The Perfect Smile Science Test
The perfect smile starts with straight teeth but there’s plenty more to it. How well will your smile fare against these 8 principles?
In our first How Perfect is Your Smile quiz, we covered the basic components of a great smile: straight, evenly spaced teeth without visible stains, discolouration, chips or cracks. If you’ve checked all those boxes (which is awesome, by the way) but still feel that your smile is off somehow, no, you’re not being paranoid. There’s a lot more science behind the perfect smile, including these eight principles. Grab a mirror, read on, and figure out how scientifically-proven your smile is!
The basic rule of beauty is symmetry and this holds true when it comes to your smile too. Imagine a line that extends from between the centre of your eyes, to the tip of your nose, and ends at your chin. That’s your facial midline. If your facial midline runs between your two front teeth (which is your dental midline), this gives the appearance of a balanced smile.
For a perfectly symmetrical smile, you’d also want the teeth on either side of your dental midline to be mirror images of each other—both in terms of shape and size.
You may have never considered the length of your teeth but it can make quite a difference in the balance of your smile. Teeth that are too long can look horsey, while overly-short teeth can age you. You’d also want to consider tooth length in relation to width, as every tooth has its own natural proportion. Even if you don’t know the precise golden proportion like your aesthetic dentist would, you should be able to sense it.
Embrasures are the small V-shaped spaces between the tips of your teeth. They create a silhouette pattern between your teeth and the darker background of your mouth to accentuate your smile. Generally speaking, the farther the tooth is from the dental midline, the larger the embrasure should be.
The Smile Line
When you smile, the top of your lower lip curves, creating what dentists refer to as your ‘smile line’ (not to be confused with laugh lines, which are those pesky creases around your mouth and eyes). Ideally, the edges of your upper teeth should run in a parallel curve to your smile line.
The Eye Line
Make-up jokes aside, to find your eye line, trace an imaginary horizontal line that cuts across the pupils of your eyes. Your teeth should line up neatly in a parallel fashion for a balanced smile.
The Gum Line
Gummy smiles are a curious case of too much gum, too little teeth showing when you smile. But there’s more to gums than that. Aesthetically, it’s believed that crescent-shaped gums with gentle peaks that form a line close to the edge of your upper lip are the most pleasing to the eye.
When people say size doesn’t matter, they aren’t referring to your smile. Size does matter, especially in terms of the proportion of your dental arch to your lips. Wide lips and a narrow arch create a smile that can appear too smile for your face, and vice versa. Generally, a wider smile where you can see the gentle progression of teeth from front (larger) to back (smaller) is regarded as attractive.
So, how well did your smile fare? Even if you’re not born with the perfect smile, there’s no need to fret because a qualified dentist is your smile’s best friend. It’s always best to get your smile professionally assessed so that you understand the available options when it comes to achieving your ideal smile.