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How important is your smile?

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How important is your smile?

What does your smile say about you?

How important is your smile?

As dental professionals, we obviously think a smile is extremely important. Having a smile you feel good about can increase your self confidence and affect how others see you. Did you know that your smile can also reveal your personality and that there are different types of smiles? Read on to learn more…

What can a smile tell you about someone?

Different types of smiles are associated with certain personality traits and how people are received. Some common ones are outlined below.

A gap-toothed smile: often perceived as a sign of sensuality, especially when the gap is between the two front teeth.

Prominent canine teeth: usually indicates dominance and super confidence.

An overcrowded smile: usually associated with success and perfectionism.

A wide beaming smile: indicates you’re an extrovert.

Closed lipped smiles: tend to indicate you’re more introverted, preferring to hide behind closed lips. (If you’re hiding your smile for cosmetic reasons, give us a call to discuss orthodontics, teeth whitening, veneers, or dental implants. Make an appointment to discuss your concerns and which tooth realignment, and correction options may be right for you.)

What are the physiological components of a smile?

There are as many variations of a smile as there are in our personalities as seen above. Though there are millions of different smiles — essentially as many as there are individuals — according to the Canadian Dental Association three basic smile patterns can be identified.

  1. The commissure smile: seen in approximately 67% of the population. In this smile, typically thought of as a Cupid’s bow, the corners of the mouth are first pulled up and outward, followed by the upper lip contracting to show the upper teeth.

Personalities with recognizable commissure smiles include: Jerry Seinfeld, Dennis Quaid, Jennifer Aniston, Frank Sinatra, Jamie Lee Curtis and Audrey Hepburn.

  1. The cuspid smile: found in 31% of the population. The shape of the lips is commonly visualized as a diamond. This smile pattern exposes the cuspid teeth, then the corners of the mouth contract to pull the lips upward and outward.

Famous cuspid smiles include: Elvis, Tom Cruise, Drew Barrymore, Sharon Stone, Linda Evangelista and Tiger Woods.

  1. The complex smile: found in a mere 2% of the population. The shape of the lips are typically two parallel chevrons showing all the upper and lower teeth at the same time. The key characteristic of this smile is the strong muscular pull and retraction of the lower lip downward and back.

Well known complex smiles include: Julia Roberts, Marilyn Monroe, Will Smith and Oprah Winfrey.

Although the basis for smile styles is neuromuscular, individuals can usually employ all smile patterns. Restoring the smile through orthodontics can give individuals new confidence and can often change their neuromuscular programming. It is our job to give you a smile you feel good about that matches your uniqueness.

How to tell the difference between a real smile and a fake one

What can a smile tell you about someone?

According to Psychology today, smiles offer clues as to what a person is thinking or feeling. There are differences that occur physically and emotionally when we’re using our genuine smile, known as our Duchenne smile. This real smile is named for the researcher who discovered that a genuine smile involves involuntary and voluntary contractions from two different muscles in your face. These are the orbicularis oculi (cheeks and eyes) and the zygomatic major (corners of your mouth). Crinkles around the eyes are also a sign of a genuine smile. Uh-oh Botox users…something to think about. Genuine smiles involve the whole face, while fake smiles usually only involve the lips. There may be something to the whole smiling with the eyes thing.

There are three other categories of smiles that reveal insights into someone’s personality and how you are perceived according to  Psychology Today. They are:

The Reward Smile

When you’re communicating positive feedback through your smile, your lips get pulled directly upwards, you form little dimples at the sides of your mouth, and your eyebrows lift. If you want to show you’re pleased with someone’s work or something they’ve done, you can use a rewarding smile. Just pull your lips upwards to expose your teeth.

The Affiliative Smile

This smile will help you communicate to people that you like or are interested in getting to know them. A smile that communicates friendship and liking someone involves pressing your lips together while also making those little dimples at the side of your mouth. This will help you seem flexible and make it easy for people to approach you.

The Dominance Smile

Often used to express power, this smile isn’t necessarily a bad thing. To smile like this, raise your upper lip, push cheeks upwards, and wrinkle your nose. The indentation between your nose and mouth deepens like a sneer, and you raise your upper lids. You may use this before a confrontation or a negotiation, but be sure to mix it with a little of the smile above.

Tips for adapting your smile

If you want to give the impression of an outgoing person, try a big smile. It’ll show that you’re open and help others respond positively to you. A person with a big eager smile on their face is perceived as flexible, reliable, and trustworthy. Your smile can help you come across as confident and professional. A genuine smile will always be well received.

Interpreting a person’s smile is one way we have of judging their personality and certain facial expressions reveal a lot about a person, even indicating possible future successes. If you want someone to like you it may be worth taking the time to practise your smile in the mirror or using selfies to see if you’re communicating everything you’d like to with your smile. Whatever your smile, one thing is true if you’re not confident in it you won’t use it. If you don’t feel good about your smile talk to us about treatment options to improve it. If you already have the smile of your dreams then by all means go out and share it. The world is never made worse by a smile.