Over the weekend, a woman had to be rushed to the hospital after being attacked by a jaguar at an Arizona zoo. Apparently, she had thought she could get a better selfie by climbing a barrier and getting right up next to the jaguar’s cage. The big cat then decided to attack her through the cage, holding her captive with its claws until other visitors could distract it and it let go.

Although the woman’s injuries are non-life threatening, it seems a good time to remind everyone that you don’t have to do unsafe things to get a good selfie.

Young woman safely taking a selfie with zebra in the background

Stay Safe When Taking Selfies

The most important thing to remember when taking selfies: be safe. No selfie is worth putting yourself (or others) at risk. A few years ago, Russian police issued a safe selfie guide after a rash of selfie-related deaths in the country. The tips might seem obvious, but here are some important takeaways that obviously merit repetition.

Never Cross a Safety Barrier for a Selfie

Safety barriers are put up in many places for the obvious reason of trying to keep you safe. That includes when you’re taking a selfie. So resist the temptation to cross these barriers, even “just for a moment” to take a selfie.

Don’t Take Selfies with Wild Animals

We know how tempting it is to try to get a selfie with the cool animal you’re seeing. But doing this can put you at serious risk. When you try to take a selfie with an animal, you have your back to the animal. This makes you more vulnerable to attack.

You might also be tempted to move too close to the animal. Animals might seem docile, but they’re not tame, and by the time they decide to attack, you might not be ready to respond.

Stay out of Traffic

With a few notable exceptions, roads and train tracks are dangerous places unsuited to selfies. It’s not worth it to try to do a selfie in these situations. Even if you think you have enough time, you’ll be distracted and unable to respond to unanticipated traffic.

In some places  (like the famous Abbey Road crosswalk), local police might know that the crossing is itself an attraction, so they monitor traffic and make it easy for people to take pictures, including selfies.

A Great Looking Smile in Selfies

Of course, you also want to make sure that your smile is looking its best in selfies. Here are a few tips to help you achieve the best appearance for your smile.

The Right Angle

The appearance of your smile can be affected by the angle from which you take the picture. One common angle is to take a selfie from an elevated perspective because this can have a slimming effect. However, this can also affect the appearance of your smile–the lips are more likely to block the display of your teeth and gums.

Some aspects of  your smile, such as a crooked tooth or a chipped tooth, can be much more visible from certain angles. Have a good sense of your best side.

Light Your Pearly Whites

Light is really important to make sure you’re getting the best possible selfie. People often recommend indirect natural light to improve your selfies. When you’re looking at lighting, don’t forget your teeth. In some situations, your lips can provide shade for your teeth, which can make them look darker than they actually are.

If you think your teeth are discolored in a picture, try changing the light to see if that makes a difference.

Not Too Close

Selfie recommendations often instruct you to hold the phone close for a selfie. This can improve some things. However, the lens in your phone can also be distorting if it’s too close. This can make your teeth look wider or taller than they actually are.

It’s a particular problem in group selfies, where you’re usually going to be the closest to the camera. This can make your teeth look wider than those of other people in the picture.

Still Not Happy?

But what can you do if all these changes don’t make you happy with the appearance of your smile? Maybe the problem isn’t your technique: maybe there are some things you’d like to improve about your smile.

Fortunately, cosmetic dentistry can help. We offer multiple solutions for common concerns about the color, size, or configuration of your teeth. We can find one that will make you happy to show your smile in selfies every day.

To learn how cosmetic dentistry can improve your smile in the Detroit area, please call (248) 656-2020 today for an appointment with a cosmetic dentist at Doolin-Haddad Advanced Dentistry in Rochester, MI.