The Anatomy of a Winning Smile

Ever wonder what goes into making a great smile? Is it the lips? The color of the teeth? The muscles that you use? How straight the teeth are? What really appeals to the average person to be impressed by someone’s smile? A great smile can convey a lot to the person on the receiving end like confidence, friendliness and even optimism.

Believe it or not, there’s actually an anatomy to a smile.

While it’s mostly subconscious, there are certain key aspects that we respond to more than others that make us like a person or be more open to a person based on their smile.

Here are some of the key elements of a “winning” smile:

Your Smile Line: There’s a standard for smile lines, no matter size, length or shape. Your smile line is based upon the top of your lower lip. When you smile your upper teeth’s edges should be in-line with your lower lip. As well, your bottom lip should also be in parallel with your lower gums.  

Your Gums: Healthy gums are important here. Having red, puffy or bleeding gums can definitely take away from a winning smile. What’s more is the amount of your gums that is seen within your smile, from the top of your teeth to the bottom of your upper lip, not more than three millimeters should show. If your gums are sore, or not in good shape, more or less of your teeth can be showing which will detract from a brilliant smile.

Your Lips: Think of your lips like a frame of a picture, but in this case, they are the frame of your smile. The size and shape of your lips can have an impact on how broadly you smile, as well as how much of your teeth can be seen. A great smile allows between 75-100% of the space between both of your lips to show.

Your Midline: Those two little ridges that run from the bottom of your nose to the top of your upper lip help to form the “facial midline”, an imaginary vertical line that then gets drawn between your front two teeth. Having a midline that coincides with your other facial features is important, but it helps those who view your smile to focus on the middle part of it.

Your Teeth: This of course is a no-brainer. Your teeth are likely the most central part of your smile and how they look to others is impactful. That’s why having teeth that are straight, uncrowded, white and unstained is critical to a winning smile. While there’s been some discussion about gaps between teeth (especially the front two), generally, a winning smile has teeth without gaps. Here are some specifics when it comes to your teeth:

Color: Typically the upper part of your teeth are the lightest and brightest, however both sets of teeth should closely match. Your teeth should also compliment your eye & hair color as well as your skin tones.
Teeth Angulation: Having teeth that jut out or appear imbalance is a definite detraction from a winning smile. Your teeth shouldn’t appear to sit too far in either. This is also important, not just for appearance, but it can affect how you chew your food.

Texture & Characterization: Believe it or not women do have more “feminine” looking teeth, in that they are more rounded or oval and smaller than compared to men. This can play into your appearance to others. Along with that chipping, and cracks in the texture of your teeth can take away from the aesthetic appeal of a winning smile.

The wonderful thing about our smiles is that if there are any imperfections that we find, we can have them fixed through different dentistry techniques. From straightening, implants and using whitening to veneers, cosmetic dentistry can help correct just about any dental flaw and help you attain that truly winning smile.