Tag Archives: News

Invisalign … the CLEAR alternative to braces…

Dr. Openshaw offers No charge – No obligation consultation appointments. Come see if Invisalign is the way to go for you.

Are you looking for a dentist who offers Invisalign in Modesto, CA? Look no further…

Invisalign® braces are clear plastic aligner trays that provide orthodontic patients with straight teeth and an even, healthy smile. These trays are custom-fabricated to apply precise pressure and gradually move teeth into better alignment. This non-invasive approach to correcting tooth and bite alignment problems is an alternative to metal and tooth-colored braces. It is especially beneficial for patients who feel self-conscious about wearing traditional braces. If you choose to get Invisalign in Modesto, you can correct the following:

• Crooked teeth

• Unevenly spaced teeth

• Overcrowded teeth

• Mild to moderate bite problems

 

Who is a Candidate for Invisalign®?

The Invisalign® system has been used in the US since 1998. At first, only adult patients were treated using these trays. Today, teen patients whose molars have fully emerged are also candidates for this procedure. There is no upper age limit on treatment for patients without major dental health issues. You must be willing and able to wear the trays as instructed for best results. Invisalign® is most commonly used to correct mild to moderate tooth crookedness and spacing issues. Patients with severe bite problems are usually treated with traditional braces instead because they can be augmented with additional orthodontic appliances like bands or headgear. If you have fixed dental restorations such as bridges or dental implants, you may not be a good candidate for Invisalign® treatment.

Invisalign® Procedure Overview

If you are considering having Invisalign in Modesto, CA, the treatment process starts with a visual dental exam and a consultation. Photos, x-rays and computer imaging are used to create a precise treatment plan that will deliver the results you want. This digital technology lets you see what your final smile will look like before you even start using Invisalign®. Molds of your upper and lower teeth are sent to the Invisalign® laboratory so your aligner trays can be custom made. All of the trays used during your treatment are created at the same time.

Once your trays arrive, installation is as simple as placing them over your teeth. You must wear these trays at least 22 hours per day. Every two-to-three weeks, you will move on to the next set of trays in your treatment series. This way, you keep constant, gentle pressure on your teeth to move them into the correct position. You will need a quick checkup visit every six weeks or so to ensure treatment is progressing as planned. Invisalign® trays don’t require any special care. You can simply brush them gently and rinse them with warm water whenever you take them out.

Because Invisalign® braces are typically used for less severe bite misalignment, treatment may last six-to-18 months. However, some patients need more time to achieve their desired results. After you are finished with your aligner trays, you will be fitted with a retainer. You must wear this retainer as directed to keep your teeth from drifting back to their old position.

“The Clear Alternative to Braces” They are practically invisible. There has never been a better time to get started on your Invisalign treatment case. We have brought on board an Elite Invisalign Provider to provide you with expertise of Dr. Openshaw and Dr. Cater for your perfect smile.

We offer NO CHARGE first consultations. Call us today to schedule. (209) 524-4763

 

Why Choose Invisalign®?

This tooth alignment system offers three main benefits compared to traditional braces. First, the trays are clear plastic. Unlike other “invisible” braces that still feature metal wires, there is no metal at all in the Invisalign® trays. This makes them even less noticeable than both tooth-colored ceramic braces and lingual braces (the kind attached to the tongue-side surface of the teeth). Once you get used to talking normally with the trays in your mouth, other people may not even be able to tell you are wearing braces.

Second, there are no brackets or ties. This means there are no protruding components that can irritate the tongue, gums and other sensitive oral tissues. You do not need to coat Invisalign® braces with dental wax to stay comfortable.

Third, these trays are removable. You can (and should) remove the trays for each meal and during tooth brushing and flossing. You can eat a normal, healthy diet without restricting foods that might get stuck in or damage metal braces. Since the trays do not interfere with normal hygiene by making flossing more challenging, you may be less likely to experience tooth decay and gingivitis as a side effect of orthodontic treatment.

 

More Information about Invisalign®

While Invisalign braces are very comfortable compared to metal braces, they may cause initial soreness by placing pressure on your teeth. You may experience a recurrence of soreness each time you switch to a new set of trays. Over the counter pain relievers may help with this symptom.

