One of the photos I have struggled to take consistently is “lips at rest”. I want this photo to be accurate as it is the foundation of my treatment planning protocol.
I have heard many tips for getting this photo, and tried out so many I have lost count. One of the first techniques was to have the patient say “m,m,m,m” and snap the photo, I guess this is where the name “emma photo” comes from. I suppose I’m not quick enough on the shutter, because as soon as they say the last “M”, they start to close and I snap a photo of them closing.
I’ve tried coaching the patient on opening without smiling. The problem is as soon as you say the word smile, they reflexively fire their muscles of facial expression and now I capture a photo of a half smile, half grimace.
Now I ask my patients to lick their lips and then breath in and out through their mouths continuously. I’ve been doing this for some time, and I love how consistently it works. As a patient when I lick my lips, I swallow and get that reflex out of the way. Patients almost always open just the right amount without any upper lip movements in order to mouth breathe, if they don’t simply coach them to open a little wider, and capture your photo.
Let me know how it works!