It takes one-tenth of a second to make a first impression. That’s 100 times faster than it took you to read this sentence. But what
happens in that blink of an eye? When meeting someone, one-third of Americans notice teeth before any other facial feature. And first impressions matter. That initial snapshot captures key elements of the truth, according to psychology research.
Make a great impression every first impression. Here are three that your smile (and dental health!) can make or break:
1. First Date
Your outfit isn’t as important and you think. Both men and women cite a smile as the number one physical feature to attractiveness. Good news for bad hair days!
Single adults admitted they judge a potential date most based on their teeth—significantly more than hair or outfit. But it takes more than flashing your 100-watt smile to make a bright impression. An estimated 74 percent of women won’t pucker up if they suspect poor oral health, according to a Delta Dental survey. And if that’s not enough to make you brush, bad breath was one of the top deterrents for singles accepting a second date.
2. First Interview
Candidates who greet potential employers with a smile rate more hirable and competent than candidates who didn’t smile. Remember to take care of your smile for the job you want, not the job you have. According to a Seattle University study, 90 percent of executives surveyed said they would hire a nonsmoker over a smoker if their qualifications were equal.
3. First Speeding Ticket
You’re weaving through traffic, unintentionally speeding, and then the siren surrounds you. As you pull to the side, remember this strategy: Good manners and a smile. Those who smile are seen as cooperative, and therefore more likely to be trusted. Take this cop’s advice, “If you can make me laugh, you might get a break.”
Grin it to win it! Let your smile set the tone for a favorable first impression.