Today, I'd like to talk about five tips for a beautiful smile. Let's do it.
1. Don't show lower teeth
When it comes to smiling, I've always been a bit of a perfectionist. That's why I'm so excited to share my number one tip with you today:
Always show your top teeth when you smile.
If you're anything like me, you've probably developed the bad habit of pulling your lower teeth into view when you smile—and that's no good! It's important to show off your top teeth because they're more attractive and they help keep your face looking balanced and young.
I know it can be hard to break a habit, but I promise if you practice this one simple trick for a couple of weeks, it'll become second nature in no time!
Want to know how to make your smile better?
If you don't know what mewing is, check out our mewing101 video first. But assuming you do, when you smile, you want to have good tension here just by mewing and then smiling. So let's do an experiment: smile without mewing and smile with mewing.
Mewing means tongue posture—correct tongue posture. Yep, I did that. And I feel like you might not see any huge difference here, but just touching, resting on the top of the roof of the mouth. I feel good tension here and less tension here. One of my clients is a doctor and she said that she had a gummy smile before she started practicing this technique, but when she does it now (mews), she doesn't have to show off her gummy area anymore! So that was interesting!
3. V smile
The first thing to know is that there are two muscles that move your mouth when you smile: the masseter muscle and the zygomaticus major and minor muscles. The masseter muscle is what moves your jaw up and down, so if you're doing an E smile, it's moving up and down with every smile. It's overdeveloped in most people because we tend to do this kind of smile so much more than a V smile, which we'll talk about next. The second muscle is the zygomaticus major and minor muscles—these are responsible for moving your cheeks outward when you smile (or frown). So when you do a V smile, they're pulling your cheekbones out like this (demonstrates).
I think most people don't know this information because they don't realize how important it is to have a balance between these two muscles—if one of them gets overdeveloped, it can cause problems later in life. So let me show you one of my favorite exercises that will help correct any imbalance between these muscles! I'm going to show you an exercise that will help you smile more with your cheeks and less with your jaw. It's called the cheek smile, and it works by using the si fu zygomaticus major and minor muscles that are used in smiling without using too much of chewing muscle or chin tension. To do this exercise, first place your index fingers a little below where your ears meet your jawline. Then lift up, dropping your shoulders as well as your head. Focus on keeping a smile on your face as you look down. After doing this for a few seconds, slowly bring yourself back to the front position. At this point, imagine that your chin doesn't exist anymore—only your cheeks are lifting up. Keep them in this mewing position while smiling only with the cheek muscles—not showing any teeth besides your upper teeth!
4. Relax the nose muscle
It's called the levator labii superioris alaeque nasi.
That's a mouthful, but it's worth remembering because it will help you get that bunny smile look out of your face.
You know, the one where your nose becomes wider and you look like you're constantly smiling to the side? It's not a cute look, I promise!
I've always hated the way my cheeks get wider when I smile or laugh, so I'm always looking for ways to keep them slim. And this muscle can help with that! It's located on the side of your nose, just above where your lips meet your cheekbone. To find it, place one finger right below your nostril and another just above—that's where the muscle is located. Now all you need to do is relax it! To do this, hold both fingers in place (you don't want them moving) while curling your tongue up behind them toward your teeth as far as possible (again, don't worry if it feels unnatural). Hold this position for 10 seconds at a time and repeat 10 times total—it may take some practice before you feel like you've got it down pat!
5. Smile with eyes
It's surprising how much of a difference it can make to smile with your eyes. If you just smile like this (demonstrating), it looks kind of scary, right? But if you smile with your eyes (demonstrating), it's so much more natural!
And this is especially important when you're wearing a mask—I'm still wearing one for protection, but even if you're not, it's important to show that you're smiling. In Japan, the half-moon shape is considered good because it shows that you're smiling without causing crow's feet too much. That way we don't have to overwork our outer eye muscles!
To prevent overworking those muscles, I like the skin-ironing technique. When you apply skincare cream or eye cream, just use light pressure like this (demonstrating).
So let me summarize the tips. First, never ever show lower teeth only upper teeth only a tiny smile. You might smile like this—that's beautiful, too. You don't have to show your upper teeth all the time, but the idea is never to show your lower teeth because that's the most important.
Second, always make sure you have good tension here—not too much tension and not too little. This will be very useful especially if you are having TMJ pain, grinding, and clenching those things.
Third, the V smile instead of the E smile remember the BTS story? Not a boxy smile because that doesn't mean it's going to be good-looking in the future! We have to think ahead of the game.