We’ve all seen someone that has one of those smiles that make you stop and say “Wow!”. But what is it that makes a person’s smile pop. The answer is not that they just have perfect teeth. In fact, the answer will really surprise you.
First thing to consider: symmetry. If the person looks balanced from the right side to the left side of their face, most people interpret them as better looking. Most people don’t know what “perfect” looks like, but they know if the person they are looking at looks the same on the right and left that they are “more perfect” than someone who is not. Take a look at this example:
A little bit of orthodontics as well as some polishing of the edges of these teeth and this person has had a smile (and face) transformation! The symmetry from left to right is perfect and there is something called the “smile arc”. This is the relationship between the edges of the upper teeth and the lip. The edges of the upper teeth must travel a path that is parallel with the top of the lower lip. Here is a picture for your reference:
Next thing to look at is the position of the upper front teeth (“incisors”) in relation to the rest of the person’s face. The front surface of these teeth should be parallel with the surface of their face. This allows for the teeth to reflect the optimum amount of light and make the smile “shine”.
This person obviously suffers from flared or protruding teeth. The color and brilliance (which is the amount of light that shows in the smile) in this person’s smile makes us think it’s not a beautiful smile, even though the teeth are totally straight. This can also be the case when the teeth are angled in the opposite direction into the mouth, like this:
But when the teeth are upright within the jaws and the front teeth are parallel with the angle of the face we can get that WOW smile:
Ask your orthodontist what can be done to give you the most esthetically proportional smile possible.
And finally… it’s the one we all knew about. A whiter smile is a nicer smile. Even though Hollywood has made “bleach white” an actual color for teeth, and even though natural teeth can’t actually be that color, we all still aim for the whitest teeth possible. This can be accomplished through a couple ways. The easiest way and most efficient way is by doing an in-office whitening under the supervision of a dental professional. This will work immediately and is by far the most effective way of making your teeth as pearly-white as possible. If this is out of your budget, a decent alternative is at-home whitening. Most of these have a whitening agent that is similar to ones used by dentists, although at smaller doses. This means that you have to do it more often and can therefore cause more tooth sensitivity. Just for your information, there has never been proof anywhere, by any research experiment, that a light is needed to “activate” the whitening agent. If you’re not into spending a bunch of money or place icky chemicals in your mouth, the most organic (and cheapest!) way to whiten teeth is by brushing daily with baking soda. The active chemical in whitening agent is basically the same as what’s in baking soda… so if you have some lying around the house, it might be put to better use by brushing your teeth with it. Within 6 weeks, you will notice a brighter, whiter smile.
Now that you know what makes a smile pop, you can start helping yourself to that perfect smile you’ve always wanted!