Skip to main content

Unlocking the Power of Your Smile: 5 Studies Revealing Its Impact on First Impressions

By February 25, 2024blog, Orthodontics

Straight teeth in a nice smile matter when it comes to first impressions! A smile is more than just a facial expression; it can immediately influence how others perceive you and how you affect those around you.

As your braces and Invisalign® orthodontists in Papillion, Dr. Hawley and Dr. Brace aren’t just saying this because we’re all about creating beautiful smiles; science has shown that smiling has an impact on first impressions! Here, your Hawley Orthodontics team explores five of these studies that delve into the significance of a smile when you first meet someone.

1. An Ideal Smile is A Memorable One

The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry conducted a survey in 2014 that highlights the link between an attractive, ideal smile and positive first impressions. In the study, about 48% of adults believe an attractive smile is the most memorable feature when first meeting someone, regardless of age, and it’s more memorable than any other physical attribute. A smile even makes more of an impression than what’s first said. On the flip side, participants also said that those with less-than-straight smiles seemed less attractive and confident.

2. Smiling and First Impressions in a Job Interview

An attractive smile can leave a more positive impression during a job interview, potentially swaying the interviewer’s perception of the candidate. According to a study published in American Journal of Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics, a person with an ideal smile is perceived as more intelligent and has a better chance of finding a job. In the study, participants viewed images of people with straight teeth versus images of those same people with crooked teeth. They were asked to rate the individual’s likelihood of being hired, as well as whether they seemed like they’d be honest, intelligent and efficient at work. Those with straight teeth fared much higher in these characteristics.

3. Smiling Is Contagious… And Brings Us Together

The saying, “Smile and the world smiles with you,” is based on actual scientific fact. Have you ever found yourself involuntarily smiling in response to someone who first smiles at you? It’s a natural response called “sensorimotor simulation,” a fancy way of saying how we instinctively copy other people’s facial expressions. This review of several studies concluded that mimicking another person’s facial expression is our way of bringing up the same emotion in ourselves, essentially tapping into empathy.

Smiling is a prime example. A smile signals that the person who’s smiling is happy, triggering a positive feeling in yourself and informing how you should respond to them. So what does this mean when it comes to smiling and first impressions? Simply put, a smile means you’re off to a positive start!

At Hawley Orthodontics, contagious smiles definitely fit our motto, “Smile. Be Kind. Do Good.” We’re all about smile transformations that give our patients the confidence to smile big, spread positivity and do good in our community.

4. Straight Teeth = A Good Personality

A Kelton Research study found that our smiles say a lot about us. The research found that participants connected more positive attributes to images of people with straight teeth rather than crooked teeth. And those with straight teeth were often perceived as happy, loved by others, having great overall health, and professional success. The study also found that 73% of Americans would likely trust someone with an appealing smile over someone who had a good job, outfit, or car.

Getting Your Ideal Smile with Your Omaha-area Orthodontists

Still asking yourself, “Do straight teeth really matter?” We’d say it’s clear from the studies above that an ideal smile makes a great first impression. But what does an ideal smile look like? We consider an ideal smile one that shows off straight, healthy teeth and enhances your facial features and personality.

If your smile is not where you want it, orthodontic treatment is a great solution to straighten your teeth into the beautiful, positive first impression smile you want. Take your first step and contact Dr. Hawley and Dr. Brace — your expert braces and Invisalign orthodontists in Papillion, NE.