In The Perfect Mouth Part 1, I talked about the gums – what they should look like, and how they should work. They are so important to the chewing system (or masticatory system) that if they weren’t there, you wouldn’t have teeth.
This brings me to the next component of the perfect mouth, the teeth.
The number one requested procedure these days is teeth whitening. So obviously white teeth is desired. But how white is white enough?
Ideally, the teeth should be the same color as the whites of your eyes or a shade or two lighter. Any lighter then they will appear fake and unnatural-looking.
As far as the number of teeth, a full complement of teeth ranges from 28 to 32 depending on if you have your wisdom teeth or third molars.
Teeth should be aligned so that each tooth “bites” into the contact between 2 teeth. It works kinda like a jigsaw puzzle. Believe it or not, where teeth function the best is also the most esthetic position. All cosmetic dentists will agree that nothing beats the look of straight teeth with a perfect bite.
Going deeper, the individual teeth should be shaped properly, especially at the edges, and have the appropriate proportions. For front teeth, we’re talking about a width to height ratio of 4:5. So for a front tooth, the ideal width should be about 8 mm and the length around 10-11.
When someone with a perfect smile is smiling, you will notice all of the teeth showing. When their lips are relaxed, you will notice about 1-2 mm of their upper teeth showing.
Remember that the upper teeth are displayed when you smile and the lower teeth show when you talk.
Texture: most people don’t realize that the optical properties of teeth are very difficult to reproduce. The enamel, which is translucent, has reflective properties that make teeth very beautiful. It is quite a task for dentists and lab technicians to reproduce a fake enamel.
On the enamel, the surface texture is often overlooked. If the surface of your tooth is smooth, then light will reflect straight back to you and give your teeth a glossy appearance – not natural and not pretty. So the perfect surface texture should be one that is slightly rough that reflects light to the sides. The “wetness” should be achieved by the saliva on the teeth.
As a cosmetic dentist I can go deeper into the subject but the reason for this post is to provide an excellent argument that having perfect teeth requires you going to a dentist with an “eye” for esthetics.
If you are in San Diego or if you are looking for a San Diego Dentist, please check out our office as we provide thorough gum examinations.