During the holidays when lots of pictures are being taken, people will understandably be smiling more. For TMJ patients smiling can lead to a great picture, but it can also aggravate your jaw. In this post we’re sharing our top tips on smiling without straining the jaw muscles.
Smile with Your Eyes
Supermodel Tyra Banks coined the term “smize” to describe smiling with your eyes. When you smile much of the feeling is actually being conveyed through the eyes. This means that even a small, closed mouth smile can have a feeling of pure joy if your eyes are engaged.
Here are the tricks to mastering the smize:
- Take a deep breath and relax.
- Think about something happy or funny.
- Focus intently on a small point in the camera lens.
- Let your shoulders drop and stretch the neck upward.
- Squint slightly to create the look of a genuine smile.
By smizing you can really smile without having to work the muscles of your face so much.
Tilt Your Head
Marilyn Monroe was famous for her smile, which was one of her signature features. She may not have had TMD, but she didn’t want wrinkles either. It’s rumored that she would tilt her head back slightly while smiling so she didn’t have to smile as broadly which would deepen her smile lines and the wrinkles around her eyes. By tilting your head back slightly it can create the illusion of a broader smile without straining the muscles so much.
Don’t Clench Your Teeth Together
Many of us smile with our teeth closed, but Dr. Auvenshine and Dr. Pettit agree, slightly separating your teeth will create a more attractive smile. This will also help reduce pressure and strain in your jaw.
Work on Relaxing Your Jaw Muscles
Smiling can create pain because it tightens the facial and jaw muscles. To counteract this effect take steps to relax your muscles after a photo session. An important way to encourage relaxation of the jaw muscles it to do a set of opening stretches when you feel your muscles are getting tight.
See Us at MedCenter TMJ
Instead of simply using a work around, it may be best to enlist the help of Medcenter TMJ. At MedCenter TMJ, we offer professional assistance in identifying the specific problems that cause TMD so you can smile with confidence through the holiday season and not worry about pain.