Do Your Teeth Affect The Way People Perceive You?

September 2016

We have decided to look into why it is that 37% of people notice your smile first, and that 24% of people say that this is the most remembered facial feature. Do you think your teeth can really tell someone that much about you? Do perceptions really make that much of a difference toward a person’s success? Do you think that if your teeth were different it could change your current life? It stands to reason that if societal settings impact our smiles, then smiles more than likely serve a social drive. Things that researchers pay attention to is our culture because of the way it changes the perception to the judging party. For example, interesting enough it was found that “Americans located expression at the mouth, seeing a smiley face as happy and frowning emoji as sad, while Japanese found it in the eyes, seeing ^_^ as joyful and ;_; as tearful.”

image of ugly betty

A study done by psychologists say the following about why we smile, “The presence of those around us can influence our smiles as well. An experiment led by Robert Kraut, published in a 1979 issue of Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, reported that bowlers smiled more often when facing their friends in the pit than when facing the pins on the lane. Of course people do smile to themselves, but many believe that social context pulls more strongly at our lips than pure, isolated emotion. Alan Fridlund of University of California, Santa Barbara, has found that people smile more when they imagine others around them than when they’re alone — even when their overall levels of happiness remain the same.” If we are not smiling for ourselves does this study mean that we only care about our smiles because we care what other people think?

woman smiling

The perception study focuses on the affect that having crooked teeth can have on a person’s social life. We suppose the same could be taken with missing teeth as well. “Results of the study indicated Americans perceive people with straight teeth to have more desirable qualities than those with crooked teeth, including attributes such as being happy, surrounded by loved ones, and professionally successful.”

The results were as follows:

Straight Teeth: 57% of Americans in this survey stated that they would rather have a nice smile than clear skin. And 87% would go through a yearlong procedure to make sure they have a beautiful smile the rest of their life. These people are 57% more likely to find a mate on a dating site then someone with a poor smile. Despite any attributes to your personality, 73% of people would trust this person over someone with a poor smile. This individual is 45% more likely to get a job and 58% more likely to be successful and wealthy.

Crooked/Missing Teeth: For this person it meant their social life was usually dull. 38% of Americans surveyed said that they would not go on a second date with a person if their teeth were crooked or missing. Surprisingly, 38% of people said that people with straight teeth are perceived as smarter, 47% said healthier, and 21% more likely to be happier.

What does all of this mean? Well, not only do people construe useful data from smiles, they also use this data to direct their own behavior. Not only does having nice teeth have health benefits but social ones as well. Does this mean that if you have bad teeth you are doomed for failure? No, that is not what we are saying but it’s important to remember that teeth do have an impact on your everyday life. If you feel that you would like to schedule a consultation with our doctors please feel free to contact us to talk about your options.