What are the Components of an Ideal Smile?

Aesthetics & Personal Wellbeing

A woman in a park smiling showing off her straight teeth

If you ask people what they think makes an ideal smile, most would answer straight white teeth.

Sure straight teeth are important. But there are far more components working together for an ideal smile.

Like everything to do with appearance, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What is attractive to one person might not be considered attractive to the next. However, plenty of research has been completed over many years to uncover all of the parts that work together for the ideal smile. Orthodontists use science and art when designing a patient’s new smile.

Straight, Well Spaced Teeth for a Brilliant Smile

Straight, evenly spaced teeth without any gaps are the foundation for a pleasant smile. It doesn’t matter if your mouth is perfect in every other way, one wayward tooth can spoil the look of your smile.   

Many people dislike the look of their crowded teeth. Widening the jaw or extractions allow the remaining teeth to have the room they need to move into their desired place. The angle of teeth also impacts their attractiveness. You don’t want teeth set too far back or for them to jut out.  

Correct Bite

The way your teeth’s chewing surfaces come together is critical because it impacts on your teeth, jaw, gums and neck. A correct bite is important for proper mouth function and health but also aesthetics. The meeting of the top and bottom jaws is visible when some people talk and laugh, so you want them to look balanced.

Sparkling White Teeth

Stained or yellowed teeth can spoil an otherwise attractive smile. For most people, their upper front teeth are the lightest and brightest teeth, and the upper side teeth are a similar colour, just not as bright. The canine teeth have more colour saturation than the first and second premolars which are lighter and brighter than the canines. The upper and lower teeth should be a similar colour. For someone considering teeth whitening they should aim for a shade that compliments their hair and skin colour rather than trying to gain the whitest shade possible.    


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Symmetry and Balance

Just like your face and body, the right and left sides of the smile must be balanced. The midline of the front teeth should be in the middle of the face, and the front teeth should be symmetrical. However in some people with asymmetrical faces, an upper midline that is placed in the general flow of the existing asymmetry may be quite pleasing. The upper teeth smile line should generally follow the curve of the lower lip.

The central teeth should have a balanced width-to-length ratio. The edge of your bottom teeth should be parallel to your lower lip when you smile. Long teeth can also make your smile look more youthful because years of chewing and wear and tear, reduce the length of our teeth.  

Don’t Forget the Gums

It’s not just great looking teeth that are important for an ideal smile. The gum acts as the frame around teeth. It should be a healthy pale pink colour, and the line where the gum and teeth meet should be smooth and even. There should be a slight rise and fall in the gingival line, and ideally, there should be 1-2 mm of gums showing before the teeth and lip line begin. However many attractive people exhibit significant amounts of gum when smiling so many factors may be of influence.

The Individual Counts

A smile doesn’t stand alone; you need to take into account who it belongs to. Even gender plays a part. Women’s teeth are softer, smooth and more rounded compared to men’s teeth which are square and less convex in shape. You can usually see less of men’s upper teeth than females.   

Even personality can be taken into account. Pointed, fang-like canine teeth can give the impression of a more aggressive character than someone with more rounded, canine teeth.        

With proven formulas and years of experience, orthodontists can design the smile that is right for each of their patients.  

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