Have you ever seen a photograph from the 19th century and noticed how no one ever smiles? In most cases, the subjects look serious – almost fierce – and unapproachable. Perhaps in those early days of photography, having a picture taken was a more serious undertaking than it is today. Or maybe back then, people didn’t realize the important impression a friendly smile can have on other people.
The basics of a beautiful smile
So what does it mean to have an “attractive” smile? There are actually several components. First, an attractive smile is one that appears symmetrical. If you think about it, our bodies are designed to be symmetrical – that is, if you drew a line down the center of your body, beginning at the top of your head and ending with your feet, the features on each side more or less tend to match in size and shape. That sense of balance and proportion tends to influence our sense of aesthetics. A smile that isn’t symmetrical isn’t aesthetically pleasing.
Second, alignment is important. Teeth that are crooked or crowded can also contribute to that sense of symmetry, and in addition to looking less attractive, misaligned teeth also can give the appearance of a lack of care. Edge alignment – that is, the “lining up” of the lower edge of teeth – is also important to a healthy, attractive smile.
Finally, proportion plays a role. Teeth that are too large or too small can disrupt the balanced appearance of your smile. Proportion typically refers to the size of each tooth relative to its neighbor, as well as the overall relative proportions of the front teeth that are most commonly seen when we smile.
These are probably the three greatest contributors to an attractive smile, but there are certainly other factors, including discoloration, chips, cracks and other physical characteristics that can make your smile look uncared for and unattractive.
Getting the smile you want
The good news is, all of these issues can be readily addressed with smile design. Smile design is an approach to dental aesthetics that encompasses a broad range of treatment approaches, from straightening and alignment systems like Invisalign® to restorative treatments that help replace chipped or broken teeth to whitening procedures to help address discoloration – and more.
In fact, what smile design means for you is going to be something entirely different from what it means to someone else because the techniques and methods used to help you get the smile you want will be determined by your mouth and teeth as well as your goals.
At Dentistry for All Ages, we can help you develop a program of treatment to help you get a great smile. We begin with a discussion of your desires, followed by a careful, in-depth analysis of your teeth, your gums and even your jaw. Then we develop a step-by-step plan that clearly explains which treatments are right for you and why.
An investment in an attractive smile is also an investment in better health. Properly aligned teeth are easier to care for which means decay is less likely to develop, and proper alignment also can help correct tempomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) which can cause chronic jaw pain and headaches. We work with major insurers as well as other finance partners to help ensure the cost of your treatment will fit well within your budget so you can feel and look better.
The next step is up to you: Call us today and schedule a consultation. Your healthy, beautiful smile is waiting.