SAN JOSE, Calif., April 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — From hair and skin to clothes and shoes, one’s appearance is a constant trigger of snap judgments. Whether interviewing for a job or just looking to make a good first impression, a recent perception study conducted by Kelton for Invisalign, proves that even the alignment of teeth is a catalyst for assumptions regarding success, popularity, intelligence, and general health.
“Whether we like it or not, we are often judged by our appearance,” said Dr. Michelle Callahan, renowned TV host, relationship expert, coach, and development psychologist. “The results of this Smile Survey prove what I’ve always believed, which is the importance of an attractive, healthy smile, whether you’re socializing and networking face-to-face or virtually. Your smile has more of an effect on what others perceive about you than you think.”
According to the Kelton study, many Americans say teeth are a standout feature when it comes to what they notice and recall when first meeting someone. About two-thirds of Americans are more likely to remember attractive features than those they find to be unpleasant. Perhaps this is why so many realize a nice smile is important.
Given the emphasis placed on straight teeth, there is now a modern way for adults and kids to straighten their teeth that can be done without most people even knowing they are in treatment. Clear aligners such as Invisalign and Invisalign TeenÂ® straighten teeth like metal braces, yet they are more comfortable, less intrusive to people’s lifestyles and make maintaining good hygiene much easier because they are removable.
“There have even been studies that indicate lasting impressions are made within the first three seconds of seeing someone,” said Dr. Callahan. “Many adults are concerned about how their smile might affect their chances for employment or advancement in a competitive job market. Many people are also reentering the dating scene after a divorce and are looking for a more attractive, youthful appearance.”
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.”
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