Have a big interview coming up? Your prospective employers will be looking to your smile for hidden answers

Do you know how others see you? This is a big question to tackle, and it’s always tricky to take an objective look at your personal presentation. But taking a step back and doing a little self-evaluation will help you in significant ways. And taking a look at recent studies will help you learn more about how others might be seeing you - especially when it comes to your smile.

It should come as no surprise that your teeth dictate the way others think about you, especially when they don’t yet have a good idea of who you are as a person. After all, with the dozens of platitudes involving smile power, we spend a lot of time concerned with our pearly whites. But if you’re not confident in your grin, you’re not going to show it off, and you’ll ultimately lose out on opportunities. Keep reading to learn the specifics behind what big smiles signify, and how you can make sure your teeth are on point.

What Kind of First Impression Do You Give Off?


We form first impressions incredibly quickly - in a time period of just 100 milliseconds or less. Brain scans show that these judgements are made subconsciously, and are likely completely out of our control. Now, a computer system developed by the University of York in England mimics the brain and provides data on which facial features we value the most.

Snap judgements aren’t always accurate. Appearances can cost politicians elections and dictate outcomes of court cases, no matter the merit of the individual in question. But once they’ve been made, they’re difficult to change. And with the increasingly overwhelming amount of social media exposure, we’re more and more often judging others without ever meeting them. Learning more about the first impressions we convey can help us take steps toward success, no matter how others are getting acquainted with us (whether online or in person).

Scientists involved in this study stated that the three aspects of personality we attempt to define with first impressions include approachability, dominance, and attractiveness. Guess which one your smile plays the primary role in determining?

It’s actually approachability. Mouth shape and area were the most important physical traits in deciding on how friendly and engaging an individual seemed to be. Smiling mouths were ranked as the most approachable. And with other studies confirming that a smile is the most memorable facial feature people notice, teeth should be weighted even more heavily.

Making Sure Your Smile is Stellar

You don’t necessarily need to have a “perfect smile” to win big when meeting new people. The study’s findings show that the presence of a welcoming smile is what we’re all looking for - not that the teeth within are free of flaws. But getting to a place where you’re comfortable with your teeth and ready to share them might mean trying cosmetic or restorative dental treatment. You need to feel good about your smile before you’ll freely show it, whether you’re smiling, laughing, or just speaking up in a large group.

In order to get your teeth on track, focus on the following:

  • Loving your teeth - When you feel great about the appearance of your smile, you’re far more likely to comfortably reveal your teeth (as opposed to hiding them behind tight-lipped smiles or a covering hand). This may mean pursuing dental work to fix problems that have been bothering you and emphasize your dental strengths.

  • Tackling signs of aging - If your teeth are looking yellow, worn, chipped, or otherwise damaged, this not only hampers your impressions but makes you appear older than you really are. In many cases, improving these issues will also boost your oral health, so there’s multiple benefits to taking action.

  • Treating dental problems - If you have cavities or gum disease, it’s always best to treat them and get your smile back on a healthy track. This will help prevent more serious problems if the decay or infection develops, and will also improve the appearance of your smile.
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Dr. Kim Okamura

I'm Dr. Kim Okamura and this blog is a product of my love of dentistry. I dedicate it to all the patients I have served so that they may better understand my craft. The information here will give you and others the power to maintain and protect one of your most priceless gifts ... your SMILE.