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School Pictures: Give Them the Perfect Smile

Rachael Moshman

One of the most important elements in taking good school pictures has to be the smile. Children will feel more comfortable giving the photographer a big grin if they are confident their teeth look their best. Help your child have a smile he can be proud of by making sure he is following good dental hygiene practices.

Brush and Floss at Home

Just like those of their elders, children's teeth should be brushed twice a day and flossed once a day. At least initially, children should have an adult help them with brushing and flossing to ensure they are doing it properly. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that parents brush their children's teeth until they are coordinated enough to tie their own shoes without assistance - usually around age six. It's important to brush for a full two minutes each time. The use of a dental flossers often easier for children to navigate than dental floss alone.

See the Dentist Regularly

Take your child to the dentist for a cleaning and exam every six month. The dentist will give you feedback on the health of your child's teeth and gums and give instructions on how to brush and floss more effectively if needed. They will analyze your child's bite, alignment and jaw structure to make sure they are developing properly. Since your child will also receive a thorough cleaning, it might be a good idea to schedule the appointment the week of school photos. This way your child will have the whitest smile possible.

Embrace Toothless Smiles

According to the Mayo Clinic, children begin losing their teeth at around six years of age. Baby teeth continue to fall out until around age 12. This means you are bound to get at least one year in which your child has a toothless grin in their school photo. Embrace it! It's one of the adorable parts of childhood that flies by so fast. Before too long, you'll be looking back on those photos of your child with the missing teeth and wondering where the years went.

If your child is self-conscious about his smile, practice at home before the big day. Do a photo shoot with every member of the family, perhaps making some funny faces. Then do a series of shots of your child smiling. Tell him how beautiful his smile is, that you're looking forward to seeing his photo and that you will proudly frame it with all the other school pictures no matter how it turns out.

Learn more about children's dental care in the Colgate Oral Care resources.

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