The commissure smile is the most common smile style. It’s found in about two-thirds of the population–67%–according to recent estimates. This is the pattern you’ll most recognize as being the “normal” way to smile.
In a commissure smile, the lips rise up at the corners first while being pulled outward toward the ears. This is partly where the expression “grinning ear to ear” comes from. When they smile, most people essentially create arrows that point at their ears.
As with the general population, many famous celebrities have this type of smile, but probably the most iconic is Audrey Hepburn. Her commissure smile is immortalized in images from the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s. A more recent example is Rihanna, and you can see how her smile develops in this gif.
A smile makeover for a commissure smile often focuses on porcelain veneers for the upper central teeth, since these are the most commonly and prominently displayed in this type of smile.
The cuspid smile is the second most common type of smile. Less than a third of people have this type of smile, which begins with a sideways movement of the corners of the lips. The first upward movement starts over the canine teeth (also called the cuspids), and the center of the smile often remains higher than the edges.
Tom Cruise is a great example of this, including his iconic turn in Top Gun. More examples include Jennifer Garner and hip hop artist T. I.
If you have a cuspid smile, you’re more likely to show a lot of gums in your upper jaw. This means that we have to pay almost as much attention to the appearance of your gums as to the appearance of your teeth.
A complex smile is relatively rare, found in only about 2% of people. In a complex smile, many groups of muscles work simultaneously to create a large display of teeth. A complex smile incorporates the movements in both the commissure and cuspid smiles, as well as simultaneously pulling down the lower lips to reveal the lower teeth.
Perhaps the most iconic example of a complex smile is Marilyn Monroe, but more recent examples include Julia Roberts and President Barack Obama.
If you have a complex smile, we want to make sure that we are including enough teeth in your smile makeover. While most people will just show their upper teeth when smiling, people with a complex smile often show both upper and lower teeth.
Get a Smile Makeover That Matches You
If you are looking for a smile makeover in Tulsa, cosmetic dentist Dr. Meghan Hodges at élan can give you one that reflects your personal style. To learn more about how your smile makeover is customized to you, please call (918) 528-3330 today for an appointment.