Is it important for you to make a good first impression on others? how much do you attribute a good first impression to your smile?
When we meet others, psychologists say that we make a first impression within just a few seconds of the initial meeting and after just some 30 seconds, our first impression becomes fixed or cemented in our minds. That’s not a lot of time, so it’s probably worthwhile spending a little time learning how to do it right.
As I don’t think it’s a surprise to any of us to hear about the importance of making the right impressions on others. I think the questions arise about the actual details we should be paying attention to – the details of ourselves, so to speak.
And when I say paying attention to the details, I mostly mean things like our outer appearance, body and oral hygiene, teeth, personality, and facial expressions.
Here are a few examples:
Clothes – when it comes to dressing, it’s not only important what type of clothes we wear, but also how we coordinate the clothes.
Body and oral hygiene – are we taking daily showers, brushing our teeth every day, managing bad breath or combing our hair, and, of course, having a bright, healthy set of teeth.
Personality – Being friendly, inviting, honest, accepting and warm are just a few to mention.
How mindful we are of these factors inarguably can make a significant difference in both our personal and professional lives.
First of all, when it comes to our smile, we’re not only talking about the movement of the facial muscles around the mouth and eyes, we’re talking about your lips, teeth, gums, breath and speech mannerisms as well.
Our smile really does matter and has a bigger impact on other people because it says more about us than we may think.
Yes, it’s all part of our biology, of course. One of the functions of our limbic system in our brain is to receive input from the outside world in order to judge stimuli as being either threatening or non-threatening.
For example, an angry or hostile facial expression will indicate danger or a threat as opposed to a smiling face, which conveys a friendly, non-threatening approach. It’s our built-in survival mechanism that helps keep us around on the planet for a longer period of time. Our brains receive the information and make immediate impressions and judgments of what’s going on all around us and how to respond.
I, myself, can recall so many times experiencing this difference. I wake up one morning on the “wrong side of the bed” and that’s all it takes. It’s like I take it with me the whole rest of the day. Everyone I meet or talk to seems to pick up on my disgruntled face and interact with me in a completely different manner than when I wake up with a smile on my face.
Maybe you can relate!?
But that’s not all. How we smile goes a bit deeper than this if you really think about it. A nice, bright smile also conveys honesty, authenticity, trustworthiness, openness, acceptance, intelligence, resourcefulness, warmth, friendliness, confidence and happiness.
When was the last time you were at a job interview?
Think back to what we wanted to portray about ourselves at the interview. In addition to our work experience, we wanted to give an impression of our personal character. (ie. honesty, intelligence, integrity, etc)
Well, because our character is very much embedded into our smile, a message was instantly conveyed to the person who interviewed us and it was probably more important than we may have realized. In fact, it may have been almost as important as our previous work experience.
Now, I don’t mean to say that a job is always given to the individual who has the best smile, but I think you can see what I’m trying to say. A great smile helps!
Naturally, the same can be said (and is true!) in our personal lives as well.
So, if we look at the role our smile plays in real life situations like this, it takes on a much broader perspective and this is why it’s so important to learn how to take care of our smile, our teeth, and keep smiling our entire lives.
Our smile makes a bigger difference than we think!
Just another problem with aging is the fact that it can also affect our smile in a negative manner.
Never mind the fact that all aspects of our face and mouth change over time, our teeth age and wear down as well.
Collectively, these changes can all lead to a loss of self-image and self-esteem. Ergo, we will either smile less, stop smiling altogether or the entire character of our smile will change.
And as we said, these negative changes in our smile can all change our interactions with others.
So, if we want to preserve a bright, healthy smile for the long term, we not only need to put in a little effort and maintenance work into our face but also into our teeth and gums as well. I believe it’s worth the investment.
(You might want to have a mirror nearby while you read this part)
So, the teeth are made up of an inner, softer dentin layer which makes up most of the bulk of the tooth and an outer, harder enamel layer which serves to add strength and durability to the teeth when biting or chewing. The gums or gingivae fully cover and protect the lower part of the teeth and bone.
When we’re younger, the enamel is well-proportioned, thicker, curved at the edges and longer. The thicker, fuller enamel layer is what gives the tooth it’s light, translucent shine of youth. The dentin layer is softer.
Unfortunately with time, grinding and clenching teeth, inflammation and poor oral hygiene, and bad habits such as smoking, chewing on ice or hard nuts, drinking lots of black coffee, tea or red wine can really take its toll on the teeth.
For example, the enamel gradually wears down and becomes thinner and appears darker. The darker, duller appearance is due to the underlying greyish dentin becoming ever more visible through the enamel. The enamel edges flatten out which make the teeth look more square-shaped, shorter and older looking. And, to add insult to injury, the gums recede and can expose darker root areas and bone. This can lead to what’s called ‘long tooth syndrome’. Furthermore, as gum tissue lessens, it increases the chance of developing infection and inflammation (periodontitis), which can lead to CHRONIC HALITOSIS(bad breath) – A MAJOR FIRST IMPRESSION AND SMILE KILLER!
Systemic health issues from spreading oral infection are also increasingly common as teeth age.
So, is it any wonder that with all these age-related changes taking place that our smile gets so easily wiped off our faces?
If you’ve already had previous dental treatment such as crowns/caps, veneers, inlays, onlays, fillings, root canal treatment, etc, don’t think you’ve got a free pass. Yes, if properly done and cared for, dental cosmetic work can look great and last for a long time. But, here are some situations when you may need to consider an upgrade:
Crowns, Veneers – Replacement of ugly, old cracked, chipped, lackluster crowns and veneers to more aesthetically pleasing ones. Even consider changing materials to metal-free, zirconia or glass-ceramic (IPRESS e.max).
