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The Cosmetic Dentistry 6: the Teeth That Matter Most in Your Smile

Although all your teeth matter when it comes to chewing, and all contribute somewhat to the appearance of your smile, there are actually six teeth that matter more than the others when it comes to creating an attractive appearance for your smile. Understanding what they are and how they create an attractive appearance might help you understand what a cosmetic dentist in Hilton Head can do for you.

Maxillary Central Incisors

Six Teeth of Cosmetic DentistryThe two largest teeth in your mouth–in terms of visible surface area–are your maxillary central incisors. They’re called incisors because their job is to incise (cut) food, and maxillary because that refers to the upper jaw, called the maxilla.

These teeth have the important job of establishing most of the aesthetics of your smile. Because these are the teeth that show the most surface area, and they are the most front and center, they establish the color of your smile. If teeth whitening doesn’t work on either of these teeth, you will probably need to find an alternate solution.

The central incisors also establish the midline of your smile, hopefully lining up with the facial midline. The shape of these incisors also helps to establish the character of your smile. Square central incisors convey a strong, aggressive appearance, while rounding of the central incisors makes a more friendly appearance.

Maxillary Lateral Incisors

These incisors are called lateral because they are off to the sides of your central incisors. These teeth help create the appearance of your smile through their relative proportions in comparison with the central incisors. The laterals should be narrower than the central, but not too much narrower. When the lateral incisors are shorter than the centrals, it conveys an attractive youthful appearance–with age, our teeth tend to wear down to the same height.

Unfortunately, after wisdom teeth, lateral incisors are the teeth that are most likely to be congenitally absent.

Maxillary Canines

The canines are teeth that, in other mammals, tend to be very fanglike. In people, they can be very sharp as well, or they can be softer, more rounded. Like the central incisors, the shape of the canines helps convey a more aggressive appearance, while rounded canines lead to a welcoming, compassionate look.

Canines also perform the functional role of providing support to the jaw. They are likely one of the biggest contributes to facial aging. If you wear down your canines, your facial structure is more likely to collapse. This means that maxillary canines are often a major target when we’re performing a nonsurgical facelift.

If you would like to learn more about how these and other teeth contribute to an attractive appearance, please call

(843) 706-2999 for an appointment with a cosmetic dentist in the Hilton Head area.