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Aspects of a Smile

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The appearance of our teeth makes a difference in how we feel about ourselves, and we can be a little more confident, and a little more socially outgoing if we feel we have an attractive smile.

But what makes an attractive smile? It is more than just neatly aligned teeth. Aesthetic appearance is about all the elements fitting together in a coherent way. So our teeth must not only look good, they must suit the rest of our appearance.

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Teeth Must:

  • Be neatly aligned – This is perhaps the first thing we think of when it comes to tooth appearance. and it is something that affects their function too.
    Braces on our teeth during our teens go a long way to giving us neat-looking, properly functioning teeth.
    As adults, we might also have braces, or use Invisalign (plastic mouthguards) to align our teeth. Sometimes crowns and implants are used on an especially bad tooth.
  • Be the right Colour: We can lighten teeth with bleaching, which is a fairly simple procedure. Or teeth can be covered with a thin veneer. Occasionally implants can be used for individual teeth.
  • Have a neat Smile Arc – This is the upward curve of the teeth, something we associate with a nice smile. The front teeth should be lower, and neatly curve up towards the back molars. This curve must suit the shape of our mouth, which differs between individuals.
    The curve along the bottom of the teeth is called the Incisal edge.
    The Smile arc and the alignment of the teeth are connected factors.
  • Meet at the Midline – The centre of the two top teeth should align with the centre of the bottom two teeth. This looks neat and symmetrical.

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Around the Teeth the gums and mouth must also look good:

Gum Display – Some individuals show a little bit of gum when they smile. Other individuals show no gum at all or show far too much. This is a noticeable factor when we smile.
A little bit of gum, or perhaps not gum at all, looks rather good. But those people who show too much gum may have a disproportioned smile, or seem like they have smaller older teeth.
There are techniques to reduce the amount of gum in your smile.

  • Maxillary gum line – This is the line across the to p of the teeth, where the teeth meet the gums. Like the bottom of the teeth, this should be a neat, smooth upward curve. If the maxillary gum line is crooked it gives the impression that the teeth are not straight.
  • Buccal corridor – This is the space at the corner of the mouth. If there is no space our teeth look big, if there is too much space then the teeth look too small, or it seems like teeth are missing. Ideally, there should be a small space between the teeth and the corners of the mouth.
  • Cant – This is the angle of the teeth. Ideally, the teeth should be vertical, but in some individuals the teeth tile backward or forwards. If this is slight it may be unnoticeable, but significant tile can ruin a smile, and make chewing difficult.

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A dentist can ensure a great smile with well-functioning teeth. Talk to us if you feel your teeth are not all they could be.

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