Plenty of single men and women are turning to online dating to try to find their perfect match. Turns out, for many of them, the thing that’s getting in the way of true love isn’t their personality, their sense of humor, or their profession – it’s their teeth. A survey commissioned by Match.com found that both men and women rate teeth at the top of the list when judging a potential date. You can hide a less-than-stellar smile in online photos for only a little while. What happens when you finally meet in person?
Fifty-eight percent of men and 71 percent of women pay attention to teeth in a potential match over all other characteristics, though grammar, hair, and clothes are the runners-up. Why are teeth so critical to a successful love life?
Good teeth indicate good hygiene.
If your teeth are healthy, white, clean, and straight, it shows that you care about the details. And if you take the time to brush, floss, and keep up with professional exams and cleanings, it’ll be evident in your smile. Taking care of your teeth is a good indicator of how well you take care of the rest of your body, and who doesn’t want to think a potential significant other eats well, drinks lightly, and doesn’t smoke?
A beautiful smile boosts self-confidence.
If you are self-conscious about your teeth, you’re probably less likely to smile broadly. You may, instead, be grimacing or refusing to smile at all, making you seem sad, grumpy, boring, or without emotion. The simple act of smiling makes you feel better about yourself. However, if you’re checking yourself every time you feel a smile coming on because you’re worried about showing your teeth, your self-confidence is going to plummet. And it’s hard to love someone who doesn’t love himself.
Healthy teeth make a good first impression.
Say you made an online impression with someone and now you’re ready to take this match into real life. That first date with each other is like an interview. You’re both checking out if what’s on the “resume” is actually true. And if your teeth don’t match up to the person they’ve created in their head, or the person they saw photos of online, the chances for success become slimmer and slimmer. No one wants to feel like they’ve been duped. If you can’t even be honest enough about the state of your smile, what else might you be hiding?
A good smile makes you a better catch.
White, beautiful teeth can make you look healthier, wealthier, more attractive, younger, and smarter. No amount of time in the gym, at the office, or in school can give you such benefits (not that those are bad things to invest in too). If you want a sure thing, invest in your smile. You’re worth it, and so is your search for love.
Bottom line: No one wants to kiss someone who has bad teeth. It’s easy to hide your dental flaws in online dating photos, but the day will come when you have to meet face to face. While a person’s morals, beliefs, ability to carry on a conversation, or make you laugh certainly matter, let’s face it: Looks matter too. Attraction is part of the package. You have to look your best for your first date if you want to land a second date. Don’t let a stained, crooked smile get in the way of what just might be love. Contact Dr. Yolanda Cintron at Fort Lauderdale’s International Center for Dental Excellence to schedule a consultation and discuss your customized smile makeover.