Did you know that we all possess something called psychological cues that allow us to communicate with each other in nonverbal ways? That means your gestures, posture, outward appearance, and even your smile are actively saying something to someone before you ever open your mouth to speak! This is one reason why you always hear people say that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. What does your smile say about you?
Here at Kottemann Orthodontics, we want to give you a beautiful smile that won’t just leave a great first impression, but a lasting one as well! We’re proud to offer patients of all ages a variety of affordable treatment options to successfully correct a wide range of orthodontic issues. Let’s take a closer look at what makes a smile so powerful, and how improving your oral health can help you stand out from the crowd!
Smiling communicates positivity
A bright, genuine smile can help set a positive tone in almost any situation. Being confident in your own smile is something people will really pay attention to, whether you’re interviewing for a job, making a new friend, or giving a presentation. Your smile is one of the first things people notice and the feature they remember most clearly when later recalling you. Coming across as stiff or unfriendly can hurt your chances of succeeding on both a personal and professional level, but a confident smile can warm the room right up and leave others thinking of you fondly even after you’ve parted ways.
Taking advantage of others’ perceptions
In the early 1920’s, a researcher named Edward Thorndike came up with the concept of a “halo effect.” He used this to describe how our brains attribute multiple positive qualities to a person based on us noticing just one positive quality. In other words, we tend to make up information about a person based on our own perception of them. As far as smiles go, teeth that are straight, white, and clean are often perceived to be an indicator of everything from confidence and success to trustworthiness and a pleasant personality!
Similarly, a perception study conducted by Kelton for Invisalign found that the alignment of a person’s teeth is a catalyst for assumptions regarding their popularity, intelligence, success, and general health. According to the study, about two-thirds of Americans are more likely to remember attractive features than those that they find to be unpleasant. If you want to kick that halo effect into action and take advantage of the snap judgments people make about who you are based on your smile, orthodontic treatment with Kottemann Orthodontics be just the boost you need!
Your smile almost always has an audience
Because our smile speaks for us when using both verbal and nonverbal communication, it’s important to remember that it almost always has an audience! That audience is constantly making subconscious notes about you based on what they see, so it’s important to present a smile that is confident, healthy, and representative of who you are.
While the impression you leave on others is reason enough to work towards optimal oral health, it is beneficial in other ways as well. Teeth that are crooked can be more difficult to clean and floss effectively, and misalignment can cause a number of issues, from pain in your jaw to headaches. Furthermore, when you’re self-conscious about your smile, it can keep you from stepping outside your comfort zone. An Invisalign survey on this very subject found that almost 80% of adults who underwent orthodontic treatment said having a healthier smile gave them the confidence to do something they never would have considered doing before. Feeling happy with your appearance can make you feel better about your life in general, and having a smile you love can be a big part of that!
Share a smile
Humans are very good at mimicking facial expressions, even when we don’t realize we’re doing it. It allows us to understand the person we’re communicating with and respond appropriately, and can also trigger a similar emotional state in those around us. That’s why you always hear so much about how smiles are contagious!
Yale University set out to demonstrate this in a study by dividing volunteers into small groups and assigning specific tasks, with one team member secretly instructed to act upbeat as they entered the room. When that person came in with a smile on their face, the mood in the room was noticeably lighter! This study also found that each individual’s performance improved and the group itself was more likely to achieve its goal.
There was a similar study done at the University of Kansas. Subjects were given stressful tasks to complete, with some participants told to smile during these tasks while others were directed to maintain a straight face. Researchers measured the heart rates of the participants, and the subjects were asked to self-report their stress levels as they performed the tasks.
Those who were smiling throughout the tasks had lower heart rates, and their bodies showed an increased resistance to stress. They also reported feeling more positive overall than those who were told to keep a straight face. That’s scientific proof that a simple smile can be more powerful than you’d imagine!
Leave a lasting impression with a smile from Kottemann Orthodontics
A healthy smile has been linked to better moods, increased positivity, and being able to more easily connect with those around you. It can also reduce stress levels and increase your chances of making a positive first impression that lasts!
If you’re in Chaska, Maple Grove, Orono, Plymouth, Watertown, or the surrounding areas, Kottemann Orthodontics is here to give you a confident smile that stands out from the crowd. Although we’re currently closed for emergencies only, we’re offering FREE virtual consultations for all first-time patients, so get in touch today to find out how you can begin your orthodontic journey from the comfort of home!