How do we know what is beautiful? We need to answer this question if we are going to design smiles that are beautiful. One answer to this question is the golden ratio, also called the golden proportion or golden section, which is commonly accepted as a mathematical relationship that governs our perceptions of beautiful proportions.

Portrait of Marilyn Monroe showing the golden ratio


What Is the Golden Proportion?

The golden proportion is defined as a mathematical relationship between the length and height of an object. A rectangle is defined as being in golden proportion if removing a square from the rectangle leaves a new rectangle with the same proportions as the old one. Numerically, it means that the rectangle is about 1.618 times as long as it is high. Another way to define the golden ratio is that it is n where n² = n + 1. It is also the ratio that the Fibonacci Sequence converges on. The Fibonacci Sequence is defined as starting with zero and one, and all subsequent entries are the sum of the two previous entries. Over time, the ratio between two adjacent numbers in the sequence approaches the golden proportion.

Many people find that this ratio is pleasing, and there are numerous examples of this coming up in natural structures.

The Golden Proportion in Facial Beauty

As in many types of natural beauty, many people believe that a beautiful human face is governed by the golden proportion. Here are some of the ratios that people feel should be governed by the golden proportion to achieve a beautiful facial appearance:

  • Head height compared to width
  • Eyes to mouth compared to mouth to chin
  • Width of face compared to distance from one side to the inner eye
  • Width of nose compared to width of mouth

Depending on the analysis you look at, there are potentially dozens of these relationships.

Marquardt Beauty Analysis

One of the ways that people analyze the golden proportion in the face is with the Marquardt Beauty Analysis. This uses a “mask” of lines that we can place over a person’s face to reveal how well that face conforms to the beautiful proportions.

The Golden Proportion in Your Smile

Just as facial beauty is governed by the golden proportion, so too is the beauty of a smile. When it comes to your teeth, there are several golden proportions that can help you achieve the most attractive smile.

First, the height and width of your teeth should be related by the golden proportion. Next, the relationship between the widths of the teeth should also be in golden proportion. So the ratio between the width of your upper central incisor and the width of your upper lateral incisor should be a golden proportion. Then the ratio between the width of the lateral incisor and the width of the canine should be a golden proportion.

Beauty in Precision

If you are considering cosmetic dentistry and are looking for a cosmetic dentist who doesn’t leave notions of beauty up to chance, then consider Dr. Pamela Marzban in Burke, VA. please call 703-349-4277 today for an appointment where we can evaluate your smile and your facial proportions to help you achieve your beauty goals.