Would you rather lose weight or lose an imperfect smile?
In a society as superficial as our own, this definitely seems like a tough choice. Both have their advantages and their limitations. Yet both can significantly impact how others view you.
The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry decided to conduct research to address this decision. Their study showed that consumers are more likely to spend money on getting a younger-looking smile than on attempting to lose weight.
Now, you could be glib and say of course we’d rather spend money on a smile. Spending money on weight loss means that, at some point, we’re going to have to do exercise and few Americans want to do that. The idea of making a physical effort is anathema to all but a few of the U.S. population. But getting a better smile requires only that you sit in a seat and endure. Not too bad.
There are other reasons at work here, however. Cosmetic dentist Dr. Kevin Sands—whose patients include Miley Cyrus, the Kardashians, Emma Stone, Robert Downey Jr., etc.—has formulated a few reasons of his own for why people chose the younger-looking smile.
- First and foremost, why not look younger? Minute changes to a smile can eliminate years of aging. Things like missing teeth are not only unattractive, if they’re not replaced, there’s a good chance the patient will suffer from facial bone loss as time goes on. This really creates an aged look. Dental implants make the face appear younger. In addition to replacing missing teeth, implants prevent bone loss because of the way in which they are installed.
- First impressions stick with people. When it comes to meeting new people, the smile is one of the first things a person notices about another. Sure, one sees their physical build, but the person’s smile is a much more definitive marker of what they look like. Just little adjustments like teeth whitening or bonding a chipped tooth can really make a difference in how youthful a person appears.
- Dr. Sands’s last point is the most contentious. According to him, losing weight can sometimes age our appearance. The reasoning: when the volume is lost, people with poor skin elasticity will develop more wrinkles, notably in the face. There’s at least one study that backs his claim up. It compared twins of different weights, demonstrating that the thinner twin almost always appeared older than the heavier twin.
Though the last point is very debatable, Dr. Sands does provide some fascinating insight into why we go for the youthful smile as opposed to the physically fit physique. An interesting follow-up would be: overweight or bad smile?
Dr. Sam Sadati is the owner and practitioner of The Sadati Center of Aesthetic Dentistry in West Palm Beach and a leader in the world of cosmetic dentistry and smile design. He is the only accredited cosmetic dentist in all of South Florida and is one of only forty dentists in the world to receive an Accredited Fellow honor from the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). Apart from creating beautiful smiles, Dr. Sadati enjoys photography, travel, and the opportunity to tell a good joke. If you have a question or comment, dental-related or otherwise, connect with us on Facebook or Twitter. We always reply to our fans and followers!