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Secrets of confident smiles

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.

Mom smiling at teen son

1Model 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.

2Keep 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.

Stretching your dollars for family dental care >>

3Lighten up.

Whitening strips will have your teen looking in the mirror to admire her pearly whites.

4Teen Idol

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.

How to get a celebrity-caliber smile >>

5Straighten up.

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.

Find out more about Invisalign >>

More tips for a great smile

Get a whiter smile today
7 Questions you should be asking your dentist
How to get a celebrity-caliber smile

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