In a perfect world, we wouldn’t be judged on how we look; and instead things like, I don’t know, personality would take center stage. However, appearance plays a major role in the first impressions we make, and dental esthetics, in particular, can really influence others’ perception of us. As a Brooklyn orthodontist, and former braces wearer himself, Dr. Khanna has seen how transformative orthodontic treatment can be for an individual’s self esteem. Now, a study published in the American Journal of Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics (AJO-DO) illustrates that dental esthetics can affect a person’s ability to get a job; meaning, orthodontic treatment can have even broader transformative power.
The Dental Esthetics Study
In a study titled, “Do Dental Esthetics Have any Influence on Finding a Job?,” published in the American Journal of Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics, ten patients who needed orthodontic treatment for different types of alignment needs were photographed while smiling. Two photos of each patient were created. One photo was unaltered and showed them smiling with their crooked teeth and other dental issues apparent. Another photo was digitally altered so they appeared to have a perfect smile. Two different questionnaires were created to show to survey groups A and B. One survey group was presented with the ideal smile photo and the other with the nonideal smile photo. The survey groups consisted of 100 people responsible for hiring at companies. Each group was shown the photos and asked questions regarding the photo subjects’ likelihood of being hired and their perceived honesty, intelligence and efficiency at work.
The Study Results
On average, the altered photographs of the subjects with ideal dental esthetics (a fancy way of saying an amazing smile) were evaluated as more intelligent and more likely to be hired than the photos of the subjects with crooked teeth or nonideal dental esthetics. The characteristics of honesty and efficiency were ranked about the same in both groups. The bottom line: People with nice smiles and straight teeth are perceived as smarter and have a better chance of scoring a job than those with nonideal smiles.
First Impressions and Your Smile
The AJO-DO study isn’t the only research that illustrates the power of your smile when it comes to first impressions. Kelton Global conducted studies for Invisalign and the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and both studies had similar results. In one study, they found 48 percent of adults believe a person’s smile is the most memorable feature after meeting them for the first time. Based on a survey of 1,047 Americans, Kelton also uncovered that people perceive those with an attractive smile to be more successful, more intelligent, and more likely to snag a job when competing with someone with crooked teeth even if that person has similar skills and experience.
While being seen as smart, competent and an awesome candidate for employment is nothing to sneeze at, having straight teeth goes beyond creating positive first impressions and giving you an edge in the job market. It also boosts your self-esteem, which in turn helps you exude the confidence necessary to achieve your goals. At Fresh Orthodontics we think everyone deserves to have smiling confidence. Schedule a free consultation at our Park Slope orthodontic clinic today, and we’ll get you started with the orthodontic treatment that will work best for you, so you can rock those job interviews.