These clear plastic aligner trays generally cost about as much as traditional braces. Some dental insurance plans cover a portion of treatment costs. Other affordable payment options are available for patients without insurance.

 

For more information about Invisalign in Modesto, CA, please feel free to call our office or email us. (209) 524-4763 or on facebook at www.facebook.com/openshawsmiles

The importance of flossing…

Here at Dr. Philip Openshaw’s dental office in Modesto, CA we stress prevention. If you can clean well then you can prevent the buildup, and thus prevent decay, then in most cases, you can avoid cavities, root canals and crowns. You can keep your teeth as long as you live. Flossing… some people never do it, some people do it immediately after eating each meal! To each his own, but truly at a minimum everyone should floss once a day. Why do we floss? What happens when you don’t floss? What’s the best time to floss? How do you floss correctly? These are all GREAT questions. Let’s see if we can shed some light on each one and help make a difference for you today!

 

Why do we floss?

We floss to clean the gums and tooth surface areas between teeth.

What happens when you don’t floss?

When you don’t floss, bacteria can build up and cause decay between the teeth which brushing alone cannot reach. This can quickly lead to cavities and thus more problems.

What’s the best time to floss?

Anytime of day is fine, but most people prefer right before bed to have that deeper clean for that uninterrupted time of sleep to stay clean while they sleep.

How do you floss correctly?

Here is a video showing you

http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Video-Library/How-to-Floss.cvsp

If you have any questions please feel free to call the office at (209) 524-4763.

Here is some additional information on dental floss from the American Dental Association website. http://www.ada.org/1318.aspx

What does floss do?

Floss removes food trapped between the teeth and removes the film of bacteria that forms there before it has a chance to harden into plaque. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces.

Plaque that is not removed can harden into tartar, a hard mineral deposit that forms on teeth and can only be removed through professional cleaning by a dental professional. When this happens, brushing and cleaning between teeth become more difficult, and gum tissue can become swollen or may bleed. This condition is called gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease.

Flossing helps remove debris and interproximal dental plaque, the plaque that collects between two teeth. Dental floss (or dental tape) helps clean these hard-to-reach tooth surfaces and reduces the likelihood of gum disease and tooth decay.

Cleaning between teeth is essential to your daily oral hygiene routine. Need instruction on how to floss?

What’s in floss?

Floss was once made from silk fibers twisted to form a long strand. Today, floss is usually made from nylon filaments or plastic monofilaments. It may be treated with flavoring agents, such as mint, to make flossing more pleasant.

What’s the difference between waxed and unwaxed floss?

There is no difference in the effectiveness of waxed or unwaxed floss. It’s not what type of floss you use, but how and when you use it. If you have a preferred type of floss, you may be more likely to use it.

What’s the difference between floss and other interdental cleaners?

Floss is a flexible strand. Interdental cleaners are special wooden or plastic picks, sticks or brushes that are used to clean between teeth.

How does floss and other interdental cleaners get the ADA Seal?

A company earns the ADA Seal for its product by producing scientific evidence that the product is safe and effective in reducing plaque and gingivitis. The ADA Council on Scientific Affairs carefully evaluates the evidence according to objective guidelines.

How does the ADA evaluate floss?

The ADA looks for evidence that:

  • Using the floss with toothbrushing is more effective than brushing alone at reducing plaque and gingivitis.
  • The product components are safe for use in the mouth.
  • Unsupervised use of the product by the average patient will not harm hard or soft oral tissues or restorations.

Why look for floss brands that display the ADA Seal?

The Seal is your assurance that the product has been evaluated by an independent body of scientific experts, the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs, for safety and effectiveness. Look for the ADA Seal statement in a box on the product label. It tells you why the ADA has given the Seal to this product. You can also be assured that all claims on packaging and container labeling have been reviewed and approved by the ADA. Products with the prestigious ADA Seal must say what they do and do what they say.

When’s the best time to floss?

The ADA recommends brushing twice a day and cleaning between teeth with floss (or another interdental cleaner) once a day. Some patients prefer to floss in the evening before bedtime so that the mouth is clean while sleeping.

Should I brush or floss first?

