What do people think about your smile? Would they describe it as "effective," "genuine," and "pleasant"?
It's not simply a question of vanity. These characteristics of a "successful smile" provide important reference points for surgeons and implant dentists that have patients recovering from accidents or strokes that affect their smiles.
To aid these medical professionals and patients, a study was conducted to analyze the characteristics of smiles. The researchers displayed computer generated 3D images to determine how various attributes are perceived. The study found that a "successful smile" involves an intricate balance of the mouth's angle, the size of the smile, how much a person's teeth are visible during the smile, and whether the mouth produces the smile with symmetrical timing.
The study had several interesting findings. For example, researchers found that there is a "sweet spot" in terms of the size of a smile. This contradicted the common notion that "more is always better" when it comes to a smile. Instead, a smile is best when it is neither too large nor too small.
In addition, researchers found that whether a person shows their teeth is an important factor in the smile's "success," but the correct amount is not the same for everyone. For those who have limited facial movement, smiles are judged to be more successful when they are closed-mouth, not showing teeth at all.