When it comes to designing the perfect smile for you, there are many factors that go into getting it just right. Here are some basic principles of smile design that our cosmetic dentists use, explained in plain, everyday language to help you understand how we can help you get the perfect smile.

Straight Teeth

dreamstime_13810993When it comes to making your teeth straight, there are many things people are referring to that can make a smile look “straight” or “crooked.”

Smile midline: if the midline of your smile is off center with the centerline of your face, it can make your smile look off.

Teeth tilt: your teeth should be vertical so that the lines between them are basically up and down, though slightly tilted toward the center.

Teeth gap: your teeth should touch without spaces or gaps between them. The triangles created by the curves of your teeth above and below the touch should not be too large, and there should be no blackness visible between the touch and your gums. The two teeth in the middle, called your central incisors, should touch the most, with less contact as it moves toward the side.

Symmetrical teeth: your teeth should be generally symmetrical, basically like mirror images, around the central line.

Shapely Teeth

The shape of your teeth is important to creating an attractive appearance. We look at a lot of things when deciding the right shape for your teeth.

Proportionate teeth: your central incisors should be larger than your other teeth in terms of width. It may also be longer than your other teeth, though some people prefer a smile that has the teeth all the same length or one in which the canines are as long as the central incisors.

Width and length: a pleasing shape is achieved when your teeth are about 80% as wide as they are long.

Although many mathematical formulas have been proposed to guide these characteristics, the best results are achieved by judging them using an artistic eye.

White Teeth

Healthy, attractive teeth are generally white, but what color exactly that means depends on your skin tone, lip tone, and preferences. Teeth whitening will be able to achieve results consistent with your natural enamel, which may not be as bright as others’. If you want to achieve greater whiteness overall or address a single discolored tooth, porcelain veneers can help.

Your Smile Should Be Unique

In addition to following all these basic principles, your smile needs to be your own. We can work from the natural proportions of your current teeth and maintain many factors that make your smile your own. Or we can talk to you about your desired smile characteristics so you can design the smile you want.

Aged smile: one important characteristic is what age you want to convey with your smile. In general, a youthful smile has longer teeth, rounder teeth, and whiter teeth. The central incisors also tend to be longer than the laterals.

Friendly smile: A smile is considered more friendly if it has rounded canine teeth. In contrast, it can seem more aggressive if the canines are sharper. The distinction is also sometimes labeled feminine vs. masculine smiles because men are more likely to have longer, sharper canines.

Let Us Design Your Smile

If you are unhappy with the appearance of your current smile, our cosmetic dentists can work with you to determine the perfect new smile for you.

Please contact Smile Columbia Dentistry or call (803) 781-9090 in Columbia, SC today for an appointment.