To smile or not to smile. That should not be the question.
Why smile more?
A smile is, for better or worse, one of the most noticeable things about you. It draws the eye much like a moth to a flame. It hints at your age, how happy you are and it represents your vitality. It’s trusting or it’s not. It’s, to the fullest extent and meaning of the word, attractive, and while other parts of the human body are also attractive, the smile ranks among the top.
Out of curiosity, I once went out and tried a little experiment. I went up to complete strangers around the Dupont Circle area and asked them, “What’s the first thing you notice about me?” The most frequent responses were, as you might imagine, a raised eyebrow, an averted glance or a nervous chuckle, but when they answered, the most common noticeable characteristic noted, was, and I’m quoting here: “Your smile.” Mind = blown…only because a) I had a beard (and it was sometimes unkempt), b) my style of dress was something between Sherlock Holmes and John Lennon, and c) there was a ketchup stain on my shirt which, only later I realized I had acquired from the delicious hot dog I’d eaten earlier. My conclusion: people pay particular attention to one’s smile. I’m sure if you conducted a similar experiment, you’d find out much the same (unless you make it look like you just walked out of an 80’s music video, or something of the like).
The value of a smile.
Some revealing statistics have been gathered by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry regarding a person’s smile. By survey:
• 99.7% of all adults believe a smile is an important social asset. Granted. That one is pretty obvious.
• 74% of adults feel an unattractive smile can hurt a person’s chance for career success. That one, a little more of a surprise. That means about 3/4 of adults think that not having a nice smile will impede their rise in the business world.
• When asked, “What would you like to improve most about your smile?”, the most common response was that they wanted whiter and brighter teeth.
It would seem that your smile will never go out of style. In fact, in another research study made by the AACD, most consumers would pay to fix their teeth before they would pay for weight loss help. It goes on to say that 45% of Americans think a person’s smile can defy aging’s effects, eyes coming in a distant second place at 34%. Only 10% said body shape would help defy aging’s effects, then 6% for hair, and 5% for legs.
What can you do if you don’t like your smile?
Well, to get the most out of whatever cosmetic dentistry you are wanting to get done, the steadfast rule is: communicate very clearly. Be sure you have a good understanding of what you want from your smile and what you want to achieve through cosmetic dentistry (here are some options to go over).
Here are some questions you should ask yourself:
1. What shade do I want my teeth to be? Natural looking or whiter than natural?
2. Am I OK with the quantity of teeth that show when my lips are relaxed? What about when I smile?
3. Do I want my teeth to be straight across? Do I want my two front teeth slightly longer? Canine length?
4. How much gum do I want to be showing?
These questions can all be gone over with your dentist of course. He’ll have the technical experience to help you ask more, and work out the solutions to resolve those questions.
Smile long and smile strong!
I’ve gone over a lot of “stuff” about smiles. It’s an important subject! Just since writing this blog and working in the dental field, the amount of times I have found myself looking at people’s teeth instead of their eyes is alarming. It made me realize that, yeah, your teeth and smile are nice, but not just “nice”, they are a huge part of what a person sees when they look at you. Just as an example, take a look here (Colgate floss ad), an ad used to show just that point. In case you didn’t see it, there’s a mysterious arm around the man’s shoulder (I didn’t notice it the first time I saw it because my attention was so directly focused on the huge piece of whatever-it-is in the man’s tooth).
I hope I’ve given some good information for now, and a new way of looking at smiles.
Feel free to comment with any questions!
Stay healthy my friends.