Customer Watch: Putting Teeth Into Style Decisions

Cosmetic dentistry is a multi-billion dollar industry, and a gorgeous smile, whether natural or enhanced, is the pride and joy of many an individual. Teeth straightening has become a rite of passage for many teens; teeth whitening has become a priority if not an obsession for many people of all ages.


Still, it’s nice to see a variety of smiles grace the pages of the magazines and to know that there is not just one perfect smile appropriate for everyone. Kudos to the May 2008 issue of Glamour magazine for its salute to unconventionally attractive smiles: 


Glamour notes that blindingly white teeth may have been the old way of thinking, but that cosmetic dentists report that their patients no longer want their teeth to resemble Chiclets gum. From the standpoint of an image consultant, I think the optimal shade of white for one’s teeth should be close to the color of the whites of one’s eyes. The more prominent the eyes, the more this is true.


As you work with your customers, keep in mind that, like every other feature of your customers, their teeth are a factor in determining what jewelry will be most attractive on them. Color will be a consideration with jewelry that is white or near-white, of course, including pearls, opals and enamels. Color is an especially critical consideration with pearls for brides, where not only her features (teeth and whites of her eyes) but also the color of her wedding gown may affect the optimal color of pearls.


Irregularly shaped teeth or a gap between the front teeth, a la Lauren Hutton (also pictured in Glamour), can be emphasized by a design motif that repeats the shape or spacing, especially if the motif is the same size as the teeth. Unconventional, perhaps, but possibly quite charming.


One trend that seems to be coming around again is the nameplate or word pendant, sometimes expounding a philosophy or a bit of attitude via the choice of word displayed. I was struck by the emphasis to the teeth resulting from the nameplate necklace worn by “American Idol” contestant Jordin Sparks. Notice how the size, spacing and regularity of the letters emphasizes the similar characteristics of her teeth, which are the dominant feature of her face.


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