Either way is acceptable as long as you do a thorough job. However, if you use dental floss before you brush, the fluoride from the toothpaste has a better chance of reaching between teeth. Some people brush their teeth and unfortunately skip flossing because they think their mouth feels clean or they may be short on time or tired and flossing is postponed. That’s not a good idea.

Can I rinse and reuse floss?

The ADA does not recommend using a floss strand more than once. Used floss might fray, lose its effectiveness or may deposit bacteria in the mouth. Discard after use.

What is plaque?

So what is plaque anyways? Plaque is a sticky coating of bacteria that grows constantly on teeth and gums. If allowed to build up, it can lead to swollen gums (gingivitis) and weakened tooth surfaces (tooth decay). In addition to the Good Habits for a Healthy Mouth listed below it is highly recommended that you see a dental professional twice a year for preventative visits. This includes two cleanings done by a Registered Dental Hygienist, as well as annual x-rays and an exam by a dentist. We see new patients almost every day and would love to see you too! Send in those you know and love. They will love it here! Call with any questions you may have at (209) 524-4763… we look forward to seeing you soon!

 

No Charge No Obligation Invisalign Consults available for this afternoon

Dr. Paul Cater our Elite Invisalign provider will be in the office today and we have a 2:30pm and also a 3:00pm appointment available for a no charge no obligation consultation appointment. Come see if Invisalign is the way to go for you.

Are you looking for a dentist who offers Invisalign in Modesto, CA? Look no further than Dr. Openshaw!

Invisalign® braces are clear plastic aligner trays that provide orthodontic patients with straight teeth and an even, healthy smile. These trays are custom-fabricated to apply precise pressure and gradually move teeth into better alignment. This non-invasive approach to correcting tooth and bite alignment problems is an alternative to metal and tooth-colored braces. It is especially beneficial for patients who feel self-conscious about wearing traditional braces. If you choose to get Invisalign in Modesto, you can correct the following:

•    Crooked teeth

•    Unevenly spaced teeth

•    Overcrowded teeth

•    Mild to moderate bite problems

Why Choose Invisalign®?

This tooth alignment system offers three main benefits compared to traditional braces. First, the trays are clear plastic. Unlike other “invisible” braces that still feature metal wires, there is no metal at all in the Invisalign® trays. This makes them even less noticeable than both tooth-colored ceramic braces and lingual braces (the kind attached to the tongue-side surface of the teeth). Once you get used to talking normally with the trays in your mouth, other people may not even be able to tell you are wearing braces.

Second, there are no brackets or ties. This means there are no protruding components that can irritate the tongue, gums and other sensitive oral tissues. You do not need to coat Invisalign® braces with dental wax to stay comfortable.

Third, these trays are removable. You can (and should) remove the trays for each meal and during tooth brushing and flossing. You can eat a normal, healthy diet without restricting foods that might get stuck in or damage metal braces. Since the trays do not interfere with normal hygiene by making flossing more challenging, you may be less likely to experience tooth decay and gingivitis as a side effect of orthodontic treatment.

Who is a Candidate for Invisalign®?

The Invisalign® system has been used in the US since 1998. At first, only adult patients were treated using these trays. Today, teen patients whose molars have fully emerged are also candidates for this procedure. There is no upper age limit on treatment for patients without major dental health issues. You must be willing and able to wear the trays as instructed for best results. Invisalign® is most commonly used to correct mild to moderate tooth crookedness and spacing issues. Patients with severe bite problems are usually treated with traditional braces instead because they can be augmented with additional orthodontic appliances like bands or headgear. If you have fixed dental restorations such as bridges or dental implants, you may not be a good candidate for Invisalign® treatment.

Invisalign® Procedure Overview

If you are considering having Invisalign in Modesto, CA, the treatment process starts with a visual dental exam and a consultation. Photos, x-rays and computer imaging are used to create a precise treatment plan that will deliver the results you want. This digital technology lets you see what your final smile will look like before you even start using Invisalign®. Molds of your upper and lower teeth are sent to the Invisalign® laboratory so your aligner trays can be custom made. All of the trays used during your treatment are created at the same time.

