It’s a natural human response: When someone smiles at you, you smile back without even thinking about it. Smiling also affects brain chemistry, improving overall mood and well-being. That’s quite a payoff for such a simple action. If your teen’s smiles have dwindled, check out these tips to help her gain a more confident smile.
Model the behavior you want.
Smile at your teen. Think about how much you love her and pour it all out into your smile. You may just get one back, because not smiling back at a smiler is difficult.
Keep it clean.
Healthy teeth and gums are essential to a confident smile. Make sure that you and your teen are practicing good oral hygiene, brushing after every meal and having regular dental checkups. Keep extra brushes on hand with small travel-size tubes of toothpaste so that you can take them with you to work, school and wherever else the day takes you. Lots of fun brushes and flavors of toothpaste are available these days. Let your kids choose their favorites — they’ll be much more likely to use them.
Whitening strips will have your teen looking in the mirror to admire her pearly whites.
Comment on the smile of your teen’s favorite celebrity. Tell your teen what you like about it and in what ways it resembles hers.
Perfect teeth are rare. If your teen is self-conscious about his teeth, consider the new options available. Things used to have to get much worse before they got better, and the only option was braces — which were ugly and painful. Plus, they called attention to your mouth, making you even more self-conscious. Now teeth can be straightened without the whole world knowing it’s happening with products such as Invisalign.