When we talk about how we communicate with each other, we usually focus on just that—talking. Yet we are all in possession of something called psychological cues that allow us to interact in nonverbal ways, too. Gestures, posture, your outward appearance—these are all ways we can say something without ever speaking a word out loud. Smiling is another important nonverbal cue. If you’ve ever heard the old saying about “you never get a second chance to make a first impression,” this is part of the reason why it holds true! If that’s the case, then what does your smile say about you?
Here at Van Vliet Orthodontics, we’re committed to giving the kind of smile that leaves not only a great first impression, but a lasting one, too! Using modern techniques and today’s best treatment methods, our talented team is proud to successfully correct a wide range of orthodontic issues in patients of all ages. We understand the value of a healthy smile, and know that improving your oral health can help you stand out from the crowd. But why is smiling such a powerful thing? Let’s take a closer look below!
Lets you set the right tone
When you bring a genuine smile to the table, it can help set a positive tone in almost any situation. Confidence is something people really pay attention to, whether they’re a boss, teacher, new friend, or someone in an audience. Since your smile is one of the first things people notice about you, it can pay both personally and professionally to have one that looks and feels good! If you’re worried about coming across as stiff or unfriendly, just flash a grin and warm the room right up. Since your smile is the feature most people remember when trying to recall your face, this is a great way to leave others thinking of you fondly even after you’ve said goodbye.
Prove their perceptions right
In the early 1920’s, a researcher named Edward Thorndike came up with the concept of a “halo effect.” This described how our brains tend to attribute many positive qualities to a person based on us noticing just one positive quality. Put into simpler terms, it explains that we often make up information about a person based on our own perception of them. For instance, teeth that are healthy and aligned can be perceived as an indicator of everything from confidence and business success to trustworthiness and popularity!
A perception study conducted by Kelton for Invisalign found much the same thing: the state of a person’s smile is a catalyst for assumptions about their intelligence, success, and general health. According to the study, about two-thirds of Americans are more likely to remember attractive features than those that they find to be unpleasant. This may not be the most fair way to judge a person, but it does drive home the importance of a healthy, confident smile.
Use the audience to your advantage
Your smile speaks for you in both verbal and nonverbal ways, which means that it almost always has an audience! The people you surround yourself with are constantly making subconscious notes about you based on what they see, so it’s imperative to present a smile that is bright, beautiful, and representative of who you are.
The impression your smile leaves on others is a good enough reason to work towards optimal oral health, but treatment can be beneficial in many other ways as well. Teeth that are crooked can be more difficult to clean and floss effectively, and misalignment can cause a number of issues, from pain in your jaw to headaches. Feeling happy with your appearance can make you feel better about life in general, and having a smile you love can be a big part of that!
Outside of physical issues, being self-conscious about your smile can also keep you from stepping outside your comfort zone and taking risks, something that is almost always essential for success! An Invisalign survey on this very subject found that almost 80% of adults who underwent orthodontic treatment said having a healthier smile gave them the confidence to do something they never would have considered doing before.
Share a smile
Humans are excellent at mimicking facial expressions, even when we don’t realize we’re doing it. This mimicry allows us to understand the person we’re communicating with and respond appropriately, and it can also trigger a similar emotional state in those around us. That’s why smiles are “contagious”!
Yale University set out to demonstrate this in a study by dividing volunteers into small groups and assigning specific tasks, with one team member secretly instructed to act upbeat as they entered the room. When that person came in with a smile on their face, the mood in the room really lifted. This study also found that each individual’s performance improved and the group itself was more likely to achieve its goal.
There was a similar study done at the University of Kansas. Subjects were given stressful tasks to complete, with some participants told to smile during these tasks while others were directed to maintain a straight face. Researchers measured the heart rates of the participants, and the subjects were asked to self-report their stress levels as they performed the tasks.
Those who were smiling throughout the tasks had lower heart rates, and their bodies showed an increased resistance to stress. They also reported feeling more positive overall than those who were told to keep a straight face. And there you have it—scientific proof that something as simple as a smile can do powerful things.
Van Vliet Orthodontics can give you a smile that’s hard to forget!
A healthy smile has been linked to a myriad of positive benefits, including better moods, increased positivity, and being able to more easily connect with those around you. It can also reduce your overall stress levels and increase your chances of making a first impression that lasts long after you leave the room!
If you’re in Highland, Ramsey, or any of the surrounding communities, Van Vliet Orthodontics is here to give you a beautifully aligned smile that stands out from the crowd. Although we’re currently closed for emergencies only, we’re now offering FREE virtual consultations for all first-time patients. Get in touch today to find out how you can take the first steps of your orthodontic journey without ever leaving home!