Smiles Could Impact Political Races

This election season, political candidates’ smiles could be the deciding factor in whether candidates gain voters’ trust, asserts Charles Martin, DDS, founder of the Richmond Smile Center.

“If you hide your smile, what else will you hide?” is a question many voters may be contemplating, Dr. Martin said. “Not everyone wants to hear it, but candidates’ looks determine whether they gain votes.

“The better you look, the more votes you’ll score. Research shows that your smile, which is usually the most prominent feature on a face, has a direct effect on how others perceive you—even more than the eyes—and what happens in the voting booth supports this time and time again. Voters may not even realize they’ve been swayed by a candidate’s smile rather than the candidate’s platform.”

The same principle applies to people outside the public eye, according to Dr. Martin. Studies show that attractive people are paid 4 to 14 percent more than people who are considered unattractive—and 81 percent of surveyed individuals indicate that the smile is the most important part of facial appearance. Research also indicates that children who are considered better looking than their peers are treated more favorably by their teachers, and prisoners who make a good appearance in the courtroom receive lighter sentences than those perceived as unattractive.

For job seekers or those looking for a promotion, the same principle applies.

“Your smile tells everyone how friendly and approachable you are,” Dr. Martin said. “For bosses and managers, with all other facets being equal, your smile can be the tipping point of decision about who gets hired and who moves up. It’s an uncomfortable truth that looks matter in our society. So how do we make that focus on appearance work for us? One easy way is by correcting smiles through cosmetic dentistry.”

While it takes time and no small effort to lose weight or alter facial appearance through surgery, Dr. Martin contends cosmetic dentistry can radically change a patient’s appearance in as little as one visit to a skilled cosmetic dentist. Technological advances have made it possible for patients to gain completely new smiles—even in cases of extreme dental conditions —relatively quickly and with little pain. The resulting changes in patients’ lives are often startling.

“When they feel great about their smiles, people tend to experience more social success and take chances they might otherwise never have taken, usually with positive results,” Dr. Martin said.