May 27, 2020
Here at Dudley Smiles, we believe that a beautiful smile can leave a great first impression—and one that lasts, as well! We all have the ability to communicate with each other in nonverbal ways, using things like gestures, posture, and our expressions to convey messages without ever having to say a word. So what does a smile say about us? Keep reading below to learn more about how improved oral health and a confident smile can leave a lasting impression on those in your personal and professional life—and everywhere in between!
Put a “halo” on your smile
In the 1920’s, a researcher called Edward Thorndike wrote about a concept he called the “halo effect.” This described the way our brains tend to attribute multiple positive qualities to a person based on us noticing just one positive quality. In other words, our brains make up information about a person based on our own perception of them.
Smiles are no exception! Teeth that are straight, bright, and white are often perceived as an indicator of everything from success and trustworthiness to health and wealth. Don’t take Thorndike’s word for it, though! A perception study conducted by Kelton for Invisalign also found something similar. Their research showed that the alignment of a person’s teeth leads others to make assumptions about their popularity, intelligence, and overall health. Furthermore, they found that about two-thirds of Americans are more likely to remember a beautiful smile than another feature they find unattractive.
When you straighten your smile, you’ll be able to harness some of those snap judgments and use them to your advantage!
Smiling puts a little extra goodness out into the world
A genuinely happy smile helps set a positive tone, whatever the situation or environment, and it’s easier to set others at ease when you’re confident in your own smile. Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you, and it’s the feature they tend to remember most clearly when recalling your face. That means you don’t want it to come across as stiff or forced or something you’re hiding, whether you’re interviewing for a new job or giving a big presentation at school or work. When you have a healthy smile you love, you want to share it with others! This can warm up the room and leave others thinking of you with fondness even after you’ve parted ways.
Remember that your smile has an audience (at least most of the time!)
Since our smile speaks for us even when we’re not actively communicating, it’s important to note that it almost always has an audience. Not only that, but this audience is constantly making subconscious notes about you based on what they see. When you show up with a smile that’s confident and healthy, it gives those around you exactly the right impression.
The impression your smile leaves on others is enough of a reason to work towards better oral health, but it can benefit you in other ways, too! Crooked teeth are harder to keep clean, and misalignment can cause a number of painful issues. Being self-conscious about your smile can also keep you from stepping too far outside your comfort zone. When Invisalign did a survey on this, they found that almost 80% of adults who underwent orthodontic treatment said a healthier smile gave them the confidence to do something they never would have considered doing before. That’s nothing to sneeze at! Feeling happy with your appearance can make you feel better about life in general. Having a smile you love is often a big part of that.
It’s true that smiling is contagious
Humans are excellent mimics, whether we mean to be or not. Mimicking facial expressions allows us to understand the person we’re communicating with and respond appropriately, and it can also trigger a similar emotional state in those around us. Turns out that old saying about smiles being contagious is true after all!
Yale University set out to demonstrate this idea in a study. Volunteers were divided into small groups and assigned specific tasks, with one team member secretly instructed to act upbeat as they entered the room. When that person came in with a smile on their face, the mood in the room really lifted. This study also found that each individual’s performance improved and the group itself was more likely to achieve its goal.
The University of Kansas was also able to demonstrate this idea through research. Subjects were given stressful tasks to complete, with some participants told to smile during these tasks while others were directed to maintain a straight face. Researchers measured the heart rates of the participants, and the subjects were asked to self-report their stress levels as they performed the tasks.
Those who were smiling throughout the tasks had lower heart rates, and their bodies showed an increased resistance to stress. They also reported feeling more positive overall than those who were told to keep a straight face. It may not be ironclad scientific proof about the power of a smile, but we think it’s pretty darn close!
Leave a lasting impression thanks to treatment with Dudley Smiles
There’s no doubt that a healthy smile can help improve your mood, increase your positivity, and more confidently connect with those around you. It can also reduce your stress levels and make a positive first impression that lasts!
If you’re in Issaquah, Kent, or the surrounding communities, and want to learn more how orthodontics can give you a beautiful smile to remember, get in touch today! We’d love to meet you and help you take the first steps toward improved oral health and a fully functional mouth. Call today or click here to schedule your FREE consultation with Dr. Dudley!