Study Results Are No Surprise: Men and Women Prefer to See Bright White Smiles in Others

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A recent study reported in the medical journal PLOS One suggests that teeth are considered a human ornament that conveys a rich body of genetic, behavioral, developmental, and disease information to everyone we encounter. The findings also confirm that individuals who display “high quality characteristics” by the condition of their teeth condition gain a considerable advantage over those who don’t. That could be a potential sexual partner, a new colleague, or a business competitor.

For instance, a smile is a behavior which, when given sincerely, can mean cooperation and friendship. The authors of the study point out that the act of two people smiling at each other (mutual tooth display) is “one of the opening acts of any new sexual partnership”.

“Low quality characteristics”—yellowed, missing, misaligned, or chipped teeth—can signal a lack of personal hygiene, disease, poor general health, poor diet, and even negative psychological characteristics.

Study finds everyone’s pretty picky about other people’s smiles

For this study, the authors selected 150 participants—75 males and 75 females—with an average age of 21 years. Each participant was shown three photos of a 21 year old model, both male and female (6 models in all were used) whose smiles were digitally altered to show three variations in color (yellow, normal, and white), and three variations in spacing (crowded, normal, and widely spaced).

The results were certainly not surprising. When males were looking at female models, females with normally spaced teeth were significantly more attractive than models with crowded teeth regardless of coloration. When women rated male models, they gave the men more leeway in smile “quality” by only finding widely spaced teeth less attractive. When the focus was on choosing color, yellow teeth were significantly less attractive than naturally colored teeth regardless of the spacing.

The conclusion is that tooth color and spacing produce significant effects on ratings of attractiveness for both males and females. Any deviation of those two variables negatively impacted the ratings.

The authors also believe there’s a subtle tie-in between teeth condition and the reproductive power of women. A healthy smile may be a sign to a man of the reproductive value in females. It would account for the fact that women smile more than men and are the only sex that enhances the prominence of their teeth display by wearing lipstick.

Teeth whitening on Long Island for perfect first impressions

When we’re introduced to someone, both of our brains are making lightning fast calculations about the person standing in front of us—confident or unsure, healthy or diseased, sincere or faking it, likeable or not so much. One of the most important nonverbal cues we can display is our smile.

A brilliant white smile says we’re friendly, approachable, we take care of ourselves and are worth getting to know. If we find ourselves hiding our yellowed or discolored teeth, we’re creating a poor first impression that we may never get another chance to overcome.

At home or in-office teeth whitening on Long Island

If you’re worried that your discolored or yellow teeth are keeping you from making a dazzling first impression in social or business situations, call Dr. Elliot and Dr. Nick at Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry for a simple “smile analysis”. We offer teeth whitening in Suffolk County at our Rocky Point office, or we can show you how to whiten your teeth at home.

If you want to come to our Long Island office:

We offer Zoom teeth whitening and Opalescence Boost®, a specially formulated gel blend of potassium nitrate, fluoride, and hydrogen peroxide for the removal of surface stains that takes less than one hour on your teeth for fantastic results.

If you prefer our in-home teeth whitening treatment:

Dr. Elliot and Dr. Nick will take impressions of your teeth to create custom fitted tooth trays with Opalescence® whitening gel. The gel comes in three flavors—mint, regular, or melon—and different whitening concentrations depending on the degree of tooth discoloration. A half hour a day for up to ten days is all that’s needed to give you the brilliant smile you deserve.

All that’s needed to take care of your new smile is common sense oral hygiene. Brushing your teeth with a whitening toothpaste will keep staining and future tooth discoloration at a minimum. A regular visit to Long Island Implant & Cosmetic for dental cleanings will keep your new smile radiant.

Teeth whitening on Long Island is affordable

Our in-office and at-home whitening treatments are affordable, quick, and easy. Come in for a consultation and smile analysis with Dr. Elliot and Dr. Nick to see how a bright new smile can soon be yours. And make sure you ask us about our payment plan options for our full range of dental services.

Please call cosmetic dentists Long Island relies on at (631) 744-5700 to arrange an appointment.

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Steve Cid

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