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The Science of Attraction: 5 Studies Linking Your Smile to Dating Success

By February 7, 2024February 25th, 2024Blog

It’s February and love is in the air. So as your Naperville dentists, what’s on our minds this month? We’re thinking about how an attractive, healthy smile can influence your dating life! And we’re not alone — several studies on smiles have found a close relationship between smiling and attraction.

Really? Do straight teeth matter in the science of attraction? Well, If you’re not convinced, read on as Dr. Anthony LaVacca and the dentistry team at Naperville Dental Specialists cover five studies about how smiling and attraction go hand in hand.

1. A Beautiful Smile and Memorable First Impressions

Whether you first meet someone in person or are trying to decide on swiping right or left, first impressions mean a lot. So, how does smiling play a role? According to a study by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, a smile is the most memorable attribute people remember. In the study, about 48% of adults believe a smile is the most memorable feature when first meeting someone, regardless of age. A smile is even more memorable than any other physical attribute or even what’s first said. So, it makes sense that a beautiful smile with straight teeth makes for a positive first impression. On the flip side, participants also said that those with less-than-straight smiles seemed less attractive and confident.

2. Straight Teeth Signals You’re Healthy

In another study, researchers found that participants chose images of people with whiter, straight, evenly spaced teeth over pictures of those same people with yellower or gapped teeth. This preference is rooted in evolutionary cues, where nice teeth are seen as a sign of health and genetic quality, playing a central role in smiling and the science of attraction. The study also found that straight teeth in a woman’s smile signals reproductive health.

3. Smiling = You’ve Got it Together

On top of making a good first impression and giving the vibe that you’re healthy, an attractive, straight smile also hints at personality and achievements. One of the most well-known studies on smiles, a Kelton Research study, found that participants connected more positive attributes to images of people with straight teeth than those with crooked teeth.

Those with straight teeth were often perceived as happy, loved by others, and having great overall health. They also were perceived as having the potential for professional and financial success. A person with a pleasant smile was also considered more likely to get a job than someone with a less-than-appealing smile who had the same qualifications. And people with straight teeth were perceived as 58% more likely to have success and wealth.

4. Straight Teeth and Long-Term Relationships

A smile not only informs our initial perceptions about personality or triggers that first spark, it also gives us an impression of long-term suitability. One of the more unique studies on smiles, the study called: Cool Guys and Warm Husbands: The effect of smiling on male facial attractiveness for short- and long-term relationships, suggests that men with attractive smiles are not only preferred for short-term dating but also more likely giving the impression they’re suitable for long-term partnership, too. It’s a perception that’s subconsciously rooted in our ideals of good health and reproductive fitness — key qualities for a lasting relationship.

5. Smile and Get A Smile Right Back

“Smile and the world smiles with you.” It’s not just a hopeful saying — it’s a fact! You’ve likely noticed that when you smile at someone, more often than not, they automatically smile back. It’s a natural response called “sensorimotor simulation,” which is a fancy way of saying how we instinctively copy other people’s facial expressions. This review of several studies on smiles and expressions concluded that mimicking another person’s facial expression is our way of bringing up the same emotion in ourselves and acting out of empathy.
What happens when you smile at someone? A smile signals a person is happy, triggering a positive feeling in the person they’re smiling at and informing how the receiver should respond to them. Simply put, a smile is contagious, so when it comes to the science of attraction, it’s a great way to establish and share a happy and comfortable mood.

Get A Smile Transformation That’ll Change Your Dating Life

If you think a more attractive, straight smile could boost your dating life, the award-winning Naperville Dental Specialists dental experts have covered you. Fix damaged teeth from teeth grinding, missing teeth or gaps from gum disease, or stained, yellow teeth with a cosmetic dentistry procedure like natural-looking dental veneers, crowns, bridges, dental implants, or whitening. Our state-of-the-art dental practice in downtown Naperville offers comprehensive, comfortable dentistry in a modern, relaxing environment.

Or if you’re looking for the benefits of orthodontic treatment, our orthodontic team at Innovative Orthodontic Centers will help you get beautiful results with braces or Invisalign®.

Contact us today to get started toward a smile transformation that’ll help you find dating success!

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