As a dentist, I appreciate a beautiful, healthy smile. More importantly I enjoy helping my patients achieve a smile that they are proud to show off. However, even with a beautiful smile, not knowing how to properly show it off in front of a camera, may give you results you are not happy with. This article gives you some tips to perfect your camera worthy smile.

1.) Get It Healthy! A beautiful smile is a healthy smile. By visiting your dentist, you are able to correct any cracked, broken, or missing teeth, which will improve your smile, increase your confidence, and shine in any picture.

2.) Avoid Double Chins! The appearance of a double chin comes from your posture. Slouching or bending your head forward influences the angle of your smile, giving you the appearance of a double chin. To hide it, make sure your face is not square with the camera. The best way to do so is to turn your head slightly or drop your chin.

3.) Work it! You don’t need a Julia Roberts smile to think your smile is picture worthy. A photogenic smile is a confident smile. In fact, many of Hollywood’s stars don’t have perfect teeth. A good example is Tom Cruise. Next time you examine his smile, notice that the line between his two front teeth, which should line up with the center of his nose, is actually off to one side.

4.) Lipstick is Your Friend! Certain shades of lipstick make your teeth appear to be whiter. Blue-based and Pink-based undertones will minimize any yellowish tones in your teeth. Be careful with this philosophy, however. Shades that are too dark or too red for your skin tone can detract from your smile.

5.) Practice Makes Perfect! If you have a big event in your future and you want to showcase your best smile, practice it! Look at it in the mirror and see how it looks and feels when you hold your shoulders back proudly and strike a natural, unforced smile. Hold that position for a long time and then repeat. What you are doing is actually training the muscles in your face to remember that position, and helping you improve your smile. While practicing, make sure you smile gently and your face is relaxed. Your mouth should be opened slightly and your lower lip will match the curve of your upper teeth.

Often the best smiles have the edges of your upper front teeth gently touching your lower lip. Your cheeks may rise a little bit, but not too much. It’s the opposite of a quick smiles that flashes across your face when you see a good friend. That kind of “excited” smile makes your eyes squint and you neck muscles tense, which makes for awkward looking photos.

Dr. Jon Frankel is a general and cosmetic dentist in Toledo, Ohio. For more information please visit his website at and take a moment to “like” him on Facebook at

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