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National survey: good oral health outperforms clear skin for making adults feel confident

You’ve all heard about the power of a smile, and over in the US, they celebrate it every 15th of June. They call it National Smile Power Day, and in 2018, they marked it with a survey aimed at verifying just how big an influence a smile has on daily life. For most people, when someone smiles at you, you smile back. It’s a reflex, you can’t help it.

And smiles – even fake ones – set off a chain reaction in our brains and hormones that subconsciously lift our moods. Try it now. Gauge your current emotional state on a scale of one to ten. Then show off those pearly whites. You could go all in by thinking about a happy memory to elicit that grin, or just engage your lips and cheek muscles. Wait a minute or two, then check in with yourself, gauging your mood on the same scale. Feel the difference?

We don’t know why smiling makes us feel better about the world, but it definitely makes the world feel better about us. When people smile at us, we feel safer, warmer, and more welcome. We look at them and imagine they’re happier, more resourceful, and more successful, which has a positive impact on the way we respond to them.

Smile therapy

A lot of our daily activities and decisions are directed by how we see ourselves or express ourselves, and self-confidence plays a big part in this. The Adult’s Oral Health & Well-Being Survey sought to know which factor has the biggest effect on self-esteem. Asked what affects their confidence the most, 67% said it was their smile, 60% said good skin, and 57% said personal fitness – though is probably less about health and more about sexy bodies.

70% of people say their first impression of someone is based on their smile. And this first impression can influence whether or not you get a raise, promotion, job, discount, or even a (second) date. Maybe that’s why people who smile more often seem to get more chances – because life literally smiles back. After all, 53% of people believe your smile affects your overall success in life. Does this depend on how these people view success?

Well, the survey asked people to say what they felt about their careers, relationships, and finances. They were also asked how important their oral health is. Those that prioritised oral health had higher self-assessment scores, describing their work, love life, and money matters as outstanding. The specific figures were telling …

Prioritise oral health Low focus on oral health
Career satisfaction 21% 10%
Outstanding relationships 26% 16%
Excellent finances 15% 8%

These figures are a matter of perception. They describe how people see themselves rather than using an objective measure. And we know true happiness and success is driven by how we view a situation rather than what the situation really is. That’s why some ‘poor’ people have happier lives than ‘rich’ ones. So it’s interesting to see that the health of so many people’s teeth and gums feeds their approach to life. It’s even more curious to see that teeth outrank skin, given the ubiquity of the beauty industry.

Joe Dill (DDS, MBA) is the Vice President of Dental Science at Delta Dental Plans Association. He believes there’s a clear link between the well-being of adults and their oral care. According to the survey, 76% of people who visit the dentist once a year like their smiles, while 56% of people who dodge dentists are unhappy with their (lack of?) good teeth. Our dentists in Paramatta agree, and they’d be happy to help you get a better smile.

For a smile that truly boosts your confidence levels, call Dental Avenue Parramatta today on 02 80040055.

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