There has never been a better time to smile. More importantly, our smiles have never been better. If you’ve been reading up on the tales of celebrity dentists who have purportedly perfected the smile, then you may be aware of talk about the “natural asymmetry” of one’s pearly whites, that makes a mouth more beautiful.

Or so they say. Kate Middleton is rumored to have endured a technique, which, if you can believe it, involved slightly rotating her teeth to attain a more natural, and therefore warmer, smile. While it may seem extreme to some, there’s no end to the actual accounts of myriad high-end dentists who create bespoke smiles for clients whose careers depend upon their smiles to maintain an adoring public.

The finer point to be made is that regardless of whether any procedure has or has not been performed, there’s clearly a current fascination with a smile that’s not quite, well, perfect. Europeans have accused Americans of fetishizing the perfect smile to the point where it has become artificial and cold. We also might add that the proliferation of social networking has warmed us to the natural smiles among us.

But social networking also reminds us of the perils of a bad smile, be it natural or unnatural alike. And for those of us who can’t afford (or don’t care) about a high-octane approach to dental care, we might be reminded that the pursuit of perfection starts at home with an attention to regular cleansing and hygiene. Let your natural smile shine, and let your dentist be the one to maintain it through his or her professionalism.