Gaps – Repositioning teeth due to newly created spaces/gaps that result from age-related tooth movement.
Gums – Rejuvenation of gums to cover exposed implant ends or underlying metal on old crowns.
Fillings – Replacement of old, amalgam filling to new, white composite ones.
I can’t tell you after how many years treatment upgrades are needed. It’s different for all of us. We need to be our own judge.
Improving our smile and first impressions that we make on others involves changes that ultimately come from within, first.
For example, if we have emotional issues that need attention and make us more negative, sad or critical about life, this, for sure, will reflect outwards on others and affect our smile.
On the other hand, if we are happy and feel well inside, it’s only natural that we’ll want to express this outwardly via our smile.
I believe that when the latter is the case, it’s then that we become aware of the importance and significance of our smile. We willfully desire to project our positive energies out to the world to affect others and improve our own lives.
I also believe that if you’re still reading this post, that you may be exactly at that point in your life right now where you’ve made a positive inner change and you’re searching for a way to improve your smile.
In follow up articles, I will write more about improving your smile with innovative treatments such as Deep Plane facelifts, Silhouette Soft thread lifting, HALO laser skin rejuvenation, Fillers, Botox, etc, but for now, we simply cannot neglect our teeth.
The good news with teeth is that almost all issues can be either improved considerably or made to suit your highest expectation, A Dream Smile!
Remember, in contrast to our parents and earlier generations, it’s not a given that with age, we will simply lose all our teeth. Better oral hygiene and new, biocompatible technology make it possible to keep a bright smile for many decades – so long as we take our oral health seriously.
Here are just a few of my recommendations that you should utilize to keep your teeth intact long-term.
Regular brushing, flossing and rinsing with fluoride or antiseptic mouthwash is a must. Nowadays, we hardly even think about the types of food and drink we put into our body. We eat so much sugar and starch like bread, cereals, soda, fruits, cakes and candy, These all get stuck on our teeth and lead to heavy plaque build-up and rapid tooth decay. We simply need to remove this gunk from the surfaces of our teeth. The toothbrush can’t get into all areas, so learn how to floss properly and use a mouth rinse to get to those hard-to-reach areas. This change doesn’t cost much. It merely involves a change in habits.
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Visit your dentist on a regular basis (6 months). This way you can get a better idea about what’s going on in your mouth, what issues need your attention, what you can do to better preserve your teeth and gums and, of course, have your teeth professionally cleaned and polished.
For example, you know, I see a lot of people traveling over to Budapest for their dental treatment and I’m sometimes surprised to see how many people actually over brush their teeth and show up with serious gum problems. We need to think more about all that heavy abrasion the brush is putting on the gums. So, if you have gum recession, go see your dentist and ask. It may just end up extending your gingival lifespan.
Yes, we’ve heard it many times before. A good diet with whole grain foods, vegetables, and less sugar and starches can do a lot to maintain your teeth and gums. Bacteria and enzymes in your mouth and saliva work to break down food, prevent plaque and create a stable PH. Sugars and starches only promote heavy plaque build up which results in tooth decay and erosion.
Although I’m not sure how much available evidence there is to show a connection between exercise and good teeth, I will speculate to say that a fit and healthy body will take care of its teeth better as well. Ie. increased circulation, better lymph drainage, and PH balance lead to healthy, strong oral cavity bone which supports healthy teeth and gums.
There are wide ranges of available treatments that fall within the realm of cosmetic dentistry. Here we’re more referring to how our teeth look and our smile rather than the actual health of our teeth, per se. However, the two clearly go hand-in-hand and are connected.
Whether you use a home whitening kit or ask your dentist to perform an in-office, professional whitening treatment, this can be one of the most cost-effective cosmetic upgrades you can give yourself. You’ll get some immediate gratification as others take notice of a beautiful smile in the makings.
Changing old amalgam (metallic colored) filling into new white composite ones can also make a big difference. Since your teeth have a translucent quality to them when exposed to light, think how much brighter your smile will be without all that metallic color in your mouth.
If you don’t know what these are, think of them as ceramic fillings. Normally, fillings fill smaller cavities or holes in your teeth. Inlays and onlays fill larger holes by using ceramic materials (made in the laboratory) similar to crowns and veneers.
These are strong, durable ceramic materials that look and feel like real teeth. They are used in a wide variety of dental makeovers. Ie. single tooth replacement or bridge work. Crowns cover the entirety (all surfaces) of your original tooth and thus require tooth filing or preparation. Veneers, on the other hand, requires less preparation as they will only cover the front surface of your tooth. You can do either if you have gaps or spaces, worn out, flattened teeth, discoloration, misshapen or crooked teeth.
Both solutions are beautiful, long lasting and will change your smile forever.
Titanium implants are used for full tooth replacement. In these cases, you either have already had a tooth missing or a tooth(teeth) needs to be extracted. Implants are screws that are inserted directly into the bone and support healthy, non-resorbing bone structure over the long term. Crowns are placed directly onto the implants and create new teeth that feel and look like originals. Of course, you need to calculate a bigger budget for implant makeovers.
Restoring receded gums is a surgical procedure that involves using either a synthetic membrane or your own tissue from another part of your mouth. This tissue is then stitched into those areas where your gums have receded successfully covering the gaps.
So, remember the old adage
“ You never get a second chance to make a good first impression”
Take care of yourself and SMILE 🙂
If you don’t have the ‘teeth to meet’ that you would like or would like some more information about a cosmetic upgrade, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Bye for now
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