Will new biometric technology have us smiling to unlock our iPhones soon? It’s been tried before, but recently developed facial recognition technology can now rely on a person’s smile to identify his or her gender.

Rather than using a fixed, still photograph for facial recognition, artificial intelligence uses facial movement to map a person’s unique smile and can identify whether that smile is a man’s or a woman’s. This is possible because the technology uses forty-nine different landmarks, or points, around the eyes, nose, and mouth to understand how the face changes as a person actively smiles. These landmarks measure the distances in the points as the muscles stretch and contract, and measure the “flow” of a smile—how fast, how much and how far the face moves as a smile is formed.

Men's & Women's Smiles: What's the Difference?

Are Tooth Shapes Gendered?

In the past, many people have associated certain tooth shapes to a specific female or male gender as well. This belief, that males and females possess different tooth shapes, may have even influenced important cosmetic decisions for smile makeovers, but tooth shape has been found to be much more naturally individualized.

When it comes to smile makeovers for instance, a knowledgeable cosmetic dentist will select tooth shapes based on the look a patient desires as opposed to previously believed gender specific tooth shapes. Your smile makeover will be designed specifically for you, to match your facial shape, your personal expressions, and, of course, your cosmetic goals.

A Dynamic Difference

If it’s not the teeth that make the difference, how can computers tell? The gender of a smile lies in its expression.

Women have been thought to have more expressive smiles, and this facial recognition research now proves that this may, indeed, be true. Women smile more broadly, expanding their mouth and lip areas farther than men, and allowing for a conceptually more expressive smile.

The broadness of a smile is influenced by a few factors such as the dynamic range of the lips, jaw, and facial muscles. TMJ or an imbalanced bite can easily affect a person’s ability to smile broadly as facial muscles become fatigued and experience discomfort. It can even make their smile imbalanced.

A person’s gums and lips can also significantly impact a smile’s expressiveness especially as they age. Whether the lips become thinner or gums are impacted by genetic overgrowth or bacterial attack, the unique elements of an expressive smile suffer unless cared for by a skilled cosmetic dentist.

The facial recognition technology relies on the dynamic movement of a smile as opposed to its static image, and studies the underlying muscle movement of the face during a smile. So not only would it be very difficult to mimic or replicate a person’s unique smile map, researchers also believe these dynamics will remain the same even if external physical features of person’s face changes—it’s unclear then, whether cosmetic procedures would alter the biometric technology’s effectiveness and impact recognition rates.

Get a Smile as Unique as You Are

Whether a smile is male or female, esthetic perception proves to be the most important factor in all smile makeovers, and only a skilled cosmetic dentist can provide personalized variations in tooth shape and full mouth reconstruction for an individualized smile.

If you are looking for a cosmetic dentist with the sensitivity to give you the smile that precisely matches your personality and your goals, please call (248) 656-2020 today for an appointment with a cosmetic dentist at Doolin Haddad Advanced Dentistry in Rochester, MI.