Is Your Smile Giving An Unflattering Impression?

added on: July 5, 2013

A patient I’ve seen since he was in preschool recently graduated from college and got a good job with a solid company. During his 6-month cleaning and check-up, we were getting caught up and he mentioned he was ready for a relationship and had begun meeting girls through online dating sites.

When I asked if he was meeting compatible ladies, he shared that the only one, thus far, had seemed so ‘right’ for him in her pictures, on the telephone and through emails. Yet, when they met in person, he noticed she was missing an upper tooth on one side. “Everything had gone so great at first,” he described. “She was sweet and attractive, but when she smiled and I noticed that gap in her smile, that did it for me.”

He went on to explain that he could never form a relationship with someone who was “okay with losing a tooth” so much that her desire to replace it took a back seat.

This scenario sums up the tremendous impression your smile has on others. How it looks sends a message about your commitment to your health, standards, and values. Yet, I’m always surprised when a male or female patient declines a much-needed crown to protect a damaged tooth because they’ve already maxed out their insurance for the year. Or, saddened when a patient talks about their new car or boat, yet won’t replace a missing tooth because “it’s too expensive.”

Your smile can either make a positive impression, or a less-than-flattering one. And remember, first impressions are lasting impressions. Even if the “date” replaces her tooth and they have another dinner together, this young man’s opinion has been formed and I doubt it would change his mind.

As a female myself, I can imagine her preparations for this first meeting. The “date” may have bought a new dress, new shoes, had her nails done and may have even had her hair highlighted. Yet, the one thing that was the ‘make-or-break’ for this man was what was revealed in her smile.

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