Smile symmetry

We all know a great smile when we see one. But what exactly is it that makes a smile fantastic? A beautiful set of teeth? Then what makes teeth beautiful? The answer lies in the parameters set by nature.

When you see someone’s smile as ‘beaming’ or their teeth as ‘beautiful’, you’re responding to a formula we see every day in nature from the ferns and flowers at Queen’s Park to the seashells on Maggie. It's known as ‘the golden proportion’ – the formula or ratio that marks the measure of beauty in nature. That ratio is 1:1.618.

The spiral of a seashell, for instance, increases at the ratio of 1:1.618. The same can be observed in flowers, feathers and leaves. The golden proportion is evident throughout the human body, including the teeth.

The relationship between the upper front teeth, the teeth next to them and those next to them reflect this proportion. A person’s facial height, that is the shape and position of the eyes, nose and mouth et cetera, reflects the golden proportion.

When the smile is compromised by tooth crowding, grinding, loss or decay, it becomes obvious that something isn’t right. And it’s not just about appearances.

The loss of facial height, or the malposition of the jaw, can lead to ailments such as migraines, ear ringing, dizziness, back pain and teeth clenching.

This is where neuromuscular dentistry comes in – taking the head and neck into account. By considering the golden proportion, the ideal tooth length/width and jaw position can be determined. This is where all muscles in the jaw are at rest and the patient is subsequently symptom-free.

That perfect smile or beautiful set of teeth isn’t as enigmatic as you may have thought. It's simply a matter of proportion.