Once your trays arrive, installation is as simple as placing them over your teeth. You must wear these trays at least 22 hours per day. Every two-to-three weeks, you will move on to the next set of trays in your treatment series. This way, you keep constant, gentle pressure on your teeth to move them into the correct position. You will need a quick checkup visit every six weeks or so to ensure treatment is progressing as planned. Invisalign® trays don’t require any special care. You can simply brush them gently and rinse them with warm water whenever you take them out.

Because Invisalign® braces are typically used for less severe bite misalignment, treatment may last six-to-18 months. However, some patients need more time to achieve their desired results. After you are finished with your aligner trays, you will be fitted with a retainer. You must wear this retainer as directed to keep your teeth from drifting back to their old position.

More Information about Invisalign®

While Invisalign braces are very comfortable compared to metal braces, they may cause initial soreness by placing pressure on your teeth. You may experience a recurrence of soreness each time you switch to a new set of trays. Over the counter pain relievers may help with this symptom.

These clear plastic aligner trays generally cost about as much as traditional braces. Some dental insurance plans cover a portion of treatment costs. Other affordable payment options are available for patients without insurance.

For more information about Invisalign in Modesto, CA, please feel free to call our office or email us. (209) 524-4763 or Office@dropenshaw.com

Are you pleased with our team?

Good morning friends! Happy Thursday! Today I am asking that if you have ever had a great visit at Dr. Openshaw’s office would you be so kind as to take a few minutes to post a public review. As you probably know we do not advertise and we rely strictly on patient word of mouth. We feel that this is the best because you all know someone who wants the same quality of care as you are getting. When it comes to a dentist most people do not want less than the best care. Patients want a gentle dentist who really cares about their oral health, their smile and most of all comfort in the chair. We do that! You know that if you have been here, right? So I am going to provide several links to our listings on public sites. If you are a member of any of these and you have a minute would you please write a quick review. We would love if you would do this. Thank you!!

 

Google – https://plus.google.com/113560816561582259962/about?gl=US&hl=en-US#113560816561582259962/about?gl=US&hl=en-US

Yelp – http://www.yelp.com/biz/philip-openshaw-d-d-s-modesto

Yahoo – http://local.yahoo.com/info-21662323-philip-openshaw-dds-modesto

 

thumbs-up

The importance of flossing…

Here at Dr. Philip Openshaw’s dental office in Modesto, CA we stress prevention. If you can clean well then you can prevent the buildup, and thus prevent decay, then in most cases, you can avoid cavities, root canals and crowns. You can keep your teeth as long as you live. Flossing… some people never do it, some people do it immediately after eating each meal! To each his own, but truly at a minimum everyone should floss once a day. Why do we floss? What happens when you don’t floss? What’s the best time to floss? How do you floss correctly? These are all GREAT questions. Let’s see if we can shed some light on each one and help make a difference for you today!

Why do we floss?

We floss to clean the gums and tooth surface areas between teeth.

What happens when you don’t floss?

When you don’t floss, bacteria can build up and cause decay between the teeth which brushing alone cannot reach. This can quickly lead to cavities and thus more problems.

What’s the best time to floss?

Anytime of day is fine, but most people prefer right before bed to have that deeper clean for that uninterrupted time of sleep to stay clean while they sleep.

How do you floss correctly?

Here is a video showing you

http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Video-Library/How-to-Floss.cvsp

If you have any questions please feel free to call the office at (209) 524-4763.

Here is some additional information on dental floss from the American Dental Association website. http://www.ada.org/1318.aspx

What does floss do?

Floss removes food trapped between the teeth and removes the film of bacteria that forms there before it has a chance to harden into plaque. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces.

Plaque that is not removed can harden into tartar, a hard mineral deposit that forms on teeth and can only be removed through professional cleaning by a dental professional. When this happens, brushing and cleaning between teeth become more difficult, and gum tissue can become swollen or may bleed. This condition is called gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease.

Flossing helps remove debris and interproximal dental plaque, the plaque that collects between two teeth. Dental floss (or dental tape) helps clean these hard-to-reach tooth surfaces and reduces the likelihood of gum disease and tooth decay.

Cleaning between teeth is essential to your daily oral hygiene routine. Need instruction on how to floss?

What’s in floss?

Floss was once made from silk fibers twisted to form a long strand. Today, floss is usually made from nylon filaments or plastic monofilaments. It may be treated with flavoring agents, such as mint, to make flossing more pleasant.

