Katie grew up as a minority and received a lot of bullying as a child. Much of the ridicule she endured focused on physical features: her skin color, her prominent nose, and of course, her crooked teeth. She couldn’t do anything about her nose and skin color, but she could hide her teeth. Katie learned not to smile. Although they were not well off financially, Katie’s parents sacrificed to get braces for her. Even a few months into the treatment, change became evident. Katie began to smile and laugh again. In fact, it seemed as if all the years of suppressed smiles were trying to make up for lost time. Orthodontic treatment not only corrected Katie’s open bite, it also served as her social game-changer.
So how much does your child’s smile REALLY impact the future? A study performed Kelton Global in 2012 suggests that a confident smile is a powerful part of first impressions, and that new acquaintances often make value judgements based on appearance. Although we all know in our heads that there’s more to people than meets the eye, most of us are susceptible to snap judgments. For example, when we receive a weak handshake, we often read it as an indicator of timidity or inferiority. Similarly, the Kelton study notes, in the world of first impressions, misaligned teeth are often linked to perceptions of lower intelligence and incompetence. Those first impressions, of course, set the tone for early social interactions which can be pivotal in settings such as classrooms, interviews, and first dates.
For better or worse, appearance is often a factor in success in the American culture and way of life. Half of those surveyed by Kelton felt that a person with straight teeth would be more likely to land a job than a person with comparable qualifications but crooked teeth. Recognizing that these stereotypes exist and that they pose serious challenges for underprivileged children who are already forced to work extra hard to make their way in the world, MH Ortho is committed to finding a way to partner with families to get the orthodontic treatment they need to improve their opportunities for success. That’s why we talk about “ortho for a better life.” When we say “ortho for a better life,” we mean that are passionate about investing in the future and helping your children achieve their dreams! Don’t let tight finances or other unknowns prevent you from pursuing orthodontic care for you or your child. Give us a call to schedule your free consultation: 770.282.8159.