female with commisure type of smile

Know Your Smile Type: The Three Types of Smiles

Did you know that it’s believed that dentists didn’t know how to classify smiles until the 1990s? It might not seem important, but knowing the type of smile you have is crucial to determine what cosmetic dental procedures and treatments best suit you. 

That’s why when you visit a cosmetic dental practice like Huntington Bay Dental, your dentist will examine you and tell you the type of smile you have. For example, your smile type could influence how many porcelain veneers you’re recommended when undergoing a smile makeover. Yet what do we mean when we say ‘smile type?’

Ultimately, your smile type is formed after your facial muscles have identified a pattern and developed a specific shape when you smile. According to researchers, there are three different types of smiles—cuspid, commissure, and complex—which we will discuss.

What Are The Three Types Of Smiles?—Shapes Of Smiles

Although there are numerous types of smiles, and each person has their own unique one, they all fall into one of three categories. Below we have discussed these types of smiles so that you have a better idea about which one you have and can discuss with your dentist the best procedures for it. 

The Cuspid Smile

young female with the cuspid type of smile
Cuspid Smile.

It’s estimated that about a third of the population has a cuspid smile which can be likened visually to a diamond shape. To have this type of smile, your levator labii superiosis facial muscles have to be dominant since they move first to expose your cuspid teeth in your mouth. 

Since it can be challenging to picture how this looks, the best examples of celebrities with the cuspid style are Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Aniston, Eva Longoria, and Tom Cruise. 

You will know if you have this smile type if the corners of your mouth move after pulling your lips upward and outward when smiling. The corners of your mouth are also often lower than the height of your lip above your maxillary cuspids. Your maxillary molars will also be below your incisal edge of the central incisors with the cuspid smile. 

If you have a cuspid smile, you will show mostly your upper teeth and parts of your gums in your upper arch. Due to this, when undergoing a smile makeover, your dentist will pay more attention to your gum line and upper teeth. 

The Commissure Smile

female with the commisure type of smile
Commissure type of smile.

The most common smile type is the commissure smile, with about 67% of the world’s population possessing this smile. This smile type can be classified as having a bow shape. If you’re struggling to picture this smile type, think of Audrey Hepburn, as she is one of the most iconic people to have had this smile. 

To have this smile, the corners of your mouth—otherwise known as the commissure between your upper and lower lips—move up and out, pointing toward the corner of your ears when you smile. The famous phrase ‘grinning from ear to ear’ was coined by someone having a commissure smile. 

Curiously, if you have this type of smile, you mostly show your upper teeth without the gum line and are more likely to have a successful porcelain veneer procedure. This is likely the first cosmetic dentistry procedure your dentist will recommend if you have this smile type and want a smile makeover. 

The Complex Smile

girl with a complex type of smile
Complex type of smile.

The rarest smile type is the complex smile, with only an estimated 2% of the population possessing this smile. This smile is rare because it requires three muscle groups to work simultaneously when smiling. If you have this smile, the two muscles used in the cuspid and commissure and the lower lip will pull downward, resulting in a double chevron shape. 

Although similar to a commissure smile, the complex smile is much broader, and people with this smile type commonly show more of their upper and lower teeth when they smile. Famous examples of the complex smile are Marilyn Monroe and Julia Roberts. 

Unfortunately, smile makeovers are a tad more challenging for those who have a complex smile type because these smiles reveal more teeth at the top and bottom. A dentist will likely recommend lower and upper teeth procedures if you have a complex smile. 

Smile FAQs

  1. Are Large Front Teeth Attractive? 

Whether or not large front teeth are attractive depends on personal preference. Some people find large front teeth attractive because they give a youthful smile, while others don’t like the appearance of front teeth that are large enough to provide a focal point. 

  1. Are Teeth All The Same Length?

Teeth are not all the same length. Like people, teeth come in varying sizes, with some people having shorter teeth and others having longer teeth. 

  1. Are There Different Types Of Teeth Shapes? 

There are different types of teeth shapes—four to be exact. Four different kinds of teeth in your mouth have different shapes and functions that allow you to eat various foods. However, most people prefer square teeth, so they get veneers to make all their teeth have the same shape and appearance. 

Get A Smile Makeover That Compliments Your Smile Type At Huntington Bay Dental

If you’re seeking a smile makeover on Long Island, the cosmetic dentists at Huntington Bay Dental can give you one that reflects your personal style while complementing your smile type. To learn more about how our qualified team can help you and the many dental procedures and treatments we specialize in, you can contact us here. We’re looking forward to making your dream smile a reality.