Smile Evaluation—Smile Makeovers
Self-evaluation of your smile is relatively easy to do, and can help you decide whether you want to change the way your teeth look when your lips are parted in an expression of friendliness or amusement. If you do decide to have your smile’s “look” changed via cosmetic dentistry, your self-evaluation will also come in handy as the first step in deciding what you want the end results to look like. Set up a mirror, with clear, preferably natural light to illuminate your face, and smile normally. Assess the reflection for the following points:
- What is the current color of your teeth, and do you like this tint?
- Do your teeth have a yellow or gray tinge to them?
- Are all your teeth correctly proportioned to one another, or are some of them too big or small? Remember that teeth are naturally different sizes depending on their position and function. What you are looking for are teeth mismatched in size to their place in the sequence.
- Are your teeth straight and even, or are some (or all) of them crooked?
- Are any teeth excessively flat or pointed? Again, some teeth are supposed to have a certain shape (for example, canine teeth are frequently pointed).
While you are checking your smile, be sure to give an objective look at your gums as well:
- Are your gums visible when you smile? If so, how much, and how noticeable is the effect?
- What is the color of your gums? Pink is healthy, while red and puffy gums indicate irritation and possible gum disease (periodontal disease) or infection. Excessively pale gums could indicate anemia, though the treatment for that lies outside dentistry.
Finally, you should also pay attention to the following factors:
- Is your breath neutral, or does it have a bad odor? Frequently, halitosis is accompanied by a persistent, unpleasant taste in the mouth.
- What do other people notice about your smile? How do they react to it, and do you receive compliments or perhaps less flattering statements about it?
- What do you like about your smile, and what do you dislike about it? What would you change about its appearance if you could?
Please see our section on Smile Design and the LVI Smile Catalog to get a preview of some of the options that cosmetic dentistry offers to you!