ever, say “Cheese” as the picture is taken. The word works well for people who are still trying to figure out how to pause and hold for pictures, since saying it forces up the corners of the mouth into a smile, but it also leaves your teeth forced together. And if you’re not smiling with your eyes, the result will look more like a grimace than a grin.

Squint Slightly to Avoid Overly Large Eyes

The phrase “smiling with your eyes” can cause some confusion at first, but it’s actually the secret to looking happy and relaxed. Think about the last time you saw someone experience something that brought them genuine joy – their eyes probably softened and relaxed, and they probably squinted ever-so-slightly as they smiled.

When you try to smile as large and as brightly as you can, your eyes may widen and instead make you look alarmed. Take a moment and consciously squint your eyes, just a tiny bit. This minor adjustment will help you fake the genuine squint that occurs when we’re happy or content, which means you’ll look like you’re genuinely enjoying the moment.

Brush Your Teeth First

If you have time, excuse yourself to quickly brush your teeth. This is especially useful after just eating a meal, since it can help remove any food particles that might have gotten stuck in your teeth. However, this also serves a dual purpose – it allows you to confirm that your teeth are clean, and gives you a moment to relax your facial muscles away from the rest of the company. You’ll also walk away with fresh breath from the toothpaste you’ve used (and from the evacuation of bacteria during the brushing process), which will help you feel more confident when it’s time to show them off.

Consult a Cosmetic Dentist: Barrie Services

We all have ideas of how we’d like to look, and sometimes, all the relaxation and squinting in the world isn’t enough for you to ignore how your teeth look in photographs. Restorative dentistry can help by fixing up your teeth to look natural and healthy, but if you want them to really dazzle, you need to find a good cosmetic dentist.

Barrie dentist Dr. Elston Wong will first perform an overall evaluation of your oral health to ensure that the work you want done won’t exacerbate or cause any dental problems. You’ll also be provided with an information sheet and questionnaire to help familiarize you with the process and allow Dr. Wong to assess the best way to give you the smile you want. From changing the colour of your teeth to fixing a smile that shows more gums than you’d like, the options are extensive, and ultimately, it comes down to looking how you want, so you can feel confident and comfortable with a healthy smile.

If you’d like to learn more about our cosmetic dentistry in Barrie, give us a call at (705) 721-1143 or contact us online.

Dr. Elston Wong Portrait

About Dr. Elston Wong

Dr. Elston Wong completed his dental degree at The University of Toronto in 1999 before arriving in Barrie in 2002. After graduating, he continued to learn everything he could about dentistry. Now he has taken the time to share important information for anyone to read.

Meet The Whole Team

Ready to bring your smile back to glory?

Our Team is Ready to Guide You to Long-Lasting Oral Health