Haute couture. Boho chic. Minimalism. Power suits. Flappers.
Fashion trends may come and go, but like your favorite little black dress beautiful smiles are timeless.
What makes a smile beautiful?
Beautiful smiles are healthy, symmetrical, and strong. Smile design employs objective principles to evaluate what makes a smile breathtaking and what makes a smile ho-hum. We’ve put together a list of the most important characteristics of a beautiful smile, and what we can do to enhance these.
Characteristics of a beautiful smile
1. Straight teeth without spacing or crowding
Yes, straight teeth are aesthetically prettier. But the overall health benefits of straight teeth are even more important.
Straight teeth allow for more effective brushing and are easier to floss—significantly improving your overall oral health and reducing the likelihood of developing tooth decay or gum disease. Especially important as tooth decay and gum disease are scientifically linked to a decline in overall health and risks for heart disease and high blood sugar.
Crowded and protruding teeth are susceptible to breaking, especially when participating in sports as mouth guards won’t fit correctly.
Crooked teeth may cause speech impediments, which often negatively affect your self-confidence and eventually lead to poor performance at school or work.
Crowded teeth put pressure on your jaw, leading to chronic headaches.
Finally, cuts or scrapes on your gums, lips or the insides of your cheeks from crooked teeth can lead to infections and illness.
Orthodontic options including traditional braces, Fastbraces, Invisalign, Clear Connect, and Six Month Smiles exist to straighten your smile. And, if it’s only the crowns (visible portion) of the teeth that need straightening, we find porcelain veneers do the trick.
2. Very little discoloration
Studies show that people—especially women—with white teeth are perceived as younger, prettier, and more attractive. The enjoy more professional success and opportunities than their stained-teeth counterparts. And, they’re viewed as more fertile—an animalistic and unconscious sign that they’d be a desirable mate.
Over-the-counter home whitening remedies like whitening toothpaste, gels, strips, and peroxides can temporarily whiten teeth a share or two. Professional whitening is a more dramatic and permanent solution.
3. A healthy, pink, and minimal gum line when you smile
Harkening back to our first point, a beautiful smile is a healthy smile. Unhealthy or diseased gums are usually white or yellow and are swollen, leading to a gummy smile.
Brushing—and more importantly—flossing as prescribed are key to healthy gums. As a last resort, lasers are available to remove dead or diseased gum tissue.
4. No gaps or missing teeth
Missing teeth are distracting and unsightly, not to mention present a host of health and hygiene issues. Missing teeth lead to bone decay and facial collapse.
Dental implants offer a long-term, low maintenance solution. And, implants are the closest solution to your natural teeth.
5. No cracked or broken teeth
Strength and beauty go hand-in-hand. Chipped or broken teeth are perceived as weak and uncared for. They also cause the eye to hone in on the flaw, distracting from the symmetry of your smile (and face).
The severity of the chip or break determines if well use dental bonding, fillings, or crowns.
Beautiful smiles are created by blending art and science
Your smile is a reflection of how you feel about yourself. Repairing the parts of your smile that make you feel self-conscious improves your outlook on life, and leads to increased satisfaction in your personal life and career.
Even as a young boy, Dr. Arnold knew he wanted to be a dentist. Dr. E.I. Scrivner, Jr. was a family friend. And, getting to know him led young Fred to fall in love with the profession. Dr. Arnold is now recognized as one of the leading cosmetic dentists in the country. He’s accredited in cosmetic dentistry, and a former Chairman of Accreditation for the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. Dr. Arnold is a former member of the United States Air Force. He and his wife, Holly, live in Lexington, Kentucky where they’re raising their three daughters.