What’s the difference between waxed and unwaxed floss?

There is no difference in the effectiveness of waxed or unwaxed floss. It’s not what type of floss you use, but how and when you use it. If you have a preferred type of floss, you may be more likely to use it.

What’s the difference between floss and other interdental cleaners?

Floss is a flexible strand. Interdental cleaners are special wooden or plastic picks, sticks or brushes that are used to clean between teeth.

How does floss and other interdental cleaners get the ADA Seal?

A company earns the ADA Seal for its product by producing scientific evidence that the product is safe and effective in reducing plaque and gingivitis. The ADA Council on Scientific Affairs carefully evaluates the evidence according to objective guidelines.

How does the ADA evaluate floss?

The ADA looks for evidence that:

  • Using the floss with toothbrushing is more effective than brushing alone at reducing plaque and gingivitis.
  • The product components are safe for use in the mouth.
  • Unsupervised use of the product by the average patient will not harm hard or soft oral tissues or restorations.

Why look for floss brands that display the ADA Seal?

The Seal is your assurance that the product has been evaluated by an independent body of scientific experts, the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs, for safety and effectiveness. Look for the ADA Seal statement in a box on the product label. It tells you why the ADA has given the Seal to this product. You can also be assured that all claims on packaging and container labeling have been reviewed and approved by the ADA. Products with the prestigious ADA Seal must say what they do and do what they say.

When’s the best time to floss?

The ADA recommends brushing twice a day and cleaning between teeth with floss (or another interdental cleaner) once a day. Some patients prefer to floss in the evening before bedtime so that the mouth is clean while sleeping.

Should I brush or floss first?

Either way is acceptable as long as you do a thorough job. However, if you use dental floss before you brush, the fluoride from the toothpaste has a better chance of reaching between teeth. Some people brush their teeth and unfortunately skip flossing because they think their mouth feels clean or they may be short on time or tired and flossing is postponed. That’s not a good idea.

Can I rinse and reuse floss?

The ADA does not recommend using a floss strand more than once. Used floss might fray, lose its effectiveness or may deposit bacteria in the mouth. Discard after use.

Brightening your smile with a custom at home whitening kit

Here at Dr. Philip Openshaw’s office in Modesto, California we offer a custom fit whitening tray with a solution that you take home to whiten. We use Philips ZOOM! Nite White and Day White ACP: These are the only take-home whiteners with amorphous calcium phosphate (ACP), a proven enamel re-builder, and sensitivity-reducing potassium nitrate and fluoride. Our patients love this and the results they get with it. Here is a little more information about teeth whitening at home. Call us about our Spring Whitening special at (209) 524-4763.

At-Home Teeth Whitening:

When contemporary peroxide-based teeth whitening gained popularity in the early 1990s, it was limited to custom-made bleaching tray treatments that were available only at dental offices.

These whiteners set off what has become known as the “smile revolution,” and now dozens of whitening options are available for every budget and temperament – whether professionally dispensed, store-bought or sold on the Internet.

The consensus is that dentist-dispensed whitening trays, when used as directed, can be even more successful than in-office bleaching over the long haul.

A key reason is their ongoing use, combined with the fact that small amounts of bleach remain within the tooth structure for up to 36 hours. When a new dose of bleach is applied to a tooth retaining the previous day’s peroxide, its effect is greater.

Advantages of At-Home Teeth Whitening

Long-term results: Dental professionals agree that the only way to maintain your whitened teeth is with at-home bleaching products, repeated regularly – preferably every four to six months. But lately, many dentists are advising people with very dark-stained or tetracycline-affected teeth to continue home bleaching over a period of months (or up to a year) for optimal results. Talk to Dr. Openshaw about the treatment that will work best for you.

Convenience: You can do home whitening at any time of the day or night, for short or extended periods.

Portability: You can also use your custom trays while on the go or at the office. Perfect for people with a 15-30 minute (or longer) commute.

Cost: Over-the-counter whiteners range from $4 to $100, while dentist-dispensed products cost approximately $400. By contrast,in office whitening costs an average of $650 per session.

