Can Crooked Teeth Sabotage Your Life?
First Impressions Are Everything: New Study Confirms People With Straight Teeth Are Perceived as More Successful, Smarter and Having More Dates.
Even if we don’t want to judge someone by their appearance, studies show we do judge. A unique digital perception study, developed by Kelton Research contrasted images of men and women with straight and crooked teeth.
The survey was taken by 1,047 nationally representative Americans. In the study, respondents were shown images of people with varying tooth issues and asked to give their honest opinion about them, unaware that they were comparing people with straight teeth to crooked teeth. Results of the study indicated Americans perceive people with straight teeth to have more desirable qualities than those with crooked teeth, including attributes such as being happy, surrounded by loved ones, and professionally successful.
The perception study reinforced the affect crooked teeth can have on one’s social life and how they are perceived by others, including:
- Making a Lasting impression: It’s important to have attractive teeth as part of a smile because pearly whites make a lasting first impression. Nearly one-third (29%) of Americans say the first aspect of someone’s face they typically notice is his or her teeth, and 24% say this is also the facial aspect that they remember the most after meeting someone.
- Straight Teeth = Success: These thoughts also extend to perceptions regarding an individual’s potential for professional and financial success. When looking at images, Americans perceive those with straight teeth to be 45% more likely than those with crooked teeth to get a job when competing with someone who has a similar skill set and experience. They are also seen as 58% more likely to be successful, as well as 58% more likely to be wealthy.
- Love at First Sight: Not if you have crooked teeth. When it comes to attracting a possible mate on a dating site, those with straight teeth are seen as 57% more likely than those with crooked teeth to get a date based on their picture alone.
- Crooked Teeth = Dull Social Life: Nearly two in five (38%) Americans would consider not going on a second date with someone who has misaligned teeth. Far fewer would ditch someone who lives with his or her parents (23%).
- Straight Teeth = Good Personality: People connect more positive descriptions with men and women who have straight teeth than those who have crooked teeth. Those with straight teeth are 21% more likely to be seen as happy, 47% more likely to be viewed as being healthy and 38% more likely to be perceived as smart.
- A Nice Smile Goes a Long Way: Nearly three in four (73%) Americans would be more likely to trust someone with a nice smile than someone with a good job, outfit, or car.
- The Want List: Having an attractive smile is something important to many Americans. Close to three in five (57%) Americans would rather have a nice smile than clear skin. What’s more, 87% would forego something for a year in order to have a nice smile for the rest of their life; more than one-third of these folks would give up dessert (39%) or vacations (37%).
“Many people tend to focus on fixing the things about themselves they think will have the biggest impact, often overlooking one of the most impressionable physical attributes like their teeth,” said Timothy A. Mack, senior vice president of business development for Align Technology, maker of Invisalign. “We live in a society where looking good heavily impacts how we are perceived. You can say you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but people do it every day.”
Adults and teens now have a modern choice for straightening their teeth. No more wires and brackets required – Invisalign is the clear alternative to metal braces that uses a series of virtually invisible and removable aligners that gradually move teeth over time. The benefits include no food restrictions, ability to easily maintain healthy dental brushing habits, minimal interference with sports or other activities, and teeth get straightened without most people knowing you are in treatment.
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About the Kelton Perception Study
As part of the survey, each respondent answered questions about several pictures of people with straight teeth or with crooked teeth. The total amount of visual stimuli used in the survey consisted of 16 pictures – based on a 2 x 4 exposure model (gender x straight/crooked teeth). Each respondent reacted to 3 randomly selected pictures, with the only condition being that it was a combination of either (a) 1 crooked teeth and 2 straight teeth pictures or (b) 2 straight teeth and one crooked teeth picture.