If you look closely, you’ll see that mouths are much like fingerprints in how different they are from one another. On the surface, mouths look the same, but the difference is in the details.
Mouths convey emotions—a smile, a frown, a gasp, bewilderment or the inner happiness you can’t hide. That’s not even taking into consideration that lips come in tons of shapes and sizes. It's no wonder your mouth is a messenger in many ways.
Plastic surgeons have looked over thousands of pictures of beautiful women and men to discover the perfectly proportioned mouth. This is what they found...
• The width of the mouth should be about 1.6 times the width of the bottom of the nose (aka the golden ratio—what a coincidence!).
• If you drop lines down from the inner part of the iris (the colored part of your eyes), your mouth should fit between those lines.
• Your upper incisor (front) teeth should be visible below your upper lip for one to four millimeters and your lower teeth should not be visible when your lips are open. As you get older, your upper lips drop and you see less of your upper teeth. At the same time, your lower lip sags, exposing more of your lower teeth. Shakespeare’s reference to older people as “long in the tooth” describes this drop. The real reason is periodontal disease, where the gum recedes and the bone follows, creating triangles of space between the teeth. This exposes their roots.
• Your upper teeth should also overlap the lower teeth by one millimeter.
• Your jaw should be level. To find out if it is, take a wide Popsicle stick and bite on it. If your jaw is asymmetrical, the stick will tilt.
We’re not suggesting you move your facial features a smidge here and there. We are suggesting that there are objective standards to beauty. If your mouth’s features don’t measure up to the scientific standards, there are plenty of other ways you can make the most of your mouth. Let’s take a closer look at your mouth anatomy when it comes to ideal beauty standards.
Here’s a breakdown of the different parts of your mouth, and what these features reflect when it comes to beauty...
Lips: We all know the main things we use our lips for. There’s a lot more to know about your lips, though. The ideal upper lip should be slightly larger than the lower, with a gentle curve that peaks (called Cupid’s bow).
The upper lip’s divided symmetrically in two-by-two vertical lines under your nose, called the central philtrum. The lip color also affects what’s going on. Pale lips indicate anemia (a lack of red cells or abnormalities of red cell contents). Blue shows lack of oxygenation of blood, which can come from many causes. Lips, like faces, fat and breasts, are a supreme target of the beauty counter and plastic surgeon’s tools.
Teeth: Women tend to prefer upper front teeth that look rounded. Men like a squarer look. Most of us prefer the height of the two front teeth to be about 1.6 times the width (phi ratio). The front six teeth also follow the golden rule. The larger ones are 1.6 times the size of each successive smaller one.
WATCH VIDEO: A Review of Your Teeth
Smile: The subtle muscles of your mouth determine how you communicate in your environment. A dozen or so muscles connect with the circular muscle around your mouth. (That’s just a fraction of those around your eyes. Some suck in the cheeks, others pucker the lips, or lift and lower them. A fire of a few neurons that instruct your mouth to move a certain way, determine if you’re conveying rage, excitement, sarcasm, confidence—and the list goes on. Even smiles can be categorized by their beauty. The prettier the teeth, the more a person smiles. The more a person expresses emotion by using the facial muscles (around the eyes and mouth), the younger she looks.
Tongue: Your tongue helps you swallow and protects you from swallowing poison. Your tongue helps move foods and liquids down your esophagus, and is controlled by eight muscles and four nerves. Few people think of the tongue as a beauty organ. Normally, tongues are pink and moist, with bigger bumps in the back. Developing problems is when things can get hairy. A black hairy tongue, for example, happens if your taste buds elongate and change color, due to antibiotics or smoking. You can also develop ulcers, cysts, herpes infections and yeast infections. This is called thrush; milk of magnesia or nystatin can chase the yeast out of your mouth.
Find out if your hair is aging you and learn how to turn back the strands of time.
Highlight your eye color. Flaunt your body shape. Harness your confidence. Take our quizzes to better know yourself and get science-based, individualized advice to embrace your true beauty.
Find out if your hair is aging you and learn how to turn back the strands of time.Take Quiz
See how your BMI and waist-to-hip ratio is affecting your beauty and health.Take Quiz
Great sex does more than blow your mind—it's good for your heart, your head and your beauty.Take Quiz
Define your curves and discover the best ways to eat, exercise and dress for your figure.Take Quiz