Surprising Advantages of a Good Smile
Lots of people have smile makeovers to improve the attractiveness of their teeth and to feel better about themselves. But many patients remain unaware of some of the other social and lifestyle benefits of good teeth. Recent research has found a host of other – sometimes surprising – benefits to a great smile.
Social Benefits: As you might expect, a great smile bestows many social advantages – and, conversely, a poor smile is detrimental. 84% of Americans ages 18 to 50 see an attractive smile as an important feature and one-third said they would not want to be set up on a blind date with someone who had bad teeth. Likewise, the vast majority of people surveyed, 85%, say that a person’s smile is very or somewhat important when meeting someone for the first time. Not surprisingly 9 out of 10 people surveyed also said that people with a good smile are more attractive.
Relationship Benefits: A great smile is also an asset in one’s love life. One-third of 1,000 people, 18 to 50 years old, said they would not be likely to kiss someone who has a bad teeth. This may seem like a superficial way to judge others or pick romantic partners, but bad teeth are also associated with poor hygiene and low self-worth – hardly the characteristics one looks for in a future life-mate On the other hand, whiter teeth are associated with health, beauty, youth, and energy – all features that make members of the opposite sex more attractive.
Intelligence and Success: Now it’s unlikely that whiter teeth will actually make you smarter, but they can make you appear smarter. A study conducted on behalf of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) found that an improved smile will make you appear more successful, interesting, and intelligent – as well as being more attractive. During the survey, 528 people looked at photos of eight people before and after cosmetic dentistry. Respondents judged the photographic subjects based on whether the cosmetic dentistry patients were more attractive, friendlier, more intelligent, happier, and more successful in their career, more sensitive, more interesting, wealthier, kinder, and more popular with the opposite sex. “After” pictures, which show individuals with whiter teeth, received higher scores in every category.
“Many people would say that the ‘appearance of being more successful’ doesn't mean you actually are more successful,” notes South Florida cosmetic dentist Dr. Charles Nottingham. “However, an attractive appearance always has an impact on your life – even in your career. It can be helpful in job interviews, when networking with colleagues, and in many other situations. Having a good smile also improves one’s self-esteem, which has a positive impact on just about every area of one’s life.”