How do you smile? It’s probably something you don’t think about. You just feel happy and you smile. Or maybe you think “smile,” and it happens. The muscles of your face know what to do–they know how to make a smile.
But although a smile is probably the most universal human expression, not all smiles are the same. The way our muscles move to make a smile is unique, although it can be grouped into one of three basic categories, what scientists describe as smile styles.
When we’re designing your smile makeover, we’ll work hard to customize it, and that includes matching it to your smile style.
Commissure Smile–the Most Common Smile
The odds are good that you have what is described as a commissure smile. In fact, about two-thirds of people have this type of smile, and so it’s often thought as a “normal” smile.
In this type of smile, the corners of your mouth (also called the commissures) rise first. They angle outward and upward.
This smile style is very common among celebrities, too. You’ll probably recognize it from the iconic smile of Audrey Hepburn. This short video shows how her smile develops, a classic commissure style. Want a more recent example? How about Rihanna? This gif lets you see her smile develop in that same classic style.
So how does this affect your smile makeover? People with commissure smiles show mostly the upper teeth, so that’s where we’ll focus our efforts, making sure that your upper teeth look as beautiful as possible, which is often accomplished with porcelain veneers.
The Roguish Cuspid Smile
The cuspid smile is found in nearly a third of people. This type of smile differs from the commissure smile because the movement of the lips starts by going sideways, and then the lips begin to lift in the middle of the mouth with muscles directly over the cuspids (also known as canine teeth) lifting the upper lips. In this smile, the center of the mouth often remains equal to or even higher than the corners of the mouth.
This smile is popular with casting for lovable rogues. For example, it’s the kind of smile that Tom Cruise used to charm the nation in Top Gun as a flyboy/bad boy. And if you’re familiar with old Hollywood, it’s the kind of smile that Clark Gable used to popularize the type of lovable rogue through the 30s. More recently, you might identify this type of smile in Jennifer Garner and hip hop artist T. I.
How is a smile makeover different for people with a cuspid smile? You’re still likely to show mostly your upper teeth, but you’re also likely to show more of your gums in the upper arch. We have to be as concerned about the aesthetics of your gum line as your teeth.
The Charismatic Complex Smile
A complex smile lives up to its name. It’s the most complex smile style, and it’s also the most rare, found in only about 2% of people naturally.
A complex smile combines the movements in both the other smile styles and adds to it a simultaneous lowering of the lower lip. This results in a much more extensive display of teeth than in the other smile styles, including both the upper and lower arches.
The most recognizable example of a complex smile is Marilyn Monroe. In contemporary accounts, people talk about the sheer power of her smile to bring joy to a room–that’s partly the power of the complex smile.
More recently, President Barack Obama used the power of his complex smile.
Smile makeovers for a complex smile are also more complicated. Because a complex smile reveals so many more teeth, it’s important to treat more teeth. If you have a complex smile, we’re more likely to recommend treatments for upper and lower teeth.
We Will Personalize Your Smile Makeover
A smile makeover should be designed to emphasize your personality. It should match your cosmetic goals and harmonize with your personal style, including your smile style.
If you are looking for a smile makeover in St. Louis, please call (314) 375-5353 today for an appointment with cosmetic dentist Dr. Chris Hill at City Smiles downtown office or (314) 678-7876 for the Clayton office.