Growing up, one of my biggest insecurities was my smile. I thought it looked funny, that people would laugh at me, and that I had way too many dimples to look “normal” for a person. Thanks to the support of my friends and family, I have gotten much more confident in my smile.

I turned to experts asking for the top 5 tips to the perfect smile, and this is what they said.

1) Smile naturally

When taking photos, the biggest tip is to stop saying “cheese” and actually try to think of a funny experience. Right before the shutter clicks, look right at the camera, lift up your chin and smile naturally.

In fact, photographer Vadim Davydov says, “For a great smile, you have to have an authentic smile, not a “say cheese” type smile.

Model taking photo and smiling naturally in front of photographer

In other words, you should be in the right mindset and mood.

That’s why photographers try to make you laugh because your authentic joy will project on your face when you smile and people will feel it!

So, the next time you have to take a photo, be relaxed! It will do wonders for your photograph.

2) It starts with preventive care

Many dentists agree that the biggest tip to your best smile is by regularly take care of your teeth. From flossing to brushing your teeth twice a day, it all starts at home. Here is what professional dentists have to say:

“The emphasis should always be on prevention and appropriate professional care. Proper hygiene and home care should be emphasized, encompassing flossing and brushing techniques. Conservative techniques such as tooth whitening and bonding can be utilized for minor aesthetic issues. For more complicated situations we can employ digital technology to analyze the tooth and gum display. After this analysis, appropriate specialty referrals can be made and restorations, if necessary, can be fabricated. The digital workflow allows us to analyze a treatment plan and restore in a very controlled environment” – John Roberts, DDS MS

Dentist teaching patients how to take care of their teeth in his office

“Our number one tip is to floss, floss, floss! So many of us take for granted the benefits a few minutes of flossing daily have on our smiles. Eliminate plaque more efficiently, reduce bacteria and whiten your smile by combining a thorough brushing at least twice a day with regular flossing. In addition, we suggest getting a toothbrush that isn’t too hard on the teeth and gums, which could cause tearing or even chipping. Brush in a manner that pulls plaque and residue away from the gums, and be sure to replace your brush every few months to maintain a healthier smile. ” – Yazdani Family Dentistry

To add to that point, make sure to go to the dentist every six months. This helps fight cavities (if you have any!) by getting your teeth professionally deep cleaned to avoid any other oral health problems.

3) Watch your diet

This tip surprised me the most! Did you know that your diet can affect the health and color of your teeth? According to dentists, cutting down on sugar is one easy way to fight cavities!

“With Halloween around the corner, we know you’ll be reaching for the chocolate – make sure to eat sugary treats WITH a meal rather than in between meals to reduce your risk of cavities!” – Kristen Geist DDS

“It might be impossible to cut it out completely, but reducing your sugar intake is going to make a huge difference in fighting cavities. Of course, we all have our indulgences and nobody is ever going to have that perfect smile, but a truly great smile is possible if we watch what we eat and drink as best as possible. We also recommend reducing the amount of time between meals and brushings to ensure food residue has less time to linger and cause bacteria to fester.” – Dr. Anatolij Koniouchine

On that note, also make sure to stay hydrated by drinking water! That reduces that chance of chapped and bleeding lips, which is important as the lips frames your teeth and showcases your smile. Also, make sure you reduce stain-inducing drinks such as coffee and wine. Those can stain your teeth in the long-term, so either decreasing your consumption or using a straw will help your teeth.

Closeup of woman sipping on a straw with red lipstick

4) Blue Rules

If you are into makeup like me, have you ever noticed that warmer colors make your teeth look really yellow? That is because yellow hues create the illusion of a more yellow, hence why your teeth can look more yellow.

Look for cooler-toned (or blue-toned) lipsticks to make your teeth appear whiter! It’s a subtle difference that immediately makes an impacting effect.

Warm and cool tones color diagram

5) Whitening Tools

Finally, you can always rely on teeth whitening kits to slowly and conservatively whiten your teeth. This will not be as aggressive as bleaching your teeth in a dental office, so your teeth can slowly adjust to the small, increasing amount of chemicals slowly. According to Dr. Jonathan Roberts DDS, conservative teeth whitening tools can even fix minor issues! This means that while your teeth appear whiter, using home kits can help elevate the natural smile you have rather than altering it to improve it.

Magic Mud teeth whitening and oral care kit against white background

If you are interested in snagging your own affordable dental kit, use Magic Mud! It is a natural-activated charcoal teeth whitening set that can help elevate your smile without all chemicals, such as glycerine and fluoride. If I missed any tips myself, please let me know down in the comments below!