The Perfect Smile
***The following is an excerpt from a speech given by Dr. Boyajian at the Congreso Internacional de Estomatologia in Aguascalientes, Mexico. It appeared in the May 15, 1998 issue of Palm Beach Society. All Rights Reserved.***
by Dr. Gregory K. Boyajian
The adage, “Your smile says it all,” is certainly full of truth; your smile can be your passport to life. Fortunately, if nature was not generous in giving you the perfect smile, through modern cosmetic dentistry you can improve it dramatically. By using various make-up techniques, females can add a great sense of beauty to their faces. Men, however, beyond the tolls of facial hygiene, shaving, and having hair dyed or transplanted are more limited than women in their ability to enhance their facial appearances. Regardless of gender, the only “make-up” laymen can apply when it concerns teeth is an over-the-counter bleaching agent and that’s not really the best way to whiten teeth. A professional consultation with your dentist is a necessary first step.
Simply making teeth whiter does not guarantee a good smile. There is far more in a beautiful smile to consider than color alone. Allow me to guide you through the journey of analyzing your smile. Before beginning, though, it is important to issue a cautionary word; don’t be too critical about yourself. The “perfect smile” is a goal toward which we strive; perfection is rare, but nonetheless a good goal to have.
To analyze your smile, first observe your face. Just as your teeth and lips constitute an important part of your face, the total picture must also be considered. If you are a male, first clean your face, shave (if you don’t wear a beard), and comb your hair in your accustomed fashion. If female, apply your make-up to look your best, and since you have many options for your hair, it sis recommended you pull your hair back to expose the entire face. Sit down with a mirror and with ample light, regard yourself carefully. This is the you that others see. Again, do not be overly critical. You have God’s gift of life for which to be thankful. Seek for your smile to enhance and reflect that Spirit which radiates from within. Here are some hints to help you in your facial analysis.
The face can be divided vertically into two halves (just as the brain is).
This imaginary dividing line passes through the middle of the forehead down through the tip of the nose through the middle of the lips to the tip of the chin. If you imagine that line when your face is in a smiling expression with your upper and lower lips apart, this line divides the central teeth passing right between them. In dentistry this is called the MIDLINE. It is the first criterion in a really beautiful smile. To the left of the line and to the right of it, two equal halves of your face, lips, teeth, etc. should be located. In analyzing the smile from the Midline point of view, see if the two central teeth are equally divided by this line.
Does one tooth cross this line to the other side?
Do you have a space between these two teeth, and if so, is the space equally divided or is one of the teeth closer to the Midline than the other?
After analyzing the two central upper teeth, next examine the two teeth adjacent to them. They should be identical but on the opposite sides of the Midline. Again, check for overlapping, size and harmony and existing space. Next move to the “eye” teeth applying the same principles. When this is complete, you have analyzed your upper six teeth in a smiling position for symmetry and midline. Continue looking at your smile concentrating on these six teeth but using different criteria.
Are the teeth too yellow (or brown)?
Do they have fillings that don’t match the color of teeth?
Do spaces exist between these teeth?
Do these teeth stick out, making your upper lip protrude?
Do they “lay back” making your upper lip sink in?
Are they all the same length, worn looking? The two central teeth should be slightly longer than the adjacent ones. Even and worn-looking teeth portray an older smile.
Now, since your are concentrating on the length of your teeth, take your time and analyze them carefully. An attractive smile occurs when the upper six teeth barely touch the lower lip. Don’t consider other factors yet. Next to the Midline, the lipline is the most important aspect of your smile. Regardless of your gender, the correct relationship of the upper teeth to the lower lipline is an essential ingredient to the “perfect smile.”
Stay in your position and look at your smile, straight on. For a great smile you should see:
Six beautiful upper front teeth with the left and right sides mirror images of each other.
Most of the these six teeth should show up to the gumline. A little gum may show; too much gum is not pleasing.
The length of the teeth should be determined by the upward curvature of the lower lip.
They should not be covered by it, nor be short of it.
Only the tip of the lower teeth may show in this position.
Next consider the third factor (the first two factors were the Midline and lipline) of the “perfect smile,” the corners of the mouth. There are many teeth that are located behind the “eye” teeth, but in a straight-on smile, they should show minimally. The two teeth directly behind the eye teeth should show a little when a person smiles, leaving a dark area (no light at all) at the corners of the lips. These corners are very essential in the symmetry and beauty of the face. The edges of the dark corners should be located directly below the pupils of the eyes.
Keep in mind that you have analyzed your smile by looking directly at your face in a smiling but still position (without motion). The front upper six teeth are the dominant teeth in a smile, but make no mistake, there are many unpleasant smiles which have these perfect six upper teeth. Why is this? Since we are living human beings who are constantly in expressive motion, the rest of the teeth play a vital role, as well. The greatest quarterback in the world cannot win the Super Bowl without the rest of the team. The remaining teeth beyond the upper front six, play a major role in the winning smile.
Keep in mind that when you are the star of the party, people are looking at you from every angle. When you groom your hair, you pay attention to the appearance from the back, as well. When you speak and laugh more of your teeth show, and it is safe to assume that at some time or another all of your teeth are seen, not only those in front. Don’t make the mistake of caring only for those. All of your teeth are crucial to your health and apperance. You can put make-up on your face, but not your teeth, and unlike skin cells, teeth do not renew themselves. Sometimes, whatever the reason, nature is not as generous when teeth are involved; however, the good news is that with modern dentistry, something can be done about it.
Regardless of your findings, be happy, love yourself and thank the Lord that you don’t wake up one morning and see your name in the obituaries!