Often, when we think about communication, we think of speaking and the words we use. Yet, we all have psychological cues that allow us to interact in nonverbal ways besides talking to someone. Gestures, posture, your outward appearance—these are all ways we can say something without ever speaking a word out loud. Smiling is another crucial 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 it remains true! If that’s the case, then what does your smile say about you? Does it leave a lasting impression in all the best ways?
Here at Zeifman Orthodontics, we’re committed to giving you a smile that leaves not only an impression but one that sets you up for lasting success! 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?
Set a welcoming and confident 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 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 right! 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 1920s, a researcher named Edward Thorndike came up with the concept of a “halo effect” to describe how our brains attribute many positive qualities to a person after noticing just one positive quality. Put into simpler terms, it explains that we often make up information about a person based on how we felt about them. For instance, healthy and aligned teeth can be perceived as an indicator of everything from confidence and business success to trustworthiness and popularity!
Invisalign conducted a perception study that arrived at a similar conclusion: the state of a person’s smile can lead others to make 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 they find unpleasant. While this may not be the fairest 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 continually 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.
Making a good impression on others may be a good enough reason for you to work towards optimal oral health, but it’s far from the only benefit of orthodontic treatment.
Crooked teeth can be more challenging to clean and floss effectively, and misalignment can cause many issues, from pain in your jaw to headaches. Loving your appearance can make you feel better about life in general, and having a smile you love can be a big part of that!
Being self-conscious about your smile can also keep you from stepping outside your comfort zone and taking risks, which is almost always essential for success! In another Invisalign survey on this very subject, researchers found that nearly 80% of adults who underwent orthodontic treatment said having a healthier smile gave them the confidence to do something they would never have considered doing before.
Share a smile
Humans are excellent at mimicking facial expressions, even when we don’t do it on purpose. This mimicry helps us understand a person’s feelings and intentions when we’re communicating with them and respond appropriately. 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, everyone in the room seemed to be in a better mood. 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 participants’ heart rates, 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 better stress resistance. 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 make a big impact.
Zeifman 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 connect with those around you more easily. 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 Florham Park or any of the surrounding communities, Zeifman Orthodontics is here to give you a beautifully aligned smile that stands out from the crowd. Schedule a free consultation today to take the first steps of your orthodontic journey.