When it comes to professional success, your smile can have a bigger impact than you might think. A number of studies have found that your smile is one of the first things people notice, and the feature they most easily recall. Having a healthy smile that stands out can help you land the job or promotion you want, negotiate a better salary, and even motivate others to improve their job performance!
Straight teeth, good oral health, and a functional bite are a component of professional success that you may not have considered before. So what happens when you’re struggling with crooked teeth, misalignment, or other orthodontic issues? Here at Selden Orthodontics, we believe in unlocking a patient’s potential. Whatever the state of your smile, you can achieve any goal you set for yourself. If you’re looking for a way to add a little extra pizazz to your career path – our treatment options are the perfect place to start! Let’s explore why smiles matter when it comes to professional success, and what part our team can play in you achieving it.
Smiling is contagious
Us humans mimic facial expressions, often without even realizing we’re doing it. This can trigger a similar emotional state and briefly boost our mood. It also allows us to understand the person whom we are communicating with and respond appropriately – which is why we tend to smile back when someone smiles at us. It turns out that there really is something to that old saying “smile and the world smiles with you!”
A great smile may also signal to potential employers that you could be a positive influence to those around you. Yale University professor Sigal Barsade, Ph.D. conducted a study to show this. Volunteers were divided into small groups and assigned specific tasks, with one team member instructed in secret to act upbeat upon entering the room. When that person came in with a big smile on their face, the mood was almost instantly elevated! Barsade also found that each individual’s performance improved and the group itself was more likely to achieve the goal it had been given.
A similar study was undertaken by scientists at the University of Kansas, where subjects were given stressful tasks to complete. Some participants were asked to smile during these tasks, while others were told to maintain a straight face. Researchers measured the heart rates of the participants, and the subjects were asked to self-report their stress levels as they performed the tasks.
Those who had been told to smile had lower heart rates, and their bodies showed more resistance to stress. They also reported feeling more positive overall than those who were told to keep a straight face, proving the power in a smile! A positive attitude and a big smile are attractive to employers and coworkers alike, something that can give you an advantage on the job.
Taking a look at the Halo Effect
Researcher Edward Thorndike coined the term “halo effect” in 1920. It describes the shortcut our brains take to attribute multiple positive qualities to a person if we see one positive quality. Essentially, we extrapolate information about a person based on our own perception of them. While it may not be a particularly fair way to process new people we meet, it’s human nature, and highlights just how significant first impressions can be!
One trait that’s been proven to kick the halo effect into overdrive is a bright, healthy, and attractive smile. People with a beautiful smile are naturally seen as smarter, wittier, more successful and hardworking, and more trustworthy than someone who doesn’t smile often or struggles with oral health. If you’ve been trying to get your foot in the door or close out a deal, your smile could set off that halo effect in a way that will serve you well.
Set the tone with a smile
It’s no secret that a genuine smile helps put others at ease. It can also make you appear friendlier, which most people will notice when you meet them for the first time. For example, when you attend a job interview, your credentials are only part of what the interviewer will be looking at. If you come across as stiff, unfriendly, or lacking the ability to connect with others, it could hurt your chances of being offered the position or promotion you desire. The most successful companies don’t just look for qualified candidates, they also want something who will be a good addition to their team by contributing to a positive work environment and building a rapport with coworkers and clients.
Boost your self-confidence
If you don’t feel confident in yourself, you won’t want to step outside your comfort zone to take risks, but this is often exactly what’s required for success! Being happy with your appearance can make you feel better about yourself, and having a smile you love can really boost your self-confidence! Invisalign actually conducted a survey on this and found that almost 80% of adults who underwent orthodontic treatment said that having a healthier smile gave them the confidence to do something they never would have considered doing before. That’s pretty significant!
It may be unfortunate that appearance plays such an important role in how we feel about ourselves and how others perceive us, but there’s no denying it can influence our overall hireability. Orthodontic treatment can give you a beautiful smile that you’ll want to share with the world, including potential employers!
Find your most successful smile at Selden Orthodontics
At Selden Orthodontics, we help patients of all ages achieve a healthy smile that feels great and looks amazing. We offer a variety of orthodontic treatments from traditional braces to the innovative Invisalign clear aligner system. Thanks to modern orthodontic technology, these treatments are more comfortable than ever before, and in many cases, are also relatively discrete. This is good news for adult patients!
Speaking of adult patients, we’re seeing more of them than ever before. In fact, about 1 in 5 current orthodontic patients is over the age of 18. Healthy teeth can be moved at any age, and current treatment options make it easy to get the smile you’ve always wanted. While correcting orthodontic issues will improve your oral health, don’t underestimate the importance of improved self-confidence, too! Smiling has been linked to better moods, greater positivity, and being able to connect with others more easily. It’s also shown to reduce stress levels, something most of us can appreciate in this day and age.
Last but not least, a beautiful smile can increase your self-esteem, help you make a positive first impression, and even give you the edge you need to smash the career goals you’ve set for yourself. If you’d like to learn more about how we can give you a smile that will help you get ahead, get in touch today to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Selden. There’s never been a better time to take the first step towards a successful smile!