While we all know that looks aren’t everything, until people get to know how amazing you are, they can only base their first impression on what they see.

Even the most accepting people will subconsciously judge someone’s character and personality based on appearance. According to research, in 1/10th of a second a person will determine if someone is attractive, likeable, competent, trustworthy or aggressive.

So, like it or not, this split second first impression can affect multiple areas of one’s life, including jobs, income and relationships. The good news is that while studies show that attractive people can earn up to 20% more, this research also indicates that being well groomed is rewarded in the workplace and can have impact that rivals “natural” good looks. Those with good grooming are also regarded as people who will put more effort into other actions as well.

Taking care of your teeth is a very important aspect of grooming. Brush and floss daily, see your family dentist for a dental cleaning every six months and go one step further with teeth whitening, and according to these studies, your efforts could literally pay off.

There are many ways to improve how you are viewed, but none of them are quite as powerful as a perfect smile. Dental factors are found to play a significant role in how a person is perceived which can affect the establishment of social relationships. When you meet someone for the first time they can’t see your personality, but they can see your smile.

Sure, new clothes and working out can give you that added edge, but your smile is one of the first things people will notice and has the ability to captivate and change people’s moods. A genuine and friendly smile that exudes warmth can brighten another’s day, even more so when your teeth are white and straight!

If you don’t smile because you don’t like your teeth, you may want to consider restorative dentistry. Studies show that people are more attracted to images of people who smile and that 40% of Americans wouldn’t go on a second date with someone with crooked teeth.  Not smiling or neglecting your teeth can therefore be a potential “deal breaker” to would-be suitors or employers.

So, if you want to look your best for an upcoming vacation, graduation or wedding, or you are on the job or dating market, you can give yourself a quick smile makeover with teeth whitening trays. If you don’t have any trays, yours no longer fit or you simply don’t have the patience, you can quickly make a dentist appointment for professional teeth whitening services and be sparkling in no time.

Some discolored or irregularly shaped, chipped or cracked teeth may require teeth veneers or dental bonding.  Severely neglected teeth may require more extensive procedures like implant dentistry. Whichever the case, don’t let the cost of veneers or tooth bonding deter you. You can easily find an affordable dentist that will work with you. Many cosmetic dentists offer financing programs to help you get the dazzling smile you deserve – one that reflects your personality.

For teeth that need straightening, orthodontists can provide two types of braces. If you think your teeth are too crooked or you are too old for invisalign braces, think again.  They can correct a wide variety of cases and are a great choice of braces for adults. Also, the cost of invisalign is comparable to traditional braces and less cumbersome. This extra dental “grooming” can open doors of opportunity, making it a definite value-add worth considering.