image of Stephen Moyer has a symmetrical face and incisors

Stephen Moyer has a symmetrical face and incisors

A beautiful smile depends on your incisors, the focal point of your smile.

Think about your favorite painting or photograph. It sits in an attractive frame. One that compliments the art.

This is also true of your lips and your teeth. The lips being the attractive frame and your teeth, especially your incisors, being the art work.

When you thoughtfully consider various pieces of framed art, in your home, in the businesses you visit or in galleries, you begin to see important differences.

A beautiful frame with unattractive art, doesn’t work. The converse is also true, where a beautiful art piece sits in an unattractive frame. It still doesn’t work.

When the two come together, complementing each other, the result is quite striking.

So for a beautiful frame…put your best lips on.

Face Scanning Starts With Your Eyes and Your Teeth-The Beginning of Social Engagement

Think about the first item that catches your gaze when you encounter a new face in a new social interaction. You’re right, it’s the eyes. First one then the other. Then the mouth, and back to the eyes then the nose, and mouth, then back to the eyes.


image of scanning of eyes and incisors

Scanning of incisors and eyes repeats in a circle.

image of Scanning of Seth McFarlane' face eyes and incisors

Scanning of Seth McFarlane’s face eyes and incisors

Constantly scanning for cues and clues, the cycle repeats itself, expanding a little to hair or ears and returning again to the mouth with conversation.

In just seconds your gaze determines the nature of the interaction. Is it safe?
Is there a smile? Does it reveal teeth (incisors), like a genuine smile? Careful, watch also for “smile lines” at the outer corners of the eyes. Is it an inviting smile, receptive to a deeper level of interaction?
Is it worth investing time and energy? All of that in just an instant.

Or do you decide nope, nothing here. Time to dismiss, and cut this interaction short. You avert your gaze, and move on. All of this occurring in less than two seconds. Instant assessments made on the fly.

That’s harsh. Talk about having only one chance for a first impression. But if you’ve got only seconds, everything must count.

Research shows it’s the eyes and teeth that count. If you have eyes that are relatively symmetrical, you are starting out just fine. Enhance them with a judicious application of makeup. And guys can groom the eyebrows if needed to avoid the giant caterpillar look. After that, your teeth are up next. But before I focus on teeth, let’s take a look at overall facial attractiveness.

Facial Attractiveness-Defined

It means how do you perceive and rate another person’s facial features. You could say you never do that, but I’ll bet a least a little bit sneaks in unaware.

Attractiveness keeps psychologists busy, day after day, designing new studies and interpreting the data.

It turns out that your overall facial attractiveness depends in part on the inherent physical attractiveness of your individual facial features. Not a surprise.

It also depends partly on how your features are “packaged” or presented.

image of Attractive smile with makeup ncisors are the focal point

Attractive smile with makeup, incisors are the focal point

You can manipulate the appearance of your facial features and their relative shape, size and position to some extent with careful makeup and grooming. You enhance the desirable aspects and conceal the others with the goal of achieving a pleasing overall balance.

Physical beauty and perceived attractiveness is important in our society. It’s a billion dollar industry. Whether you agree completely with that or not, you can take advantage of some of the many aids and accessories that can assist you in achieving your level of attractiveness.

I have to deal with caterpillar eyebrows and large tufts of hair growing from both ears and nose. I regularly use the grooming equivalent of hedge trimmers to maintain a reasonable appearance. I had orthodontic treatment and I brighten my teeth. I need all of the help I can get.

I’m not an expert when it comes to the artistic application of your makeup, but I am an expert when it comes to helping you attain a beautiful smile and then helping you maintain it.

Your Smile And Perceived Intelligence

A UK study by McGrath and Bedi (2002) found that two-thirds of people (66 %) said their oral health was important in terms of their appearance. And almost half said healthy teeth and gums are important for improved confidence (43%) and romantic relationships (42%). Makes sense to me. How about you?

Like it or not, research at The Dental Institute of Guys, Kings and St Thomas’ confirmed that people make judgments about peoples social and intellectual abilities based on the appearance of their teeth.

