The Importance of Your Smile

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The Importance of Your Smile

“You don’t have to brush and floss all your teeth – just the ones you want to keep”

Anonymous.

What do you notice about the picture above? Does something grab your attention right away to the exclusion of everything else? What about the second picture on the next page? What looks odd about it? How about the last picture on that page? 

What jumps right out at you and just rivets your attention? It’s the piece of food stuck between the guy’s teeth! Just like most people, family, friends, co-workers, clients, bosses, job interviewers, etc. who look at these pictures, your eyes are drawn to the one thing that is socially most appalling: the defect in an otherwise beautiful smile.

But go back, now and look at picture one. Did you happen to notice the woman’s hand? Look now. Count the fingers. There are seven fingers on her hand!

Look a the next picture directly above. What else is wrong? Did you see the third arm the woman has? No, all you saw was the nasty piece of food ruining an otherwise perfect smile.

Now look at the last picture. By now you should have seen that the man is missing an ear. An obvious physical defect was overlooked because the one overriding element that is most important in anyone’s appearance the smile – is not as it should be! 

What does this tell us? Think about the importance of your smile in a social situation where you are meeting a group of people for the first time. Based on your smile, you will be evaluated and pigeon-holed. 

Even if you are dressed perfectly and have the manners of a courtesan, a defective smile can greatly detract from the good impression you are trying to make on your initial meeting, however wrong such a judgement may be.

First bad impressions are hard to overcome. You may have eaten at lunch counter at some time in the past and glanced up at the waitress who approached to take your order. Your opinion of her was fairly neutral until she smiled and showed a gap in her upper front teeth. At that point, did you not downgrade her in your mind’s eye by whatever scale you were measuring her by?

Have you not seen an individual who smiled and then showed a rotated or protruding front tooth and thought, “what a shame…”, and thought less of him or her.

Can you imagine a situation at work where people are being interviewed for a job? Unless the job involves sitting in a room by yourself and never seeing another soul during the workday, some degree of human interaction will be required. 

Whether it be sales or managerial, a person’s appearance is crucial to making a good impression on others because he is representing the company he works for. 

Can you imagine hiring a painter to paint your house whose own home looks shabby and in need of repair? Or a sign maker whose truck is rusty and falling apart? Or a tailor who himself is wearing ill-fitting clothes? 

The company image you want to project demands a good healthy smile with straight, white, evenly spaced teeth. In competition for employment or advancement, if your appearance falls short of another competitor’s where your smile is concerned, you will lose the race to that person, all other considerations being equal. 

So, now that we have established the importance of acquiring and maintaining a beautiful and healthy smile, how do you best go about it?

Who would you rather deal with? (it’s the same person, before and after!)

“Behind every smile there’s teeth” Confucius..

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