Will Teeth Whitening Raise Your Social Stock?

Dr. Reza Written by Dr. Reza Khazaie

Will Teeth Whitening Raise Your Social Stock? - Concord Dental

Can white teeth increase your popularity?

The first thing people will notice about you is your facial features. Chief amongst these is your smile. A great smile, it is said, is your most valuable physical asset.

However, what constitutes a great smile?


Straightness of your teeth?

The whiteness of your teeth?

All these characteristics of a great smile are essential. However, one thing everyone seems to notice about your smile right away is whether or not you have white teeth. As it turns out, the overall color and luster of your teeth can play a crucial role in making an excellent first impression on others. However, the question remains: can whitening your teeth raise your social stock?

First impressions matter. They are long-lasting, difficult to change after the fact, and are formed in a matter of seconds. Any perceptible information about a person, from the way they look to the way they move, and even the environments they inhabit and the things they consume, can and will influence a person’s initial impression of you.

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Researchers have found that when making a first impression, people will place overwhelming importance in facial appearances. While this is undoubtedly unfair and notoriously inaccurate, it is for better or worse the way we are designed. Unsurprisingly, the need to make snap judgments places a premium on seemingly surface details. Most notably, we place a premium on facial features such as, for example, a person’s smile. And yes, that means that the overall pearly luminescence of your teeth, or lack thereof, will factor into someone’s snap judgments about you.

Life is better when you smile | Dentist Concord Ca

Will whitening your teeth make you instantly more popular? Probably not. It’s certainly not as important as your overall personality and disposition. Will it help create a better first impression with others, thereby improving your chances, however slightly, of raising your social stock? The science might support that. Here’s how.

5 Ways Teeth Whitening Can Make You More Likable

1. More likely to smile

Science says that smiling makes you more likable. Unfortunately, people with discolored or noticeably ugly teeth won’t smile as readily. This is likely the result of not wanting others to see or take notice of their teeth. While not smiling is a great way to hide your teeth, it’s certainly not a great way to make friends. It’s a great way to appear aloof, distant, or even threatening. Someone who does not smile is not as approachable and, as a result, may miss out on the myriad of positive social interactions. The best way to make an excellent first impression on anybody is to draw them in with inviting body language. Smiling is one of the best ways for you to make people like you.

2. A more memorable smile

Smiling is a great way to leave a positive and memorable experience with someone you’ve just met. Whether it be a new business acquaintance or a potential date, the one feature they will remember about you is your beautiful, dazzling smile. Unfortunately, if you have yellow or discolored teeth, they might remember that too. The thing everyone must understand about a smile is that it’s more than just the upturned corners of your mouth. Every time you smile millions of neurons fire in your brain, bringing back memories of every other time, you’ve smiled in the past. This is true for those who see your smile too. When people think of you, they will not only remember your smile, but the feelings, the emotions, and the atmosphere that a great smile brings.

3. More confidence

Whiter teeth won’t just make your smile look better; it will make you smile more confidently and more often to boot. Now you may be thinking, how will a simple whitening procedure lead to self-confidence? The answer is quite straightforward, actually – if you think you look good, your posture, behavior, and the way you carry yourself really will make you look good to others. Conversely, if you’re stuck in your own head and plagued with insecurities, your demeanor and body language will reflect that. Here’s something to chew on: according to a study published by Procter & Gamble, whiter teeth leads to greater confidence and, as a result, more success in work, love, and live in general.

4. Social mirroring

Human beings are social animals. So much so that we have mirror neurons in our cortices dedicated to coding the actions of others into ourselves. This hardwired predisposition to mimic the actions of others allows people a greater connection with an understanding of those they are subconsciously mirroring. Social mirroring establishes a rapport, a sense of understanding, and yes, increases your likability in the eyes of others.

So what does social mirroring have to do with dental whitening? For starters, we already know that smiling brings a host of social benefits to any interaction. Social mirroring only underscores the importance of smiling wide and smiling often. Smiling is contagious. When you smile, others tend to mirror your behavior and regard you in friendlier terms. This can be a great technique in a host of social situations between two parties of unequal social or political power. Think of a job interview, for example. Flashing a brilliant white smile can create the illusion of having more power or status or competence than one possesses.

5. Healthier & happier

The two characteristics people find most attractive is good health and happiness. There is nothing sexier than someone who not only takes care of their body and looks great but also exudes the kind of self-satisfaction and self-fulfillment of purpose that suggests that they are happy with their lives. 

Dental whitening can play a small role in promoting both in your life. Whiter teeth are naturally indicative of younger, healthier teeth that have not been stained or scarred by aging and the vicissitudes of time. In many ways, dental coloration is a direct signifier of healthiness and, by association, overall physical attractiveness and likability. 

Likewise, whiter teeth also signify overall satisfaction with one’s life. Sure, whiter teeth won’t directly make you happy. That’s something that can’t be created by any cosmetic procedure. However, it can enhance your existing natural beauty and make you feel more confident with your smile. As we know, smiling not only boosts your mood by releasing endorphins but also leads to more satisfying social interactions and creates a sense of well-being in oneself. 

Research shows that even forced smiles can make you feel happier. Investing in dental whitening could give you the confidence to smile wide and smile often in front of others, not only giving them the impression that you are happy but also making yourself feel comfortable in the process.

Why Professional Teeth Whitening?

Will teeth whitening raise your social stock? Who knows for sure. However, it is a useful tool available to those looking to build confidence in their smile. Those looking for teeth whitening solutions, however, can often feel confused or intimidated by the myriad of products in the marketplace. There are over-the-counter products. There are off-the-shelf products. There are professional products that can be done in a clinic or at the dentist’s office. You can choose from gels, trays, lights, lasers, bleaches, strips, toothpaste, washes, rinses, and a million other things that claim to provide “life-changing” whitening for your teeth. Most, although not all, may provide some lightening of a person’s teeth over time.

Most people more than likely aren’t looking for slight whitening over a long period of time; they’re looking for dramatic results in a short period of time. If that’s what you want, then forget about all the off-the-shelf and over-the-counter products and head to a professional dental clinic for the latest in teeth whitening technologies.

Professional-grade teeth whitening procedures aren’t your run-of-the-mill strips or teeth whitening toothpaste. Those grocery store solutions don’t tackle the kind of deep, intrinsic staining that is responsible for the majority of people’s dental discoloration. Instead, most off-the-shelf and over-the-counter products rely on relatively weak peroxides to slowly remove extrinsic stains. Often, this is a process that can take many weeks if not months even to begin showing a noticeable difference.

Professional teeth whitening procedures often utilize much higher concentrations of peroxide and other chemicals to dramatically deep clean your teeth, including the removal of intrinsic stains. Furthermore, professional operations provide the safety equipment and professional oversight necessary to ensure that these highly concentrated bleaching agents are used correctly and effectively. Some clinics also utilize other technologies, such as curing lights, to aid in the efficacy and speed of such procedures. A single professional teeth whitening session, which will last from 20 minutes to a couple of hours, will often produce far more appreciable results than six months of therapy using an at-home solution. To get dramatic results, some patients will schedule more than one professional whitening session to achieve dazzling white teeth and a beautiful smile.

Dr. Reza Khazaie Willow Pass Dental Care - Concord, Walnut Creek, Pittsburg, Pleasant Hill, Martinez, Lafayette, Mococo, Clayton


DDS. Prosthodontist