Last week we talked about the principles that go into making your teeth more attractive, but your smile is more than just your teeth. There are many other elements that your cosmetic dentist will use to design your smile, including your gums, lips, and even empty space.
Attractive Gums Are the Foundation of an Attractive Smile
If you want to have an attractive smile, it’s important that you have healthy gums. Pale pink gums are an essential part of your attractive smile. If your gums aren’t healthy, make gum treatment the first step in your smile makeover. If you don’t, you may not have teeth to show in your smile.
Next, we will look at the contour of your gums. There should be symmetry between the height of gums on your teeth. The peak height of your upper central incisors (your two central teeth) and your upper canines (eye teeth, sometimes called fangs because they’re sharp in many people) should be close or equal with the peak height of the lateral incisors (the teeth between your central incisors and canines) should be lower.
When you smile, you should show some gums at the top of your smile, but not too much. If you have too much gum tissue visible, we can contour them to show a reasonable amount.
Your Lips Frame Your Smile
Your lips determine how much of your smile you show. As we age, our lips tend to sag more and lift less when we smile, reducing the amount of teeth and gums we show. It’s easy to lengthen your teeth to improve their show, but it’s harder to extend your gums.
Your lips will also show the proper shape of your smile. The lip line, formed by the upper edge of your lower lip, should be parallel to the line created by the lower margin of your upper teeth.
A Walk Down the Buccal Corridor
The buccal corridor is the area at the corner of your smile where there is empty space between your teeth and the commissure, where your lips come together. It’s hard to understand how empty space is part of your smile design, but it’s crucial. If there’s no empty space there, your smile will look crowded and toothy. If there’s too much, you smile will look empty. It’s important to balance this just right so that your smile looks healthy and attractive.
Let Us Design Your Smile
So there we’ve talked about some of the most important principles of smile design. This is only a basic overview, of course, and when your cosmetic dentist is talking to you about your cosmetic goals, you will have the opportunity to learn more, and in more detail.