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Young girl shows off her smile with braces holding books in front of a school locker. Other children are in the background.

School Pictures Are Coming! Should You Smile with Braces?

It’s a new school year, and you’ve got a whole new smile – thanks to your braces. Now the big question: Should you smile with braces in your school pictures? The answer is: Absolutely! Never miss a chance to show off your great smile!

Trust us – whether or not you think your school pictures are, well, picture perfect, you’ll treasure them in the years to come. Sure, now you may look at them and only see that your hair was a little messed up (why do they always seem to schedule pictures after gym?) or think that you should’ve worn a different shirt. But someday, you’ll look back and remember this was where your beautiful grown-up smile began.

If you want to make your brace-y smile your best ever, we’ve got a few tips to help. So don’t hold back – smile, say “cheese,” and get ready to show off that smile with braces!

Practice Makes Perfect – Even When It Comes to A Smile with Braces

It may sound silly, but the best way to master the smile you want is to practice it! This is especially true when you have braces, because you’re getting used to a whole new mouth shape. Your facial expressions rely on your facial muscles, so “exercising” those muscles in front of a mirror can help you find a smile you’re comfortable with.

How do you exercise your smile? Like every other exercise, you have to stretch it! Here are a series of facial exercises to perfect your grin:

  1. Start with a somber smile. Stretch the corners of your mouth outward, keeping your lips closed. Hold that pose for 10 seconds, then release it.
  1. Add some teeth. Repeat the first stretch, but part your lips just enough to show your teeth. Hold that pose for 10 seconds, then release it.
  1. Then grin from ear-to-ear. Stretch the corners of your mouth as wide as you can, exposing all of your teeth. Hold that pose for 10 seconds, then release it.
  1. Do the duck face. Purse your lips, making them as big as possible while pulling in your cheeks.
  1. But try not to quack up. While keeping your lips pursed, try to simultaneously stretch the corners of your mouth outward, into a smile. Hold that pose just long enough that your facial muscles begin to feel fatigued. Then release it.

Don’t practice this routine more than once a day, as it may cause muscle strain. Over time, these stretches should help your smile look and feel more natural.

Some Dos and Don’ts for Brightening Your Brace-y Grin

You can’t have a great smile when your teeth don’t look their best. Regular brushing and flossing is crucial to getting and keeping your smile beautiful – especially when you’re wearing braces. Your teeth now require special attention; here are some dos and don’ts for keeping them strong and bright.

DO – Keep your teeth clean and healthy by brushing after every meal and rinsing after snacks. Use ordinary toothpaste frequently after meals to keep your brackets stain free.

DON’T – Use a whitening toothpaste. The toothpaste will whiten your teeth, but only the exposed parts. The part of the teeth where the whitening toothpaste didn’t reach will be a different color once your braces are removed.

DO – Eat a variety of healthy foods, like these listed in our blog.

DON’T – Eat foods that will stain your teeth, like berries, tomato sauce, colored sodas or sports drinks. Or if you do, brush and rinse right after you’ve finished eating. If you have Invisalign® aligners, it’s important to remove them before eating and immediately brush your teeth afterward. If stain-causing juices from your food end up trapped between your teeth and the aligner, your saliva won’t be able to wash it away.

DO – Get your ligatures changed frequently. If they looked stained, have them changed before class pictures. That is, unless you want to go bold – then express yourself with brightly-colored ligatures.

DON’T – Rush while you brush. Make sure you’re brushing for at least 2 minutes to keep your smile healthy and bright.

Schedule Your Free Consultation

Schedule a Free Consultation

Doctor Andy offers free consultations in Parma, Ohio, for those that may need to improve their smile with braces. Learn all about our treatment options. Contact us online or call 440-842-8015 to book your appointment.

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