Does anyone really notice ugly teeth?
If you ever wonder if people notice something wrong with your teeth…just check out the new ad campaign by dental health product giant Colgate. These ads feature an attractive smiling couple…except the man has some spinach between his teeth! The ad seems to be for dental floss…but in fact…if you check the photo carefully…what the ad actually shows is our distraction by something wrong with the teeth, so much so that other physical deformities are not even noticed! (Look again at this photograph…exactly whose hand is on the man’s shoulder? Both of her hands are down…)
This is a photograph of two attractive people, except that the man has something wrong with one tooth. In my practice, the most common thing wrong I see with one tooth is an old crown or large filling on a front tooth. Usually, the man had some sort of injury to this tooth during his grade school or teen years, requiring this treatment (and often hockey or too much beer was the cause). But this patient is now 35 years old, that treatment is more than 20 years old, and he has looked at that faulty repair for so long, he forgets it is even there. What about the job interview he has coming up for a job in public relations. Would you hire him with a smile that right but a tooth that…wrong?
I know, that doesn’t sound politically correct. Candidates should be hired on merit, not on looks. However, we are living in an extremely competitive world, and each of us needs every advantage we have to allow us the best chances for success. Frankly, if you were having a business lunch with this guy or someone else with a really badly-matched front tooth…or more significant esthetic problems with his smile…might you be so distracted that you couldn’t quite focus on anything else? And if another gentleman with the same skills applied for the job, but he just “looked better”, he would probably get the job. It’s not fair, I know. But it happens.
Which side of the equation would you like to be on? You take care of your appearance with clean, pressed, well-fitting clothes, your hair is always neatly trimmed and well-kept, you try your best to eat well so you can stay fit. Is there something you could do, some tweak or change, that can better position you for success? Maybe finally fix that front tooth so it blends in with the rest of your smile. Maybe Invisalign could be your answer. Maybe tooth whitening to brighten a yellow smile. Maybe this is your year to have your best smile.