Must-Knows About At-Home Whitening

Although you can get over-the-counter whiteners without a dentist’s recommendation, if you over-use them or use them incorrectly, they can harm your tooth enamel and irritate your gum tissue. Also, over-bleaching can produce an undesirable bluish hue, chalky whiteness or uneven results (otherwise known as “the technicolor effect”).

Supervision by a dentist can prevent these problems. To ensure the health of your smile, see your dentist before choosing an over-the-counter tooth whitener and beginning the bleaching process. Dentists know a lot about these products and can help you choose the right one and use it correctly.

Also keep in mind:

The stronger the peroxide formula, the more rapid its effect; the weaker the formula, the longer it can remain on the teeth safely. A low-percentage bleach used overnight every night of the week will produce about the same results as a high-percentage “day-bleach” that stays on the teeth one hour per day for seven days.

The best time to begin at-home whitening is right after Mary’s prophylactic cleaning. This procedure removes the surface layer of plaque and grime that can interfere with bleaching. Call to schedule your visit with Mary at Dr. Openshaw’s office at 209-524-4763.

Dr Openshaw recommends brushing and flossing the teeth prior to any kind of at-home or on-the-go whitening.

For best results, don’t consume food or beverages (excluding water) for a couple of hours after whitening.

According to dental professionals, the best bleaching results come from dentist-dispensed take-home kits – particularly those that are used over extended periods. These kits contain higher percentages of bleach than over-the-counter kits and typically consist of:

Custom-fitted application trays made of a flexible plastic material. Custom trays cost about $200 and offer several benefits:

They help ensure that the bleach stays in contact with the teeth, for maximum whitening.

They help prevent saliva from coming into contact with the bleaching agent (which can dilute its strength).

They minimize the amount of bleach that can dribble onto (and potentially irritate) the gums.

Please feel free to call us with any questions you have about our custom at home whitening system. We call it our Brighten for Life for program with our patients. Ask about how you can get FREE WHITENING solution at your hygiene visits! Call us today! (209) 524-4763


 http://www.yourdentistryguide.com/at-home-whitening/

Gingivitis, Periodontitis and LANAP

What is LANAP?

Laser-assisted New Attachment Procedure is a standard gum surgery designed to treat periodontitis.

If you have gum disease, and would like to reverse it, LANAP may be the right procedure for you!

First, local anesthesia is administered.


Second, a short-duration laser pulse is used on the pockets around the patient’s afflicted teeth, which
are probed down, about a quarter of an inch. This destroys bacteria and pathologic proteins near the
root.

Third, connective tissue is preserved, while infected tissue is destroyed.

Typically, two or three passes with the laser clear the infected pocket.

With LANAP, no surgical glue, bone graft material, stitches, collagen plugs or sutures are needed.

Last but not least, Dr. Openshaw recommends diet guidelines and
special oral hygiene instructions to all LANAP patients, after the procedure is completed.

Call us today for a no charge consultation to see if this is right for you. If you have been told you have gingivitis or periodontitis please call our office to schedule.

Philip Openshaw DDS

400 East Orangeburg Avenue St 4

Modesto CA 95350

(209) 524-4763

www.openshawsmiles.com


To say thank you…

We just love our patients. We cannot help it. When we come to work and see our patients we feel like we are working with our friends and family, and not strangers. This week on Wednesday and Thursday we will be hosting Patient Appreciation days! I wanted to make sure to remind you all to come by the office and be appreciated this week!

We are hosting Patient Appreciation days this Wednesday and Thursday February 13th and 14th 2013 from 8am-5pm.


We LVE our patients and we are doing this to show them just how much, but this is also a fantastic opportunity for those of you who may not have ever been to our office to come by and visit us. Get a quick tour of the office, enter to win raffle prizes, get some goodies for yourself and meet our team! Feel free to bring a friend as this is open to anyone wanting to check out our practice.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Shanna at Dr. Openshaw’s office

(209) 524-4763

Smile and the whole world smiles with you!

Frown and you frown alone, but smile and the whole world smiles with you. With 19 variations on the smile, including 16 produced by enjoyable emotions,[1] smiling is an incredibly important part of our lives. Here’s how to develop your grin.

