There’s no doubt that social media has changed the way that we look at the world-- and the way that we look at ourselves. The Kardashians haven’t taken any more selfies than the rest of us have, so it’s safe to say that your selfie certainly forces you to take a closer look at your smile. In fact, our smiles are probably photographed now far more than at any other time in history. While these pictures are typically taken just for fun, Charlotte dentists say that the smile in your picture can provide you with some important information about your oral health. Take a close look at your selfie: Gums. Healthy gums should look firm and light pink in color. The gums may be a darker shade of pinkish-brown, depending upon your ethnicity, but they should never be bright red or bleeding. Gums that are puffy or swollen, bright red, or uneven could be signaling inflammation and gum disease. Stains. Black or brown stains could be evidence of a cavity. White marks could indicate a weak spot in the enamel. Grey shadows could indicate an old filling that has begun to deteriorate. Overall discoloration. Are the whites of your eyes brighter than your smile? If the teeth appear yellow or brown in contrast to your eyes, then you can typically improve the overall shade of your teeth with teeth whitening. Restorations. Can you see dark lines near the gums and around the edges of your dental crowns or veneers? This typically happens when the gums have begun to recede, revealing the metal margins of older dental crowns. Today’s crowns, especially for the front teeth, are generally made without any metal. Therefore, the problem of the unsightly black line has been eliminated. Uneven teeth. In real life, teeth that are slightly uneven may be barely noticeable. In pictures, crooked teeth can cast weird shadows, making the problem much more pronounced. If your selfie doesn’t make you want to smile, talk to a Charlotte dentist about your treatment options today.