You’ve overheard judgmental conversations and and thought that’s terrible. Other times you might find yourself agreeing. It’s OK when you’re on the positive side of this interaction and you feel good about yourself, but imagine what it’s like on the negative side.

The sad part is that individuals with decayed and discolored teeth were considered to have lower social, intellectual and psychological levels. It may be unfair and especially so when it occurs through no fault of there own.

image of woman without a smile

What is assumed about you if you do not smile?

But regardless of the causes, the researchers concluded: 1) that it’s possible that these sort of judgments could lead to social exclusion and 2) people definitely make snap judgments about another based on their teeth, when there is no other verbal information on which to base their decision.

Nice Incisors Are Essential To Your Attractive Smile

Your incisors are front and center in your smile for all to see like it or not. Since attractiveness is connected to a pleasing smile, how is a pleasing smile evaluated?

In any given culture there is general agreement about what is considered an attractive face and what makes it attractive. There is also shared agreement, in many cases, across cultural lines as to what is attractive. Yes, there is some disagreement regarding specific attributes of beauty but much of what is considered beautiful is shared.

How Your Dentist Sees Your Smile

Generally the characteristics that contribute to overall beauty also contribute to the beauty of a smile. Now lets’s look specifically at how a dentist evaluates the attractiveness of your smile.

A cosmetically trained dentist will look carefully at a number of considerations including the following attributes of your smile. And your incisors will often be the first stop in his methodical evaluation. When they are not in step with an attractive smile everything else will suffer too.

image of Incisors are the focal point of a beautiful smile

Incisors are the focal point of a beautiful smile

Symmetry Of Your Teeth

Symmetry is ideal and is always the goal in cosmetic dental treatment. Teeth should appear close to identical to the corresponding tooth on the opposite side of the midline of the smile. They are mirror images of each other (mirrored across the midline). Central incisors are the 2 large teeth closest to the center of your mouth. The next 2 teeth are the lateral incisors. These 2 teeth are more to the side, or lateral to the central incisors. And further to the side are the cuspid teeth. The lower front teeth are named the same but are much more similar in size than the dominant upper incisors.

If chips have occurred, teeth may be repaired with cosmetic bonding of composite resin or porcelain veneer application.

Proportion Of Your Teeth

The incisor teeth of a young adult smile have a built-in length to width proportion that is pleasing to look at. Your teeth are longer than they are wide when ideal. When your teeth begin to deviate from this “ideal” they are not as pleasing to the eye. If your teeth are of equal length and width, it makes you look older. This can often occur as the result of wear, accident, or incomplete eruption. The shape of the teeth should complement the face.

If incisor wear is accelerated, a night guard appliance can be prescribed to reduce wear. If it is severe, the restoration of worn teeth can often be accomplished with natural appearing porcelain restorations.

Placement Of Your Teeth

Are your teeth in the right location? If not, orthodontic therapy may be required. Orthodontics is the art and science of “ideal” tooth placement to harmonize your smile and provide good function when chewing. Once basic alignment criteria are met, a variety of smiles are considered pleasing. Thank goodness. Your dentist may have the skills to treat any mal-alignment issues you may have or he may refer you to an orthodontist as part of his treatment plan for you.

Color Of Your Teeth

White, white teeth are not always better, but it is the desire of much of our current culture. My patient’s frequently complain they want to get rid of their “corn yellow“ teeth. Almost 90 % of my patients would like brighter colored teeth even if only a little more.

For natural teeth needing brightening, hydrogen peroxide based whitening products are available. They will gradually whiten your teeth until your desired result is obtained, in most cases.

In severe cases, covering natural teeth with porcelain is the only way to hide discolored teeth.

When planning to achieve your ideal smile your dentist will strive to select colors that harmonize and blend with your natural teeth, if appropriate. This can be achieved even within individual teeth so it lends to an ideal natural appearance.

Once your smile has been carefully evaluated your incisors will be the focus of any action plan for improving your overall smile. It can be as simple as smile brightening, or as complex as replacing multiple missing teeth, but it starts with an initial visit to discuss the possibilities. Call your dentist today to have a smile evaluation.

See a holistic or biological dentist for the most biocompatible materials selections for your smile improvement.