Dental Aesthetics And The Elements Of The Perfect Smile

For some people, improving their smile means making sure to brush and floss regularly so that their natural teeth are as healthy as they can be. For others, the pursuit of perfection involves careful shaping of gums and teeth through dentistry. But how do people having cosmetic dentistry decide what their perfect smile would look like?

Actually, there are a lot of concrete ideas behind cosmetic dentistry. It's a careful balancing act between what looks most attractive, what fits best with a patient's face, and what looks most natural. Take a look at some of the aesthetic theories of attractive teeth, and next time you look in the mirror and consider your teeth and smile, you may be able to tell just what you like (or don't like) about your teeth.

The Smile Line

When it comes to reshaping a smile, one common goal is to create an attractive smile line. The smile line is a line drawn along the bottom edges of your top front teeth, and the theory goes that the most attractive smiles have a similar or identical curve along the lower lip. This symmetry is pleasing to the eye, so it's often used when reshaping the front teeth with bonding or veneers.

The Gum Line

Proportion comes into play when it comes to reshaping the gum line. In general, healthy, pink gums are the most attractive frame for good teeth. But as with painting or photography, it's important that the frame doesn't overwhelm the artwork. Smiles that show too much gum can be tackled from two angles – reshaping the teeth to make them longer and reshaping the gum to make it less prominent. Gum reshaping is a very common part of laser cosmetic dentistry.

Gender and Teeth

In general, people find smaller, rounder teeth more feminine and larger, blockier teeth more masculine. But it would be a mistake to leave it that simplified – facial shape, for instance, plays a large role. Softer, rounder faces can be emphasized with rounder teeth; on the other hand, a soft face can be made to look a little sportier with blockier teeth.

Smoothness and Wear

While smooth teeth might sound like the ideal, they actually can make a smile look older. Over time, wear and tear has two main effects on the shape of your teeth: their edges are worn from round to straight, and their surfaces are worn from slightly rough to smooth. For this reason, rounded, slightly textured teeth are usually the goal for a youthful-looking smile.

Light Reflection and Color

Tooth whitening is an incredibly common way for people to improve their smiles. But there's more to tooth color than simply getting them as white as possible – which can actually lead to a fake denture-like look. Instead, whether it's through choosing the right amount of bleaching or choosing the right tint for work like crowns or veneers, it's important to work with a professional who understands how enamel and light interact to create the look of bright, natural teeth. To find out more about tooth beautification, contact someone like Artistic Dentistry by Gerard Wasselle, DMD.