It takes one-tenth of a second to make a first impression. That’s 100 times faster than it took you to read this sentence. But what happens in that blink of an eye? When meeting someone, one-third of Americans notice teeth before any other facial feature. And first impressions matter. That initial snapshot captures key elements of the truth, according to psychology research.
Make a great impression every first impression. Here are 3 that your smile (and dental health!) can make or break:
1. First Date
Your outfit isn’t as important as you think. Both men and women cite a smile as #1 physical feature to attractiveness. Good news for bad hair days. Single adults admitted they judge a potential date most based on their teeth—even more than hair or outfit. But it takes more than flashing your 100-watt smile to make a bright impression. 74% of women won’t pucker up if they suspect poor oral health, according to a Delta Dental survey. And if that’s not enough to make you brush, bad breath was one of the top deterrents for singles making a second date.
2. First Interview
Candidates who greet potential employers with a smile rate more hirable and competent than candidates who don’t smile. Remember to take care of your smile for the job you want, not the job you have. 90% of executives surveyed said they would hire a nonsmoker over a smoker if their qualifications were equal, according to a Seattle University study.
3. First Speeding Ticket
You’re weaving through traffic, unintentionally speeding, and then the siren surrounds you. As you pull to the side, remember your strategy: Good manners and a smile. Those who smile are seen as cooperative, and therefore more likely to be trusted. Take this cop’s advice, “If you can make me laugh, you might get a break.”
Grin it to win it! Let your smile set the tone for a favorable first impression.