If you never knew how important your dental health is, you’re about to be surprised. Our Palm Beach Gardens patients know the obvious risks involved when it comes to the improper care of your teeth and gums. Decay, gingivitis, the need for dentures, and other oral health-related issues aren’t really a surprise. By now, you know the importance of regularly brushing, flossing, and having regular cleanings performed. What you may not know, however, is how far-reaching the state of your dental health can be in other aspects of your life.
What if it turns out cosmetic dentistry could actually influence your professional life or how someone would view you as a romantic partner? Would you be surprised to hear that crooked or missing teeth could be hindering you when you interview for jobs? Well, you shouldn’t be, because studies have been done showing how people behave when it comes to observing the state of another person’s dental health.
It all comes down to first impressions. As we know, first impressions are everything and there are no do-overs. Let’s look at some of the ways the state of your teeth could be having some surprising effects.
First impression judgments
We all rely heavily on first impressions. It’s just the way that we’re wired. Imagine needing to process the entirety of a situation every time you come across it? You’d never get anything done. When we meet people for the first time, we make evaluations both consciously and subconsciously. And whether we know it or not, we tend to focus on mouths.
We derive a lot about people from their teeth. We even go so far as to make judgment calls on how desirable they are as a romantic partner and how successful they are professionally. People tend to remember your teeth after the meeting ends. Here are some stats that might give you pause. Two out of five people surveyed said they would not go on a second date with someone they observed had crooked or misaligned teeth. That’s because a nice smile is associated with being more desirable in general, more successful, and even smarter.
This attitude gets carried over into job interviews as well. Half of the people surveyed said given two candidates with the same experience on paper, they would opt for the candidate with better teeth when it came time for interviews assuming everything else was equal.
Correlations with success
There are no hard numbers on people with perfect smiles actually being more successful than people with less than perfect ones. Much of the literature pertains to the perception rather than the hard reality. But perception is often enough when it comes to issues of one’s self-esteem. Another study touched on the correlation of whitened teeth and perceptions of success. It’s not too different from what studies around crooked teeth or missing teeth have shown.
Respondents found people with whiter teeth 20% more attractive than those who didn’t have whitened teeth. Men, in particular, felt having whitened teeth made them look more successful, wealthier, and better educated regardless of the actual facts of their lives. And everyone agreed that whiter teeth made people look younger.
Connections with other aspects of your health
While much of the focus has been on cosmetic dentistry and personal successes, it’s important to stress that your overall wellbeing has a lot to do with your dental health as well. Medical professionals continue to find correlations between oral bacteria and heart disease. While the exact mechanisms haven’t been found yet, it has been observed enough that many are confident drawing a connection between the two.
It’s no secret that your mouth can be home to a lot of bacteria. Because it’s an entry point for getting sick, it stands to reason that your dental health could be reflected in other aspects of your overall health. Gum disease also has observed correlations with diabetes and certain kinds of cancer. It’s important to keep in mind that your dental health extends far beyond just cosmetic issues where you’re concerned with how people perceive you. Your overall health could be at stake if you don’t take proper care of your teeth and gums.
Contact Mark L. Civin, DDS
Who knew so much of your social and personal life was connected in some way to your dental health? If you’re surprised by all of this information, you might be wondering what the next steps are that you should take. If you haven’t been to the dentist in a while, now is as good a time as any. Contact us today. The team at Mark L. Civin, DDS is dedicated to providing you with the best dental care so you can not only look your best, but you feel your best. If you’re located near Palm Beach Gardens, FL, make an appointment today and we’ll help you get the smile you’ve always wanted.