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What Makes a Beautiful Smile: Facial Proportions

Dr Warren Antonoff

Dr. Warren Antonoff

In today’s fourth article about modern Cosmetic Dentistry, Dr. Warren Antonoff explains how facial symmetry influences the perceptions of what makes a beautiful smile.

When it comes to a smile design, we typically begin by looking at your face. How is your smile related to your face, you might ask? Regardless of how attractive the teeth may appear, they need to be in balance with your facial elements. We look at the overall picture before homing in on the details of the smile – please have a look previous articles about how we also look at Lips & Gums and your Teeth.

The mid line is the most important parameter when it comes to any form of aesthetics. When things are centered, they naturally look nice. Usually, the dental mid line is co-linear with the facial mid line but often that is not the case. The most common culprit is actually the nose, the nose is the pillar of the centre of the face and yet in most people the nose slants off slightly in one direction or the other (especially for rugby players!).

Take Tom Cruise for example, do you notice that his dental mid line is off?


The most common way to observe facial symmetry is to divide the face in three proportions. The upper third is the height of the forehead, middle third measures the distance between the bottom of the nose to the upper border of the eye socket, and the lower third measures from the chin to the bottom of the nose.


From a dental perspective, if the lower third is ill-proportioned to the upper sectors, that’s when you know that correcting the teeth alone via procedures such as braces, veneers, crowns will not achieve a “perfect smile”, and that other procedures such as jaw and chin surgery may need to be considered.

We hope you’ve found this series of articles on Cosmetic Dentistry informative and enjoyable. I aim to bring modern dental concepts to you in a more accessible and personal way. As always, please don’t hesitate to contact us should you have any questions or suggestions.

Until next time, happy smiling!

Dr. Warren Antonoff and all the staff at Lifestyle Smiles

At Lifestyle Smiles, we see a spectrum of patients at the clinic – some prefer an “understated, natural” look while others want a bright “Hollywood Smile”. Either way, as dental professionals it is our role to help you feel great about yourself, and over the decades we’ve been fortunate to help our patients achieve the look they desire using proven, safe and effective treatments.