One of the most important elements of a first impression is a smile. If your teeth are out of alignment, uneven, chipped or discolored, you might look older than you are.
In fact, 96 percent of adults surveyed by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) say an attractive smile makes a person more appealing to the opposite sex. “On average, it takes people a fraction of a second to determine if they like what they see,” says New York cosmetic dentist Timothy Chase, DDS.
This is something that Hollywood certainly knows, based on the emphasis placed on the beautiful smiles among celebrities like model Christy Turlington, whose super-straight smile lights up the room. Peruse through these images to see some of the best grins in the industry and get great tips on how you can get your smile in sexy shape, too.
Actress Gwyneth Paltrow’s smile is very symmetrical and aligned from side to side, which would typically require some straightening assistance since most smiles aren’t naturally this even.
One of the most common straightening devices is traditional braces. They are either metal or ceramic and are bonded to teeth and tightened from time to time to force teeth into a straighter position.
Typically, they’re worn for eight months to two years. Although the time investment is lengthy, traditional braces can move teeth horizontally or vertically (for teeth that are too high or low) and fix bite problems.
If you have teeth that are generally in good position and your bite is aligned, like actress Jessica Biel, yet you have some overcrowding, you might opt for invisible braces, like Invisalign.
In about 10 to 14 months, these clear, removable plastic aligners gradually move your teeth into a more desirable position. Your dentist will give you a new set of aligners to wear every couple of weeks, swapping them out as your teeth straighten. “They’re so discreet, you sometimes can’t even tell when someone is wearing them,” says New York cosmetic dentist Steven Roth, DMD.
Source: PR Photos
Another study by the AACD revealed that actress Anne Hathaway is considered to have one of the most glamorous smiles in Hollywood, as ranked by cosmetic dental professionals. While her teeth are certainly straight, her full lips add to her sultry look.
And it’s no accident—those two attributes go together. If your lips look thin, it could be because your teeth are crooked. Misaligned teeth can actually make your face cave inward because they do not provide good structural support.
“When your teeth are straight and where they are supposed to be, from a foundational standpoint, your lips will look more pronounced and provide a beautiful frame around the teeth,” says Beverly Hills, CA, cosmetic dentist Laurence R. Rifkin, DDS.
Actress Sienna Miller has a subtle advantage over some of her peers, in that her two front teeth are slightly longer than the others. Optically, this draws your eyes to her mouth, adding to her sex appeal.
To create a similar look with teeth that are too short, your cosmetic dentist can use bonding. During the procedure, clear coats of tooth-colored plastic are layered on the bottoms of your front teeth. The procedure is performed without anesthesia, requiring no downtime or follow-up visits.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, has stolen the world’s heart with her natural, charming smile, which is ideal because she doesn’t have too much gumline showing. An overly gummy smile will make even straight and white teeth look worn down, stubby and even old.
Using a laser or scalpel, your dentist can reshape your gumline so that more teeth are exposed (you never want more pink than white showing when you smile). It just takes one visit (about an hour per tooth arch), and you’ll be given local anesthesia.
Source: PR Photos
Singer Britney Spears’s smile is so alluring because the rounded nature of her shape is considered very feminine. If your teeth are square with rigid, blunt edges or if they have flattened from wear over the years, consider tooth contouring, a 10-minute procedure performed without anesthesia. Your dentist will painlessly smooth the edges of your teeth to make them more rounded.
The shape of your teeth is the most important aspect because from a distance, people notice shapes more than color,” says Atlanta cosmetic dentist Ronald E. Goldstein, DDS.
Cameron Diaz’s smile is very wide and youthful. Veneers or crowns can not only perfect the alignment and shape your front teeth, they can also help build out the back teeth to support the cheekbones and create a younger-looking face overall and even reduce wrinkles and nasolabial folds.
Veneers are bonded to just the front of the tooth, while crowns fit over the entire tooth. Typically, your dentist will suggest crowns over veneers if you teeth are broken or have large fillings. Veneers work great for those with mild wear, gaps or crowding.
Veneers or crowns usually require two visits—one to file your teeth and put plastic veneers or crowns in place and a second to apply the final version.
And finally, while straight teeth certainly accomplish a lot in creating a sexy, youthful smile, if teeth are stained or dingy, they’ll still look old. To choose how white to go, keep your complexion in mind to create a naturally bright smile, like actress Reese Witherspoon.
Olive and darker skin tones need less bleaching because going too white will create too much contrast. A good rule of thumb is to never go whiter than the whites of your eyes.
To achieve the right white for you, visit your dentist for a whitening treatment before trying to do it on your own with over-the-counter whiteners that can leave you with less-than-authentic coloring.
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