Relationship Between Face and Smile

Treatments & Care

Female smiling with teeth showing the relationship between a face and a smile

“A smile is happiness you will find right under your nose”.

Tom Wilson

You can’t get much closer than the link between our face and smile. The two go hand in hand and need to complement each other for the best result.  

Studying Facial Features

In a paper ‘Measuring the physical in physical attractiveness: Quasi-experiments on the sociobiology of female facial beauty’ published in a 1986 Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, the author Michael Cunningham measured the size of 24 facial features.

Cunningham found that the physical features of a beautiful female’s face include a small nose and chin, high cheekbones and a large, balanced smile. For men it was the same attributes except for a relatively small nose, a prominent chin and bushy eyebrows.   

Symmetry in your Face

For some time, experts on the world’s most beautiful people believe a symmetrical body is the most important factor in attractiveness. Having symmetrical facial features is part of the allure.

Whilst in nature perfect symmetry almost never occurs, most asymmetries are minor and only detected by people who are trained to look for them.

The midline of the face should run right between the two front teeth. For some people, the midline is to the right or left of centre. The midline can also be skewed on an angle to the left or right of the front teeth.

When teeth are being moved during treatment, an orthodontist will check the position of the front teeth is in the centre of your face. This objective can usually be achieved, although minor tooth size imbalances and uneven numbers of teeth may require a small deviation that would not normally be evident to most people.

The interpupillary line is an imaginary line drawn between the pupils of the eyes. This line is the interpupillary distance, and it should be perpendicular to the middle of the face and parallel to the occlusal plane, another line running front to back across the biting surfaces of the teeth.

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A Balanced Mouth

The ideal mouth is 50% of the width of the face, and the lips are the frame for the smile. The position of the upper lip shouldn’t be too high that it exposes too much gum or too low that it covers more than half of the height of the front teeth.

The distance from your bottom lip to your chin should be one-fifth of the total length of your face.

The number of teeth exposed during a smile can vary from only six from canine to canine, 8-10 so premolar to premolar or as many as 16 from molar to molar but the balanced smile leads us to show off an even number of teeth. Most men expose fewer teeth than women when they smile due to their lip line.   

Shape of your Jaw

The width of your jaw can determine how crowded your teeth are. The wider your upper jaw the more room your teeth have. The size and shape of your jaw plays a large part in the shape of your face. Your forehead, cheekbones and jaw should be fairly equal in width but if your jaw is the widest you probably have a pear-shaped face, a pointy chin in a diamond shape, and a square jaw will give you a square shaped face.  

Angle of Teeth

The emergence profile or angle that teeth emerge from the gum impacts on the appearance of the smile, but also has a pronounced impact on the support for the lips and fullness of the facial features. Full and well supported lips are considered attractive, and the positions of the teeth can have a critical role in achieving this objective. A comprehensive orthodontic treatment plan will always take into account the balance between the positions of the teeth and the facial soft tissues that they support.

While a balanced face is important, your best asset is simply to smile. Much of our body language and first impressions are influenced by wearing a smile. A smile can make you feel happier, more trustworthy and approachable – all attractive qualities.

If you would like to know if orthodontics can help improve your smile, make an obligation-free appointment at The Orthodontist on (08) 9364 8020 or contact us online.