Like it or not, our smile and teeth have a major impact on how people perceive us and also how we feel about ourselves. A study conducted by Invisalign found that 92% of survey respondents said they were much more confident after improving their smile than they were before.
In addition, while teeth aren’t an indicator of how trustworthy or reliable someone is, studies show that people form perceptions and opinions of a person just by what their smile and teeth look like. This isn’t always the case, but for many someone’s smile has a major impact on the impressions and perceptions formed about that person.
A different study conducted by Kelton on behalf of Invisalign, looked at how teeth and smiles impact a person’s perception of someone’s success, popularity, intelligence and general health. Perceptions are dangerous, but our reactions to what we see is a very human instinct.
“Whether we like it or not, we are often judged by our appearance,” said Dr. Michelle Callahan. “Your smile has more of an effect on what others perceive about you than you think.”
Here are some of the stats from the study:
- 29% of Americans said the first feature of someone’s face they notice first is his or her teeth
- Americans perceive those with straight teeth as 58% more likely to be successful
- Respondents said they would be less likely to go on another date with someone who had misaligned teeth than someone who lives with their parents
- 73% said they were more likely to trust someone with a nice smile than someone with a good job, outfit, or car
- 87% said they would give something up for an entire year in order to have a nice smile for the rest of their life
From an evolutionary perspective, people have needed to analyze other people, places and things in order to determine if something presents a threat. This instinct continues today, in more subtle and nuanced ways. While a person’s character can’t be measured by the health and aesthetics of their smile, people form impressions of others using whatever information they have, even if that information is extremely limited.
The more important aspect of all of this is the health of your teeth and mouth. Yes, a straight and well-cared for set of teeth will look better, but the benefits of healthy, aligned teeth go well beyond that. Caring for your teeth will help to prevent other dental issues like excess wear and tear on teeth, gums and jaw muscles which can result in cracks in the teeth, strain, headaches, speech difficulties and more.
The bottom line is that taking care of your teeth and mouth via cosmetic and preventative dentistry is critical for much more than how people perceive you. It is a health concern that you need to take seriously by seeing a dentist regularly and having any dental problems addressed immediately.
To start the process of improving the health and appearance of your smile, contact us today to make an appointment.