This is a fun article to prompt you to think about how you smile, and what it does for you (and for those around you) when you do! Found at http://www.wikihow.com/Smile Let us help you get the smile you deserve! Call today! Philip Openshaw D.D.S. – Modesto CA – (209) 524-4763

“Become comfortable with smiling. If you’re not used to smiling regularly, overcoming your nervousness or cynicism about smiling can take a little practice but like any habit, it’s easy to reform with time. Some things to keep in mind include:

  • A smile always looks good. Feeling nervous about the beauty or appearance of your smile is unnecessary. Trust that your smile makes you look great.
  • A smile is professional. Smiling at work or during other professional occasions is not going to make you seem unprofessional. Quite the opposite, a smile will humanize you and make you appear more approachable. People will appreciate your recognition of their worth and of a job well done when you smile.
  • A smile makes you real. If you’re afraid of appearing vulnerable when you smile, accept that any form of vulnerability suggested by a smile is precisely what makes it such a powerful act. You’re opening yourself up to others and people will respond better to that than to a serious, unmoved demeanor. Moreover, a smile accompanied by an assertive personality will take care of any sense that people will use your smile to walk all over you!
  • 2

    Make your smile genuine. While it is perfectly possible to crack a smile when you feel terrible, angry, annoyed, or you’re up to something nefarious, a genuine smile is much harder to fake; indeed, only around 10 percent of the population can manage that feat.[2]

    • A genuine smile is detectable by others because it is accompanied by a general glow, smiling eyes where the outer corners crinkle and the lower lid tightens, and a reassuring demeanor that helps the viewer to feel more at ease in your presence. A genuine smile comes from being happy, positive, and from drawing your feelings from the heart.
    • Think happy thoughts. The easiest way to a fantastic, genuine smile is to be happy. Think about someone you care about (perhaps the person standing in front of you as you smile), about something that you genuinely love to do, or think of a funny joke that you just find hilarious. Or think about the happiest moments in your life.
    • Be genuine. Draw on your heartfelt feelings, not just rationalizations. When you’re confronted by a person or situation that makes you feel ambivalent and you’re oscillating between giving the cold shoulder or smiling, err on the side of smiling – find one single thing in your heart that is positive about the person or situation before you, and use that to create your smile.
    • Love people and your life. It’s much easier to produce friendly, easygoing, genuine smiles when you love what you do, when you love the people around you, and when you love humanity in general. Be grateful for all that you have and you’ll find smiles come far more naturally.
    • Be playful. Intense times can make us too serious. See life as an adventure, be gentle on yourself and watch children at play. Being playful will bring a smile to your face much more easily.
  • 3

    Smile with your eyes. A wholehearted smile will naturally draw in the eyes (called a Duchenne smile). It is commonplace to hear a person say “her eyes were smiling”, or to say “he didn’t mean it; he was smiling but his eyes weren’t”. The eyes are essential for a genuine, warm smile. Your eyes light up, twinkle, and reflect your happiness. While it’s hard to fake this unless you’re really feeling it, you can try this exercise:

    • To get a feel for how to make your eyes smile, stand in front of a mirror and practice smiling, but concentrate only on your eyes. You may find it helpful to cover the lower part of your face with a piece of paper. Play around with it a bit, and you’ll find that you can make your mouth smile when your eyes aren’t smiling, and you can also smile only with your eyes. When your eyes do smile, remember how it feels, which muscles are working and how. With practice, you may discover how to smile with your eyes at will by relying on your feelings and muscle memory.
  • 4

    Practice your smile. There is no harm in practicing your smile – doing so will increase your smiling confidence, improve your sense of well-being,[3] and help you to learn which of your smiles are your best.

