How Your Smile Affects Your Career

Cosmetic Dentistry May Be Key in Landing That Dream Job

A person’s smile is one of the first things people notice, so it also plays a central role in how the person is perceived by potential employers, supervisors and peers. Most people aren’t surprised to learn that studies show first impressions matter during job interviews, but it may be harder to accept that an employee’s appearance can keep them from reaching their career goals.

Having the knowledge, skills and experience is rarely enough in today’s tough job market. Undergoing the right cosmetic dentistry procedure can actually be more beneficial in helping a person land their dream job than their accomplishments and experience in the workplace or even how well they answer tough questions during an interview.

How Your Smile Affects Your Career and Cosmetic Dentistry

The Job Hunt and Corporate Ladder

While it’s not something most people like to admit, everyone makes judgments of others based on their appearance. It’s simply a part of human nature. In many cases, however, certain factors may be more likely to lead others to incorrect judgments or assumptions. The judgments potential employers make about those with missing, broken, cracked, crooked or stained teeth rarely give the prospective employee proper credit for their intelligence, skill or positive personality traits.

This perception means they may get passed over for someone who is equally qualified (or even slightly less qualified) than a person who makes a better first impression with a more professional and aesthetically pleasing appearance. Unfortunately, there is no way to prove discrimination and the reasons why a person doesn’t get hired is unknown to the interviewee in almost every case.

A person looking for a job that requires face-to-face interaction with customers may face more intense scrutiny than a virtual worker or customer service representative who only interacts with customers via phone.

Yet, many entry-level jobs do interact with people directly and it may be almost impossible to land without a straight, white smile. For example, young students out of high school might apply for a position at a fast food establishment or an adult may apply at a clothing retailer. Issues with misaligned or missing teeth can also impair speech, which further inhibits hiring for these types of positions since customers tend to make purchases at certain stores from more well-groomed and spoken individuals.

It’s not just those who are missing front teeth or someone who has teeth that are noticeably discolored who miss out on career opportunities. According to a study conducted by Kelton Research, on behalf of traditional braces alternative Invisalign, a job candidate who has received orthodontic straightening of his or her teeth is 45 percent more likely to get the job than a person who has identical qualifications—except crooked teeth.

Once a person scores a position, their smile may still play a major role during their career. When it comes to promotions or being asked to handle major projects, a person’s professionalism is important. Among the top factors used to judge this “executive presence,” according to a study by The Center for Talent Innovation, is the quality of the employee’s smile. Luckily, a good cosmetic dentist can offer advice and a variety of options to improve almost any smile.

Studies Show Those with Great Smiles Excel in the Workplace

The Kelton Research Study also found several reasons behind why those with a straight, white smile are more likely to be hired or promoted over those with broken, crooked, or discolored teeth. Two out of every three study participants said they are more likely to remember a person with a great smile than they are someone who has problems with their teeth or who doesn’t smile.

While hundreds of job candidates are applying for the same job, the ability to have a potential employer remember a single applicant is somewhat of a super power. In addition, almost 75 percent of study participants say they are more likely to trust someone who has a nice smile. This is true even when other candidates for the position have good jobs, designer suits and luxury cars.

Another study, this one funded by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, looked at the personality traits people assigned to others based on their smile alone. Half of the study participants saw images of people before cosmetic dental treatments while the other half saw images of the same people after treatment.

The results of study showed the same people were much more likely to be assigned positive personality traits after their smiles were fixed. This means simply by undergoing the cosmetic dentistry procedures recommended by their dentist, these people were automatically assumed to be more intelligent, kind, interesting and friendly.

Besides Appearance, Other Oral Health Factors Also Play a Role

Unhealthy, damaged teeth affect a lot more than just a person’s appearance. A lot of these issues can have a negative impact in the workplace, which include:

  • Bad breath Medically known as halitosis, bad breath can strike anyone, especially after a meal of garlic or onions. Chronic bad breath, however, may be a sign of poor dental hygiene, a side effect of broken or missing teeth, or a symptom of a more serious dental issue. No one wants to interact with someone who always has bad breath, so this can greatly hinder professional relationships and even reputations.Co-workers often talk to one another about the fact that they are trying to avoid “so and so” because their breath is hideous, yet no one tells the person directly. Luckily, it is simple for people to rule out the common causes under their control, and most other causes can be treated with the help of a dentist or doctor.
  • Fewer smiles Studies have shown that even strangers are more likely to trust a person who smiles than one who does not. How this translates into the workplace is that those who smile more are thought to be more honest and competent than those who don’t. This can have a huge impact on landing big projects and getting promotions, and can even limit or increase earning potential. For people who aren’t comfortable smiling because of problems with discolored, crooked, cracked or missing teeth could benefit from talking to a cosmetic dentist about the options available to help them reclaim their smile.The latest dental technology that saves time and money is CEREC by Sirona. Same-day crowns and veneers custom made right at the dental office means less time off work, and the tooth material utilized is the strongest in the industry, which lasts up to 20 years with proper, daily maintenance and professional teeth cleaning.
  • Confidence Along with not smiling often, those who are embarrassed by their teeth have significantly reduced confidence than people who are proud of their straight, white smile. This makes them less likely to look for a job in the first place and could hold them back from trying for promotions as well. By taking steps to repair their smile, these people can rebuild their lost confidence and make a better impression during the job hunt when being considered for promotion.

The way we look inherently affects many aspects of our lives. One of things we can control is our smile and oral health. Consider a smile transformation and increase your chances of landing that amazing job and attracting that “someone special” into your life today.

Our Patients Rank Dr. Mark Phillipe, DDS, and Dr. Derek Hauser, DDS, as the #1 Private Cosmetic and Family Dentist Practice in the Inland Empire!