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What Makes for a Winning Smile?

The Perfect Smile (Image courtesy Caricato da Sdrtirs on Wikipedia via CC BY-SA 3.0)
The Perfect Smile (Image courtesy Caricato da Sdrtirs on Wikipedia via CC BY-SA 3.0)

What Makes for a Winning Smile?

Members of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry vote every year to choose the best smiles in Hollywood. Over the years, they have voted for Eva Mendes’s million-watt smile, the pearly whites of Kate Hudson, and the frank and warm smile of Brad Pitt. Their smiles dazzle us from the screens and have launched a million products. But you too can flash their winning smiles without spending a million dollars. The anatomy of a winning smile is not hard to decode, and there are specific cosmetic dentistry procedures to correct imperfections as well!

Smile Check #1: Teeth Alignment and Symmetry

The perfect or a pleasing smile is one where the teeth are aligned to the eye line. A tilted teeth line distracts from the beauty of the smile. So do asymmetrical teeth.

Teeth should be straight, without chips and breaks, and have the right proportions. A smile appears attractive when the two front teeth in the center have a width-to-height ratio of 75 to 80 percent. The rest of the teeth should be proportioned accordingly to create the perfect smile line. The ideal smile line—connecting the edges of the teeth—should be aligned with the curve of the bottom lip.

Your teeth should not protrude or be set too far back in the mouth. While there should not be gaps between the teeth, they should also not be crowded or look overgrown.

The facial midline runs vertically through the middle of the face. Ideally, the teeth on one side of the facial midline should be similar to its opposite number on the other side of the line.

Imperfectly aligned teeth can be corrected using braces.

Smile Check #2: Teeth Coloration

Look at your favorite celebs flashing their million-dollar smiles on the red carpet. They all have brilliantly white teeth.

One of the most important rules of a beautiful smile is that teeth should not be discolored or stained. Aging, regular consumption of beverages, smoking, and certain medications can stain the teeth. Regular tooth whitening can give your pearly whites the shine they miss.

Smile Check #3: Gum-to-Tooth Ratio

A gummy smile—one where the gums cover 25 percent or more of the length of your teeth—looks horsey. Uneven gum contours, discolored and/or inflamed gums, and exposed root surfaces too take away from the appeal of your smile.

Smile Check #4: Smile Width

Individuals with broad smiles are perceived to be attractive.

The width of a smile is determined by the dark empty space visible between the corners of the mouth and the upper row of teeth. The smaller this space, the wider is the smile. In a wide smile, the teeth curve backwards. Women generally have broader smiles than men.

Sometimes broken or missing teeth can increase this space.

Smile Check #5: Facial Aesthetics

Your lips frame your smile. Full, symmetrical, and shapely lips add to the attractiveness of the smile. For instance, thin lips may expose more gums while crooked lips may give the impression that you have uneven gum edges or uneven teeth.

Only a few people are born with the perfect smile. But with advanced cosmetic dentistry procedures like dental implants, gum and enamel recontouring, tooth bonding, and inserting porcelain veneers, a dentist can design an attractive smile. A beautiful smile wins heart and brings strangers closer. But most importantly, correcting an imperfect smile makes you feel confident about flashing your pearlies whenever you are happy.