And you thought a smile is a smile is a smile! Not at all – your mouth is the first point of contact when interacting with people and apart from the eyes, the mouth is also where various emotions are first visible (a grin, a smirk, unhappy, and so on). According to the South African Dental Association (SADA) there are two ways regularly used analyses your smile - the emotional evaluation and the objective analysis.
Below is a simple list of questions using each approach that you can do on your own in the convenience of your own home.
The Emotional Smile Evaluation
The emotional smile evaluation is based on each individual's subjective perceptions of his or her smile. The questions below are designed to help reveal a person's inner feelings about the manner in which their smile affects their self image, how it impacts interactions with others, and how it influences the quality of their relationships.
- Do you love the appearance of your teeth and smile?
- Do you ever turn your face when smiling or hold your hand up in front of your mouth when talking to others?
- Have you ever found yourself looking at models or other people with beautiful smiles and wishing you had a similar smile?
- Have you figured out a way to use your lips to cover any aspect of your smile?
- Are you embarrassed to visit a cosmetic dentist due to the condition of your teeth or the length of time since your last visit to a dentist?
- How does your smile make you feel? Confident?
- Do you shy away from showing a full smile in front of other people, especially strangers?
- When taking pictures, do you tend to smile with your lips closed instead of flashing a happy smile?
- Have you ever held back a laugh because you felt uncomfortable about your smile?
- How would a beautiful new smile make you feel?
- What would you like to change about your smile?
The Objective Smile Analysis
For the objective analysis, the best thing is for you to stand in front of a mirror. Now, smile at yourself using your ‘normal’ smile. Next, look at the mirror and think of a hilarious moment in your life and give a big, laughing smile. This big smile is probably a much larger smile than you feel comfortable using much of the time if you are not happy with your teeth. When your smile is improved, however, your big smile appears much more spontaneously because you look (and feel) great! So let's figure out what's holding your big smile back -- what it is that bothers you about your teeth.
- Are all of your teeth brilliant white or are they somewhat yellow, dark, or stained?
- Are there spaces between any of your teeth?
- Are you missing any of your teeth?
- Do you have teeth that are crooked, uneven, or out of line?
- Do the biting edges of your upper teeth follow the curvature of your upper lip?
- Do any of your teeth appear short and fat or too small or too large?
- Are the edges of any of your teeth even with the rest of your teeth or are they too long or too short?
- Do your teeth (as a group) slant one way or another?
- Is the midline of your two front teeth centred with your face and nose?
- Are the edges of your canine teeth too long, sharp, or look out of line?
- Do you grind your teeth or are any of the biting edges on your teeth chipped or worn down?
- Do you have a "gummy" smile -- showing too much gum tissue or having gums that are too thick?
- Are your gums even and in line and symmetrical or irregularly shaped -- higher on some teeth and lower on others?
- Have your gums receded or do they appear red or puffy?
- Do you have any grey, black or silver dental fillings in your teeth?
- Do you have any old crowns that have dark edges at the top or that don't really look natural?