Confident Leader

Unexpected ways your teeth affect your career success

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It would be a wonderful world if the only things that impacted our success were our qualifications and performance. But that’s just not the case in the real world.  Not only do office politics and ‘who you know’ matter, but it’s been proven that even superficial factors like our appearance can affect our careers, regardless of gender. And the element of your appearance that has the biggest influence over how you’re seen is your smile.  Yes, your teeth affect your career success.

The good news is that once you’re armed with that knowledge, you can take action to ensure that you’re doing everything you can to make a great impression.

Quality counts

Whenever we encounter another person, we immediately begin making subconscious assumptions about based on what we see – we can’t help it.  Unsurprisingly, when what we see is attractive, those assumptions are positive, and vice versa.

One study confirmed the power of these assumptions by showing test subjects 528 before and after photos of people who’d had cosmetic dental treatments.  When evaluating the individuals for traits like intelligence, success, kindness and friendliness, the raters overwhelmingly assigned more positive qualities to the post-treatment photos.

When you interact with someone, one of the first things they see is your mouth. And if you have stained, missing or crooked teeth, people may be making incorrect assumptions about your abilities and personality.  Fortunately, you can address these issues and take control of how people see you.

Smile success

The quality of your smile isn’t the only thing that matters – it turns out that the simple act of smiling can influence what someone thinks.  Several academic studies have shown that strangers assume people are more trustworthy and competent when they’re smiling versus making a neutral expression.

That doesn’t mean you have to go around all day with a fake smile plastered to your face, but you should keep this in mind next time you go for a job interview, meet a new client or interact with colleagues.

Smiling is an easy way to instantly improve the way others see you, but if you’re self-conscious about your smile, that’s easier said than done.  It may be worth it to consider treatments that can elevate your confidence, like whitening or orthodontics. Consider it an investment in your future success.

Breath matters

While people may be willing to overlook a crooked smile, it’s pretty hard to ignore bad breath.  If you suffer from halitosis, it’s possible that people are avoiding working with you or even talking about you behind your back, which would definitely impact your professional success.

You should know that the causes of bad breath can be anything from poor oral hygiene to the foods you eat to a health issue like a sinus infection or acid reflux.  Once you identify the cause, you can seek the appropriate remedy.

The first thing to do, though, is to make sure that you’re brushing at least twice a day (including your tongue), flossing once a day, and staying hydrated.  And don’t forget simple remedies like sugar-free gum and mouthwash to avoid having your breath damage your reputation in the workplace.

As an ambitious, professional woman, there are a great deal of things you consider to be important elements of your success.  Just don’t forget to include the health and appearance of your smile, which can help you make the best impression possible in every board room, meeting or conference you enter.

About Dr. Kimberly Dyoco

Dr. Kimberly Dyoco is a passionate dental professional and the founder of One Mag Smile, a general and cosmetic dentistry in Chicago. She is committed to providing excellent patient care and educating people on oral health care by guest blogging on a variety of online publications.

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