Perfect Teeth – When To See A Dentist?

perfect teeth

Everyone wants to have perfect teeth with a beautiful and symmetrical smile. A smile is an important part of a personality.

Half of the Americans belief that smile is the most memorable feature after first meeting someone.

The opinion about smile is subjective and this fact cannot be denied that beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. However, there is a certain criterion set for a beautiful smile and the people who fall on that criteria are generally considered beautiful.

A set of norms for perfect teeth were established a long time ago by observing people with a beautiful smile. Dentists follow the same criteria to fix your teeth to make them good and pleasing.

It is important to know that every race has different norms and different criteria for beauty. For instance, black Africans have wider jaws and well-aligned forward-positioned upper and lower teeth. You cannot set or align their teeth based on the norms of Caucasians who have smaller jaws and teeth.

General criteria of a beautiful smile is described below:

Smile line, Gum visibility and lips position at rest and on smiling

In an ideal smile line, the edges of your upper teeth should be parallel to your curve of lower lip when you smile. 

For an aesthetically pleasing smile, your full upper front teeth with 1-2mm of gums shall be visible. Pink healthy gums covering the root of the teeth, attached at a correct level (junction where the root and crown of the teeth meet) are the essence of healthy smile.

For women a gum visibility of upto 3mm is desirable, however, in men only teeth display is expected without continuous band of gums.

There shall be 2-3mm of upper two front teeth visible when your lips are at rest. Furthermore, the lips shall close without any strain when brought in contact.

With age, lips loose their their muscletone, with a consequent lower visibility of the upper teeth and a tendency to increase lower teeth display.

When to see a dentist?

If you see too much gums on smiling it means that the vertical growth of the upper jaw is more than normal or your upper lip is too active.

In adults, your dentist or orthodontist can fix this problem through braces but if spotted in a child at an early age the jaw growth can be stopped by giving a growth modification appliance.

It can also occur as a result of a drug side effect where there is overgrowth of gum tissue.

If your upper teeth are too visible when your lip is at rest, it can be due to the short upper lip or the overactive muscle of the upper lip.

Jaw positioning

Ideally, the upper jaw is slightly positioned forward than the lower jaw. When you look at the face from the side (in the mirror) with the lips closed it should look straight or slightly convex.

When to see an dentist?

A concave or highly convex profile look on the side means that either of the jaws is too forward or backward and you need to see an orthodontist.

If you see your kid with a forward or retarded growth of the upper or lower jaw, see your dentist. Your child may need a growth modification appliance either to stop the growth or facilitate the growth of the jaw that is at fault. The growth upper of jaw stops at the age of 9-10 years and the lower jaw at age 13-15 years. Girls mature earlier than boys.

perfect teeth alignment

Teeth should be aligned straight in the u-shape arch.

The upper front teeth (central incisors) shall emerge from the gums at a slight outward angle and back teeth appear nearly vertical or slighly outward when viewed from the side. This angulation provides lip and cheek support, giving a more youthful and attractive appearance.

When to see a dentist?

If you have crowding or spacing in teeth, book an appointment with a dentist or an orthodontist.

Too much of outward angluation of front teeth also needs correction.

If your child is a thumb sucker, get him/her checked with a dentist. This habit can lead to a narrow and deep upper jaw with forward-positioned upper teeth. The lower teeth move in the inward direction due to the placement of the thumb in between the upper and lower teeth. It is important to intercept this habit at an early age to prevent changes in the position of teeth and jaw bones.

Another habit that you need to observe in a child is mouth breathing. Consult a GP and dentist if your child has this habit. It could be due to adenoids or nasal polyps etc and a long-term habit can alter the growth of the face, jaws and position of teeth.


Ideally, your upper front teeth should overlap your lower front teeth vertically and this overlap shouldn’t be greater than 3mm or less than 1mm. When you see your teeth from the side (in the mirror) the horizontal distance between front upper and lower teeth should be 2-3mm.

Retract the cheek with the finger and now look for the back teeth while the teeth are in occlusion (upper teeth locked into the lower teeth). The upper back teeth should lie slightly onward than the lower teeth.

The buccal corridor is the dark space visible between the corners of the mouth and the upper teeth. People with considerably smaller buccal corridors (broader smiles) are thought to have the most attractive smiles. Women, in general, have significantly broader smiles than men.

When to see a dentist?

If there is too much vertical overlap between the upper and lower front teeth (greater than 3mm) your bite is known as a deep bite. In some patients, the bite is so deep that it damages the gums of lower teeth.

If you have too much horizontal distance between the upper and lower front teeth, either one of your jaw or teeth is too forward or backward. Edge-to-edge bite also needs treatment where the lower edge of upper front teeth contacts with the edge of lower front teeth when teeth are in occlusion (chewing position).

The third scenario that requires consultation is if your lower front or back teeth are outward and the front or back upper teeth are inward. This condition is knowns as a crossbite.

Midline of teeth

The midline of the upper and lower teeth should meet with the midline of the face. An imaginary midline of the teeth is drawn where the two front teeth (central incisors) meet.

The midline of the face passes through the centre of the area between the two eyebrows above, the centre of the nose in the middle, and the centre of the chin below.

When to see a dentist?

A midline shift in the teeth in either direction may need evaluation and if notable may need a correction.


Attractive smiles and perfect teeth share some common features, such as teeth that are white, unstained, straight, evenly spaced with no gaps or overlaps between them.

If you see your child with a faulty bite, teeth position or one of the jaw too forward or backward, consult a dentist. Although its normal to have spacing in the milk teeth and when the first upper front permanent teeth arrives (age 9-10 years). The space soon closes and there is no need to worry.

Any problem in a child with jaw growth (accelerated or retarted) can be managed well if intercepted at an early stage.

If you have problem with your teeth position or bite you can get braces at any age to fix it.

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