Beautiful Symmetry Begins with Your Smile

From the time we are born, we are hard-wired to look for facial symmetry in the people around us. In studies, babies spend more time looking at images of symmetrical faces than asymmetric ones. Faces with the highest levels of symmetry also score higher in studies on physical attraction. One possible cause is that our facial symmetry may reflect success, life stress, and overall physical attractiveness. Genetic mutations and environmental pressure can change the symmetry of your face, and teeth often play one of the biggest roles.

People Find Facial Symmetry Attractive

Woman posingA number of studies have been conducted testing the attractiveness of facial symmetry. Results have largely pointed to more symmetry increasing the attractiveness of individuals. A study conducted by New Mexico State University’s Victor Johnston used a program called FacePrints to test the attractiveness of facial symmetry. Participants were shown a series of photographs of faces of varying attractiveness and asked to rate them on an attractiveness scale from 1 to 10. Low scoring photos were weeded out, while high scoring ones were merged together and shown again. Each trial ended when the viewer rated the composite photo at a 10. All of the final composites that scored a 10 demonstrated high levels of facial symmetry.

The research shows, for better or for worse, that people with more facial symmetry are more attractive than people whose faces are uneven. A common belief is that our brains are responding to subtle clues about that individual’s health. Symmetry demonstrates that a person is healthy, and free of genetic abnormalities that can show in the development of facial structures. Other research has found a relationship between the amount of stress that a person experienced in their childhood and facial asymmetry. Individuals with more traumatic or difficult childhoods tend to show less facial symmetry than people with easy childhoods, suggesting that facial symmetry may also subconsciously alert us when a person has potentially been weakened by environmental factors.

How an Occlusal Cant Changes the Balance of Your Face

One common cause of facial asymmetry is an occlusal cant, which occurs when the teeth appear to be slanted relative to the positioning of the nose and lips. Missing or crooked teeth, especially toward the back of the mouth, can cause this condition. Unevenness of the jaw may also cause an occlusal cant. Dentistry can help improve the appearance of balance in individuals with this condition.

A common method for correcting an occlusal cant is orthodontic dentistry. Sometimes braces alone are sufficient, but there are other options, too. In many less severe instances, an occlusal cant can be corrected through the use of restorative work commonly associated with aesthetic dentistry. Dental crowns, for example, can help to create symmetry in a smile. Dental implants may also help in cases where missing molars have caused the occlusal cant. When all of the teeth in the mouth line up, a person’s bite will be more even, offering proper support to facial muscles and allowing the jaw to close evenly.

If you have facial asymmetry, a meeting with a dentist to discuss and assess the best treatment for your individual needs may be in order. Please call 303-759-5652 today for an appointment with a Denver dentist at Park Meadows Dental Care.