    • Look at photos of yourself smiling, with a closed mouth, open mouth, and from different angles. Which smiles and poses make your face light up the most? Which smile displays your other features to their best possible advantage? Which smile comes across as the most natural, the most “you”?
    • Find that picture and focus on what your face is doing. Then practice in front of a mirror until you get it just right. Keep practicing, and pay attention to how that great smile feels, so that you’ll be able to replicate it without looking in a mirror. Soon it will become second nature, and you’ll likely find that you’ll look more photogenic in your next batch of pictures.
    • If you want to improve your smile, look at pictures of smiles you believe are beautiful. Also, remember that you’re beautiful (inside and out); your smile is bound to look better if you feel good about yourself!
    • Note the difference between a smile and a grin. Grins bare a lot more teeth (think Cheshire Cat) and are not necessarily flattering on all people, although for some people they can make you appear cute. If you’re prone to grinning and it’s not doing your appearance any favors, try showing only your upper teeth when you smile. Showing your lower teeth can make it seem you’re baring your teeth.
    • When showing teeth, pressing the tongue behind the teeth will make small gaps look less noticeable.
    • Practice smiling at random strangers.[4] Make a choice that you’ll do this, make brief eye contact with a person, and smile. As you do so, think happy thoughts (it helps to choose someone attractive to begin with). Don’t choose a person with sunglasses; you need to see their eyes. Not everyone will smile back but note how you feel when they do!
  • 5

    Maintain good oral hygiene. One thing that can cause you to fear smiling is the worry that there is something stuck between your teeth, or that you have bad breath. Eliminate these hygiene sources of worry by taking active steps to keep your mouth fresh and clean.

    • Brush your teeth and tongue regularly, carry floss with you wherever you go so that you can clean up after dining, and have breath freshener on you at all times (natural or commercial).
    • See your dentist regularly for teeth check-ups and cleaning, as well as discussing options for teeth straightening, etc., if this is a concern for you. When you smile people will inevitably look at your mouth, so following these considerations will help you make a better impression, and, more importantly, a healthy mouth will make you feel more confident about smiling.
    • If your teeth are stained, consider your lifestyle habits that bring this about and try to minimize the impacts of such habits as smoking or drinking too much red wine, coffee, soft drinks, etc.
    • Keep your lips in great shape to prevent chapping.
    • Deal with bad breath. If it’s surface, cleaning and fresheners should be adequate. If these do not work, it may be a sign of an underlying health problem, so see your doctor for advice.
  • 6

    Expect smiling to be difficult in some situations. Smiling on demand can be difficult, whether it’s for a photo or for the sake of keeping mom happy when the relatives you can’t stand visit. This is because you are feeling self-conscious or you lack a genuine reason for smiling. In these sorts of cases, smiling needs to come from your memory of good smiles along with a little self-kidding or jokes in the head.

    • For a photo, smile 20 percent more than you think you should.[5]
    • Smile wide and show the top row of teeth.
  • 7

    Enjoy the many benefits of a smile. In order to want to smile, it really helps to know what benefits a smile can bring to your day. The following benefits are bound to make you lean towards sharing a grin with others most of the day:

    • Smiles improve your appearance. Charles Gordy once quipped: “A smile is an inexpensive way to change your looks”. All you need to do is think about how you feel about a person who is frowning and a person who is smiling – who tends to be the better looking?
    • Smiles make things right again and say much more than words can. If you’ve goofed, said something less than complimentary, feel lost or alone, or feel down, a smile can restore the balance. It lets other people know that you’re prepared to be open with them, and that you’re willingly agreeing to make amends where needed.
    • Smiles create trust and rapport. A smile is a great way of establishing mutual feelings of being on the same level as others, whether that is one-to-one or in front of a group giving a presentation. It says “I’m OK, you’re OK, and we’re all going to enjoy one another’s company.”
    • Smiles make you feel good. Even if you’re feeling a little blue, insert happy thoughts into your mind and just add that smile. It will trick your mind into feeling better, as endorphins are released to reduce physical or emotional stress.[6][7]
    • Smiles make other people feel good. An open-mouthed smile is visible from further away than a frown, offering people reassurance that you’re friendly.[8] And it makes people feel better to see a smile, from afar or close-up.
    • Wrinkles are better when they’re smile lines rather than frown lines. Mark Twain said: “Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been”; viewed this way, smiles are an indication of your overall character, which becomes more and more outwardly telling as you age!
    • Smiling is a good long-term predictor of happier life outcomes.[9] It’s correlated with health, happiness, friends, success, and a longer life.[10]
    • See How to Smile for Better Health.
    • See How to Smile to Be Happy.”

    Call us today to set up your no charge consultation to see if we can help you with the smile of your dreams. Philip Openshaw – Modesto CA – (209)524-4763

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