Our body language says more about our moods, feelings and overall state than we may realize. In an article in April 2016’s Prevention magazine, some secrets were revealed by the author of “What Every Body Is Saying.” Joe Navarro is a retired FBI agent who shares some of the hints we give off. (https://www.prevention.com/mind-body/read-body-language)
For example, when we really like a person, our toes will point towards that individual each time we are around them. The same is true when we don’t like a person. Our feet tend to turn away from them. Apparently, feet are what Navarro refers to as “the most honest body part.”
However, what does our smile say? Studies have shown for years that a first impression is made in 4-5 seconds. And, it’s a lasting impression. Someone with a warm, open smile projects a positive self-image and draws us in. We find our own moods being affected when encountering these people.
What does a smile with flaws say to others? While we tell ourselves we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, people do it all the time. Today’s society tells us to assess others based on inner qualities, still we know that appearance plays a major role in how we are perceived.
This was shown to be the case in a conducted by Kelton Research for Invisalign of over 1,000 American adults. (http://keltonglobal.com/invisalign_smile_study-breakout_report/) Using pictures of both men and women with straight and crooked teeth and varying tooth issues, participants were asked for honest opinions without being aware that they were comparing people with straight teeth to crooked teeth.
According to their findings, Americans perceive people with straight teeth to have more desirable qualities than those with crooked teeth, including attributes such as being happy and professionally successful.
Nearly 30% stated the first thing they notice when meeting others is their teeth. About 24% say a smile is also what they remember most afterward.
In the Kelton survey, respondents felt that people with straight teeth were 45% more likely than those with crooked teeth to get a job and 58% more likely to be successful and wealthy. When compared to people with crooked teeth, those with straight teeth were also deemed 57% more likely to get a date based on their picture alone.
As a dentist, I’ve heard many reasons why people decide to have smile enhancements, often after years of concealing their smile with a hand or smiling with lips only. And, it’s not just crooked teeth that make people feel awkward about their smiles.
Discoloration can cause uneasiness when smiling as well as teeth that are worn, chipped, broken or missing. Showing too much gum tissue above teeth (known as a ‘gummy smile’) can also cause people to “hold back” from smiling fully.
Sometimes, it’s a special event in one’s life that causes an individual to say, “Now’s the time. I’m doing this.” I’ve had women share how they felt they’d always put their family’s needs first and decided “it’s my turn.” I’ve had men tell me they felt their teeth were holding them back from climbing the career ladder or being able to get a date. As the survey above shows, this may very well have been the case.
Regardless of the reason, the reality is how a smile makes you feel from the inside out. People who feel confident with the appearance of their smiles tend to smile fuller smiles, and more often. This projects a self-image that is positive and happy, and it’s often contagious! Smiling at someone often brings a smile back!
If you’ve considered cosmetic dentistry, one of your concerns may be, “Will my new smile look like I’ve had dental work?” The answer is NO! When you place yourself in the right hands, an experienced, highly-skilled dentist who uses the finest materials and dental lab will give you a look and feel that is natural.
Today’s porcelain crowns and veneers are designed to have a natural luminosity and opalescence. This means that light can penetrate the tooth at some edges and reflect light naturally, just as natural teeth do. You’ll have no signs of ‘dental work.’
Additionally, a well-trained dentist can have each tooth involved in treatment shaped to complement facial features. Look for dentists who are members of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.
Another concern may be the cost of treatment. Cosmetic dentistry is an elective procedure, meaning the fee is out-of-pocket in most instances. However, our office offers several payment plans that can break the total fee into easy monthly payments. Most plans are interest-free with no down payment required.
Many smiles take shape with the placement of just 6 to 8 veneers or crowns. Some only need 4. What is going to provide you with the best results can be discussed in a free consultation appointment. Call 843-871-6351 to arrange a time when we can privately discuss your best options.
And, if fear has prevented you from achieving the smile you desire in the past, we can help with that, too. I am certified to administer I.V. sedation (‘twilight sleep’) and also offer oral sedation. Both provide total relaxation and erase most, if not all, memory of treatment afterward. Plus, we pride ourselves on our gentle touch. If you’d like to speak with other patients who have overcome their dental fears in our care, let us know.
Your smile should reflect you at your best! It can! Let’s discuss the options that can help you enjoy smiling — a full, happy smile — soon!