We have all fallen for that perfect smile. Who can forget the voluptuous smile of actress Marilyn Monroe? Or the warm, energetic smile of Julia Roberts in the movie Pretty Woman? Even the hint of a smile from Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa has intrigued us for centuries.
But what is the magic essence of that perfect smile? We turned to the latest research to uncover the formula and five key ingredients of a smile.
Read: Keep your smile healthy
1. The width of the smile
A study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association says most people respond better to a broad smile. The so-called perfect smile should be at least half the width of the face.
2. The colour of your teeth
Research from Loma Linda University shows people instantly notice the colour of your teeth. Unfortunately some people make the mistake of bleaching their teeth beyond what is natural. “The teeth should be the same colour as the whites of your eyes. If the teeth are too white, they become more dominant than the eyes,” the study found. If your teeth are stained, a visit to the dentist will help, but don't over-do it.
3. Don’t show too much teeth
Your lower teeth should hardly be visible and the aim is to show your top teeth. Your two central upper teeth should be the focus of your smile, but you should not push them over your bottom lip – this will make them too prominent.
4. Don’t show too much gum
The lipline should not show more than 2 mm of gum. Too much gum can give a horsey look and you should rather show less gum. You should also take care of your gums with the same dedication that you take care of your teeth.
5. Be natural
It might sound like a cliché, but smiling from the heart will look more natural than trying to imitate the smile of your favourite celebrity. Always start by smiling gently and then broaden your smile – this will make your face look natural and help you feel at ease.