A White Smile: the Key to Happiness and Self-Confidence

Confident woman smiling

Teeth whitening has become the latest health craze. Procter & Gamble Canada conducted a study in 2012 which showed that 86 percent of Canadians would prefer to have whiter teeth. What makes this finding most interesting is that teeth are actually not naturally white. Adult teeth are actually pale gray or yellow, and they darken over time as the enamel thins, showing more of the yellow-ish dentin beneath.


The drive for whiter teeth is probably mostly fuelled by the bright white smiles celebrities flaunt on television. Whiteness gives the impression of cleanness and health; while yellow or gray teeth give the impression of decay and poor oral hygiene habits.


The Science of the Smile


It only takes 7 seconds to make a first impression. According to independent research, a whiter smile has a substantially positive effect on peoples’ first impressions of you.


It was actually Charles Darwin who first noticed the importance of smiling and the similarity of factors that encouraged smiling across different cultures. For example, he found that even babies who are born blind will smile like smiling babies at about 5 weeks. He also found that babies learn that their crying draws adult attention, but that smiling keeps an adult engaged and interacting with them.


Whiter Teeth can Lead to Love and Success in the Work Place


Smiling, it is argued is the outward manifestation of happiness and serves to begin to connect us to other. (The Surprising Psychology of Smiling, by Adrian Furnham Ph.D.)


Researchers have discovered that most people react most positively to a genuinely smiling person. And this is a key component of most every personal interaction we have on a daily basis. In business interactions, for example in sales, hospitality and other situations where negotiation is necessary, a smiling person increases the possibility of the other party or parties smiling which indicated an increased trust and liking of the other person. This trust led to co-operation and helpfulness. Basically, in business situations and personal ones, smiling helps bond people together. (Furnham)


A national survey conducted by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry showed that 96% of adults believe an attractive smile makes a person more attractive to the people of the opposite gender, and that 74% of adults felt that an unattractive smile can impair a person’s chances for success in their career success. (Crown Council, an Association of Independent Dental Practices)


Having a white smile is known to give a person more confidence not only about themselves overall, but also about being seen and going out in public. They no longer feel like they have to hide their teeth when laughing or talking for fear of what people will think about their yellowed teeth. Studies have also shown that increased self-confidence leads to happy and productive living, while also staving off depression.


A white smile also gives the appearance of youth and vitality.


The Popularity of Teeth Whitening


Statistics have shown that in the last 20 years, the number of dentist-performed whitening treatments across the United States has increased by an astounding 300%. Thankfully, expensive treatments in a dental office, while extremely effective, aren’t the only alternative for people who want the benefits of a whiter smile.


There are many products available on the market now, pretty much one to meet any budget and the needs of anyone interested in brightening their smile. Gels, pens, toothpastes, gums, rinses. There are many commercialized options, as well as natural remedies for those who like to do things a gentler way.


Having a white smile can have a profoundly positive impact on how you feel about yourself when you look at yourself in the mirror, and how you interact with others. A whiter smile may be just the thing you need to give your self-confidence the boost you’ve been looking for. This is why so many people are turning to teeth whitening. It really doesn’t cost that much to make such a big difference in your life.




  1. The Surprising Psychology of Smiling, by Adrian Furnham Ph.D., Oct 30, 2014. Web. Accessed: Mar 5, 2015.https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sideways-view/201410/the-surprising-psychology-smiling


  1. The Benefits of Teeth Whitening. CrownCouncilAn Association of Independent Dental Practices. Web. Accessed: Mar 5, 2015. http://crowncouncil.com/the-benefits-of-teeth-whitening

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Richard McClintock