What Impact Will a Straighter Smile Have for You?
Your smile says a lot about you, and plays a major role in many aspects of your life, helping you to bond with others.
A smile comes automatically when we’re feeling good – an outward sign of inner joy, appreciation or amusement.
Even if you’re not feeling on top of the world, making an effort to smile can lift your mood by changing your brain chemistry, according to scientists.
Smiling relaxes your facial muscles, calms your nervous system, and sends out a friendly signal.
Whether we like it or not, first impressions are important, and people with a healthy smile showing off straight teeth are perceived as smarter.
On the other hand, if crooked teeth are spoiling your smile, you’re likely to feel self-conscious and may even stop smiling altogether.
This can easily become a vicious circle. Smiling makes you feel better about yourself, and if you’re uncomfortable about misaligned teeth, you won’t want to reveal them with a smile.
If you find yourself in a situation like this, getting a straighter smile can have a huge impact on your life, both socially and professionally.
How Can I Get a Straighter Smile?
You can’t have a straight smile without straight teeth, and a good orthodontist can be your new best friend in the smile stakes.
Orthodontists are the experts in creating straight, healthy smiles, and can fix multiple issues including:
- Crooked teeth.
- Protruding teeth.
- Overcrowded teeth.
- Gapped teeth.
- Bite problems.
Your orthodontist can help you decide which type of personalized treatment will be most effective to give you a straighter smile, and offer you a choice from a range of dental braces, including:
- Metal braces – the most affordable option and now less conspicuous than they used to be.
- Ceramic braces – less noticeable than metal braces, with clear or tooth-colored brackets.
- Plastic aligners – the state-of-the-art alternative to regular braces.
Metal and ceramic braces are far more discreet nowadays and offer greater comfort, while removable plastic and clear aligners like Invisalign are virtually invisible, as the name suggests.
Improving Your Smile and Your Oral Health
Some types of braces are more effective than others in different orthodontic cases.
Whichever type of braces you opt for in consultation with your orthodontist, enhancing your smile goes hand in hand with improving your oral health, as the American Dental Association (ADA) points out.
Straight teeth not only mean a straighter smile but they’re easier to keep clean, which reduces the risk of cavities and gum disease through build-ups of bacteria and plaque.
Correcting orthodontic issues will also:
- Give you teeth more likely to last a lifetime.
- Help to prevent bad breath.
- Reduce tooth sensitivity.
- Lessen the risk of jaw problems and headaches.
- Enable you to chew your food properly.
Creating a Better Impression
Once your orthodontist has straightened your teeth – and your smile – you’ll notice it has a big impact across multiple areas of your everyday life.
Firstly, you should see a change in how others regard you. Studies suggest that lasting impressions are formed within the first three seconds of seeing someone.
Unfortunately, people with crooked teeth constantly trigger negative snap judgments. Those with a straighter smile, however, are regarded in a much more favorable light.
For example, research has found that:
- Nearly one-third of people in the U.S. say teeth are the first facial feature they notice.
- People with straight teeth are considered to have more desirable lifestyle qualities.
- One in three think individuals with crooked teeth are less attractive than those with a straight smile.
- 42 per cent say their smile is the first thing they’d like to change about themselves.
- Over 50 per cent believe an individual with misaligned teeth is less likely to get a job.
- Two in five people said they would avoid a second date with someone with crooked teeth.
- More than 70 per cent would be more likely to trust someone with a straight smile.
Advancing Your Professional Life
Besides creating a better impression in general, your straighter smile may help you land the job of your dreams.
One study into perceptions of a smile suggested that people with straight teeth were 45 per cent more likely to get a job than those with a crooked smile.
Dental professionals also believe your smile affects your ability to shine at a job interview.
The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) says people with a straight smile may be regarded as successful and intelligent, while the American Journal of Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics (AJO-DO) states that job candidates with great smiles are considered smarter.
Other research shows that professionals with uneven smiles earn up to 18 per cent less than coworkers with straight teeth.
Boosting Your Self-Confidence
Your smile has a big impact on your self-esteem – one in four people believe crooked teeth damage self-confidence – and how others perceive you in all walks of life, including your career and personal relationships.
If you’re self-conscious about your smile, you’re likely to hide it in social situations. You may find yourself giving a closed-mouth smile for photos or covering your mouth when you speak. These signals can make you appear – and feel – less confident than you might like.
The Experts in Straighter Smiles
Babies begin to smile a few weeks after birth. They quickly work out that while crying initially gets them attention, smiling helps to keep them at the center of things.
As an outward display of cheerfulness, a good smile connects us with others, but this social system can decline when individuals conceal their smile because of apprehension about their appearance.
If you – or your child – are struggling with lack of self-regard through embarrassment about crooked teeth, an orthodontic specialist can help to put things right, with their clinical expertise and in-depth understanding of the powerful impact of a straighter smile.
Modern dentistry offers a wide range of oral appliances, providing customized treatment to address different orthodontic issues in adults and children alike.