Cosmetic options like Invisalign, Snap-On Smile, and porcelain veneers have rapidly become some of the most popular aesthetic dental treatments in America, and it’s easy to see why. Teeth that are straight, white, and healthy are coveted and revered not only in the world of celebrity, but at every level of socioeconomic status. This is because, according to recent studies, an attractive smile is considered indicative of various desirable qualities and characteristics. In fact, research has shown that Americans perceive individuals with straight teeth to be up to 58 percent more likely to be wealthy and successful as compared to those with teeth that are gapped, crooked or diseased.

Other characteristics attributed to men and women with beautiful teeth include:

  • Good health
  • Intelligence
  • Friendliness
  • Confidence
  • Active social life and popularity
  • Trustworthiness

In addition to this, believe it or not, research also shows that people with attractive smiles were judged to earn an average of $15,000 more per year than they actually did. They were also deemed 10 percent more likely to land a good job and 57 percent more apt to be asked on a date based upon a picture alone. Even more surprisingly, 87 percent of men and women stated that they would gladly give up something they enjoyed for an entire year – including vacations and dessert – if it meant that they could have a beautiful smile for life.

Of course, a smile is, by its very nature, an expression of happiness and friendliness. We’re inherently inclined to share it freely with those that are closest to us in moments of joy, camaraderie, and humor.  Today, I had a husband of a patient for whom I recently did veneers.  He noticed that she was smiling a lot lately and thought he was the source of her happiness.  Then he realized that she was smiling more because she liked her smile.  It’s just interesting, sometimes, to pause and reflect on what that smile really communicates to the world around us.