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February 17, 2014 – Recently, the Huffington Post wrote an article about 10 Celebrities Who Refuse To ‘Fix’ Their Teeth. The article focuses on celebrities who have embraced their smile, for better or worse. A smile is an incredibly important facial feature. Changing your smile is a very personal decision and anytime someone considers changing themselves, it must be done with a lot of thought. It is not for everyone. We are all imperfect individuals in an imperfect world. These celebrities have chosen to embrace that and should be commended for it.

But what is imperfect about their smiles? Why did the Huffington Post select these celebrities? It is easy to see good or bad, but WHY is it bad? That is the point of this article. It dives into what is imperfect about these celebrities smiles and to see what a St. Augustine cosmetic dentist is looking at when they evaluate a smile. Most of the celebs they chose have one problem, gaps between their teeth. Anna Paquin, Madonna, Woody Harrelson, Lara Stone, Vanessa Paradis, Seal, and Lauren Hutton all fell into this category. Since that is fairly self-explanatory, this article focuses more on those that have other imperfections with their smiles, and a few celebs that were not included in the Huffington Post article.

Jay Leno retired from his long run on the Tonight Show last week. Leno has always been known for his down-to-Earth, hardworking personality, and that is why his smile fits him so well. There are some obvious things that stand out. His teeth have some yellowing and the teeth appear crowded together. But what the cosmetic dentist starts to see is the chipping on his front teeth, and how his smile appears very small for his face. Jay is very well-known for his big chin and big head. In fact he had a “bit” on his show comparing the size of his head to large objects and other “large heads.” The teeth are not simply crowded, but the whole “arch” or jaw that the teeth sit on is too small. If you can enlarge the arch, then you can make his smile bigger and stop the teeth from chipping further.

Jewel kept her smile because she got an acting role because she was the only actress auditioning that did not have a “Hollywood Smile.” She was natural. Jewel actually has pretty teeth. They are white, and the actual shape of her teeth are very pleasing. But they are out of position, on both top and bottom. So the challenge for the cosmetic dentist: how do you get the teeth into position? There are a lot of dentists who would consider taking out a perfectly healthy tooth in this situation in order to achieve that goal. But a cosmetic dentist must achieve aesthetics in the most conservative way possible, and removing teeth is not very conservative.

Will Ferrell recently starred in Anchorman 2, and has been one of Hollywood’s main funny men for the past decade. It is obvious that his lower teeth are not straight. Crowded teeth like these are very difficult for Will or his hygienist to clean. This can irritate the gums and eventually lead to tooth loss. You can actually see that his gums are irritated in that they are almost completely flat between his teeth from canine to canine. Your gums should be scalloped or look like waves, peaking between your teeth. His teeth also appear longer than you would expect. Because of that, we can assume they are losing bone support. Bone support is lost when gums become irritated.

Most remember Steve from his part in Fargo. He has since appeared in many films, and his characters tend to be a bit eccentric. Steve has fairly straight teeth and the shape is close to what you would hope for. To the trained cosmetic dentist, it would appear that he has actually had some dental work done on his front teeth. But his left canine is much more pronounced that the other teeth for two reasons. The first is that he has very little bone support around the tooth. That scallop or peak of his gums that is supposed to be there is absent. So the tooth appears elongated. Second, you cannot see the tooth behind the canine, called a bicuspid. It creates a void in the “corridor” of his smile, making his smile appear smaller than it otherwise would.

Healthy, conservative, and functional. These are the characteristics that a cosmetic dentist must be able to deliver and recognize if someone is missing them in their smile. There is always a reason WHY a tooth is losing support, or why it is chipped, etc. It is up to the cosmetic dentist to understand the why. Straightening teeth without support or placing veneers on teeth that are chipping can have big ramifications and must be identified before proceeding. Form, or beauty, follows function, and the mouth can be a very unforgiving place. This should give some insight as to what other aspects of a smile a cosmetic dentist is looking at while understanding how a smile can be improved.

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