Last week we talked about the way your smile style can influence the number of porcelain veneers that are recommended in your smile makeover. But what do we mean by smile style? Smile style refers to the way that your smile develops, which muscles activate, leading to the particular shape of your smile. Researchers have broken these patterns down into three basic smile styles, although there are many minor variations that differentiate our individual smiles.
The Commissure Smile
The commissure smile is the most common type of smile. About two-thirds of people (67%) have this bow-shaped smile. In this smile, the corners of the mouth (the commissure between the upper and lower lips) are moved up and outward, usually pointing toward the upper corners of the ears. This is why we often talk about people “grinning ear to ear”–the smile points to the ear even if it doesn’t reach there. People with this type of smile tend to mostly show their upper teeth when they smile, meaning that these should be the priority for restoration with porcelain veneers.
Probably the most iconic commissure smile is Audrey Hepburn’s, forever immortalized in her classic Breakfast at Tiffany’s image. Fuller versions clearly illustrate how she shows her upper teeth almost exclusively.
The Cuspid Smile
In the cuspid smile, which is found in a little less than a third of people, the smile begins by lifting the lips on either side of the mouth on either side of the nose, just about over the cuspid teeth. Next, the lips are pulled upward and outward, although the height at the corners of your mouth may remain below the height of the central part of the lips. People with this type of smile tend to show more of their upper gums, and are more likely to show more teeth even with a less pronounced smile.
Probably the best example of a cuspid smile is Tom Cruise.
The Complex Smile
The complex smile is relatively rare, being found only in about 2% of people. In this smile, three groups of muscle work simultaneously–the two used in the commissure and cuspid smiles as well as muscles in the lower lip, which pull it downward as well. The result is a double chevron type shape, similar to the commissure smile, but much wider. People with a complex mile are much more likely to show both upper and lower teeth when they smile.
A recent example of a complex smile is Julia Roberts, but probably the most iconic complex smile is Marilyn Monroe.
A Makeover That Preserves Your Smile
When we are designing your smile makeover, we will make sure we understand how you smile in order to give you the right amount of restorations so you will always be able to smile with confidence.
To talk to a cosmetic dentist about your smile, please call