We are delighted that our delicious Tooth Cleansers will feature in Japanese Vogue at the end of this month. Our dentist Susan Tanner contributed to their feature on The Perfect Smile.

Dr Susan Tanner heads the Dawood and Tanner Specialist Dental Practice, the largest independent multidisciplinary specialist clinic in the UK, with on-site laboratories, CBCT scanning, 3D photography, 3D Printing, operating rooms, and CAD facilities.

She works with patients reconstructing teeth on dental implants, and together with her team of dental specialists, covers every aspect of dentistry for patients of the practice and also working with other referring dentists. Susan lectures extensively in the UK and abroad, and teaches in the dental practice.

The Perfect Smile?

A smile is a facial expression denoting pleasure, sociability, happiness and amusement. The act of smiling is a youthful expression, relaxing the face, eliminating worry lines and making the cheeks lift and enlarge – increasing attractiveness.

A smile may expose the teeth if the lips are parted, and it is well known that female smiles are appealing to males, increasing physical attraction and enhancing sex appeal.

The Japanese may also smile when confused, or angry or particularly when embarrassed, and the smile is used to mask the expression of feelings.

An individual should be able to smile easily and impart confidence; ideally the individual should feel free to expose and reveal their teeth without hesitation or embarrassment.

It is the teeth that also support the lips to lift and part in an attractive manner, balanced within the face. The natural position of the teeth at the correct vertical height is an extremely important factor for a youthful vivacious appearance; an older looking, collapsed face is often due to the lack of teeth following extraction or breakdown following dental disease.

As a specialist prosthodontist working in one of the largest and best-known dental clinics in Central London, I spend every day working on ‘the perfect smile’ for each and every individual patient. I lecture and teach other dentists how to do it; yet ‘the perfect smile’ is such a subjective and personal decision for both the patient and the dentist.

Most people naturally have attractive and functional teeth that are harmonious with their face imparting their own particular character, as long as they are well cared for. It is the importance of taking care of your teeth that prompted me to develop a beautiful toothpaste range that tastes delicious with real essential oils, to encourage everyone to brush their teeth and keep them healthy and beautiful. Our toothpastes appeal to all varieties of people due to the range of flavours from Brazilian Lime and Sicilian Lemon to Garden Mint and English Peppermint.

An aesthetically beautiful smile has teeth in it that suits the person and gives them character. Teeth vary naturally in size, shape and colour. The position of the jaws in the head varies in different people, as do the lips in a smile.

There are external influences on each individual that affects their ideal smile depending on their country, affluence, age and occupation.

Many other dentists, do not agree with the preconceptions that everyone should conform to the same look, such as the ideal of a ‘Hollywood smile’; that is characterless, even sized, straight teeth, bleached to an unnatural glowing white colour to match a magazine ideal. The eyes should be the brightest facial feature that holds the attention, therefore if the teeth are brighter than the whites of the eyes it makes the onlooker uneasy and the owner of the teeth appear fake.

How can we take an ideal of perfect and put it into everyone’s face? It goes along with the perfect body, or breast size, again wrongly idealised in the press, photo-shopped and manipulated to encourage feeling of inadequacy in the normal population.

An interesting trend in Japan is for Yaeba, meaning ‘double tooth’, particularly with women, who find a crowded, child-like crooked-tooth smile with accentuated canines attractive. A popular cosmetic procedure carried out by dentists in Tokyo is to attach non-permanent adhesive teeth to create protrusive canine teeth. Perhaps it is seen as a desire to appear younger and can be compared to the trend for a gap-toothed smile in the West?

In a survey commissioned by Dawood and Tanner Specialist Dental Practice, when asked out of six features which of the following features do you notice most when you first meet someone, the first at 38.2% said eyes, a close second came the smile at 36.8%.

A wonderful fact is that a smile is understood by everyone despite culture, race or religion and is a means of communication throughout the world.

If you see someone without a smile, give them yours!