Imagine going on a first date. You’ve chosen the perfect outfit and ensured every single hair is in the right place. You’ve misted yourself in your favorite scent and popped a fresh mint into your mouth. You might’ve even practiced your smoothest icebreaker over and over, but it might be all for naught if you haven’t taken care of one thing: your smile.
Straight Smiles Shine More Brightly
A recent survey found smiles might be the most important factor in first impressions. The survey, conducted by Kelton Global on behalf of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, found that 48 percent of Americans believe a smile is the most memorable feature when meeting someone for the first time. In comparison, only 25 percent chose the first thing a person says as the distinguishing moment of an encounter. In a separate survey, 29 percent of respondents said the smile is the first facial feature they noticed when first meeting someone.
Genuine smiles create rapport, encourage collaboration and may add value to a conversation, but simply flashing those pearly whites isn’t enough. Researchers also investigated how straight and crooked teeth affected people’s perceptions. They found people thought more positively of people with straight teeth than they did of people with crooked teeth. People with straight teeth were more often described as “happy,” “friendly” and having “high self-esteem.”
Let Your Smile Do the Talking
First impressions go a long ways in determining professional and personal success, and a good smile plays a large role in that. Whether it’s during a first date (38 percent of respondents said they would consider not going on a second date because of misaligned teeth) or job interview (when compared with someone of similar skills, people with straight teeth are more likely to get the position), the smile could be doing most of the talking.
Clean, straight teeth express an attention to appearance and allow people to speak freely with confidence. Unfortunately, those with discolored, missing, and/or crooked teeth, despite their strengths, may feel self-conscious and refrain from speaking or hide their mouths when they talk.
Smiles for a Lifetime
There’s only one chance to make a positive first impression, but a good smile should last a lifetime when properly maintained. Compared to other features such as our bodies and hair, the smile is the feature people believe will most likely stay attractive regardless of age. As a result, 62 percent of people are willing to spend money to maintain their teeth; in fact, Americans would pay an average of more than $11,000 to have a nice smile for the rest of their lives.
Unfortunately, many people neglect their teeth despite the understated but important value of a good smile. Modern dentistry offers a myriad of options to fix and prevent any imperfections. The simplest step is following regular checkups and cleanings, but the Fitzgerald Dental Center can address more complicated situations as well.
For teeth that are discolored, worn down, misaligned, or chipped, Dr. Fitzgerald may suggest veneers – thin pieces of porcelain bonded to an existing tooth to recreate its natural shape. They can also cover heavy stains and restore whiteness to yellowed teeth. If your smile is incomplete, there may be a dental implant solution for you. Make an appointment with Dr. Fitzgerald to discuss your needs and how you can make your smile the investment of a lifetime.