Aim: To describe the perception and sensations that dental alignment and smile determine in a sample of 180 children aged between 8 and 10 years, to assess whether there is a general trend in the classification of smiles, and to understand the influence of background attractiveness and sexual traits on the judgment of smile in the sample of children and 150 parents. Methods: We employed visual media showing a smile in four different arrangements (ideal incisal occlusion [N], median diastema [D], incisal crowding [A], and protruding incisors [P]), in both a dynamic and static way, with and without background attractiveness. Results: Trends were found among responses to the four classes of videos and photographs: The boy’s smile gained a higher score than the girl’s smile. In both the boy and girl presentations, there was an important preference to the following sequence of smiles: N, D, A, and P. Furthermore, the girl photographs showed no relevant difference between A and D. Conclusion: This study showed that there are no different perceptions and sensations due to the variation of dental alignment. There is a general trend in the classification of smiles according to dental alignment. Background attractiveness and sexual traits influenced the judgment of smile. ORTHODONTICS (CHIC) 2012;12:366–377.
Key words: background attractiveness, dental alignment, smile attractiveness