One of the biggest challenges to getting and maintaining success is managing your image. Your personal brand depends on being able to present the best appearance whenever meet someone. But if you’re unhappy with your image, where do you start improving to ensure you present the professional, attractive image you want?
Many people will tell you “the clothes make the man,” but in truth it’s your smile that will make the biggest impact on your personal brand. And here’s why.
It’s More Memorable
Do you think that people are going to remember your snazzy bespoke suit or designer dress? Think again, according to a survey by the American Association of Cosmetic Dentists (AACD), only 10% of people remember a person’s clothes after a first meeting. And don’t think that snappy repartee will save you, either–only 25% of people said they remembered what a person said. However, 48% of people said they remembered a person’s smile.
In other words, people are about twice as likely to remember your smile as your words, and five times as likely to remember your smile as your clothes.
It Carries More Information
While it’s true that people will be judging you based on your clothes, they’ll actually be judging you more based on your smile.
When people look at your clothes, they will assess your confidence, competence, flexibility, success, and income. But your smile says all this and more. In addition, people will look at your smile and make judgments about your health, happiness, kindness, sensitivity to others, and intelligence.
And don’t think that just because your smile doesn’t have any major flaws it is adequate in this regard: it doesn’t take missing teeth or badly crooked teeth to make a difference. Simply discolored teeth and slight gaps or crookedness is enough to make a significant difference in every category.
It’s More You
Part of the reason people judge your smile more seriously is that they know you only have one. Your clothes can be put on every morning and changed in the evening. Your clothes can be a costume or disguise as much as a true representation of you.
But your smile is a part of you, and the information it gives is take as true and genuine. People might look at your fancy clothes and think you’re a fraud, but an attractive smile builds trust.
It’s More Flexible
Not only can we have different clothes for all occasions, it’s kind of required. You need to have a large wardrobe so that you can be prepared for an occasion.
You can’t wear the same clothes to the gym that you wear to a charity ball. You don’t wear the same outfit for a night clubbing as you do for a meeting with your child’s teacher. You have to wear one outfit for a site inspection and another for a round of golf with a potential client.
But you wear the same smile at every occasion. It’s the best accessory for every outfit and can be dressed up or dressed down to fit any situation.
It Lasts Longer
Yves Saint Laurent said, “Fashions fade, style is eternal.” While your clothes may be the latest fashion, it’s your smile that embodies your style. You may have to change your clothes every season, but a beautiful smile endures. While some clothes can be worn only once and then you have to sell or give them away, you can wear your smile day after day, and it’ll never wear out.
With natural teeth, they can easily last a lifetime, and cosmetic dentistry results can last a decade, or even a lifetime, depending on the procedure.
Make a Smart Investment
We know that clothes are already part of your budget, but if you’re not already investing in your smile, we have to wonder why. Whether it’s a checkup and hygiene visit, teeth whitening, or even a full smile makeover, a smile investment is a smart investment, bearing dividends for years to come.