As we all know, when it comes to love, relationships, and even sex, being physically attractive to our partner is an important criterion. Yeah, you can "buy" attractiveness to a degree - the pole dancers at "Foxy's Fun House" will pretty much make Quasimodo feel like a handsome stud - but for this article, we'll focus more on actual attractiveness vs. the kind seen through the green haze of dollar bills.
When people think of physical attractiveness, there's a certain part that nature plays - some people are just more attractive than others in a "natural" sense. But even then, almost anyone can look "good enough" with some effort. Exercise, cleanliness, good grooming habits, clean clothing and shoes, and well maintained hair are steps anyone can take to look "better".
But you know, one of the most important things often goes overlooked - your teeth. And here's the big thing about teeth: they might not be the first thing one notices, but they are probably one of the biggest deal-breakers when it comes to dating, romance, and sex. Not having the nicest shirt in the world may not matter so much (especially since your date may be picturing you without it anyway.) But enter the dating pool sporting a brown smile, missing or rotted teeth, or an infected tooth giving off an odor? Ugh... watch the opposite sex run for the hills.
(Before I move on, I want to state that even though I'm focusing on single people and dating, this information is also for people already in relationships. Trust me, husbands and wives/boyfriends and girlfriends are just as affected by bad teeth. So if you aren't "getting enough", maybe some time with the toothbrush is in order. )
Ok, so what makes for a good set of datable teeth? Well, there are a few things.
1. The biggest factor in teeth and relationships is cleanliness. Brushing and flossing everyday will go a long way in ensuring that your teeth aren't going to keep you from corralling the person of your dreams. While there are many more things people do to beautify their smiles, brushing and flossing daily are the basic building blocks that everyone can participate in. Also, it goes without saying that avoiding smoking, and limiting staining beverages like coffee can also help quite a bit.
2. The next step after basic brushing and flossing is seeing your dentist regularly and getting the dental work you need done. This means getting cavities filled, and it means getting those root canals, crowns, bridges, and implants when they are needed. There is nothing more unappealing than an infected or dead tooth front and center (or, even worse, no tooth at all.) Plus, besides the appearance factor, having healthy teeth provides a wealth of other health benefits.
3. Next up is straight and properly spaced teeth. Now, I am not suggesting outright perfection is needed here: in all honesty, most people need not be too concerned with a perfect smile in this regard. However, that said, teeth that are all over the place won't be doing you many favors, either.
4. Lastly, once the above three issues are handled, the next step for some people is teeth whitening. This gives one that "movie-star smile", and can really make a difference. With the advances made in the field of cosmetic dentistry in the last few years, there are very few reasons to not be able to find some type of assistance to restore some dazzle to your teeth. As these practices become more common, they also become more affordable to the public, which makes cosmetic dentistry a benefit that almost anyone can enjoy.
Outside of physical looks, there are also other factors to consider regarding this issue. Having a set of bad teeth can lead to a lot of embarrassment and stress in a person. People with bad teeth usually know they have bad teeth. This can lead to a number of problematic symptoms, such as low-self esteem, withdrawing from social activities, or even a reluctance or total resistance to smiling. People simply do not feel good about themselves when they know there is an obvious issue that leads to rejection or social awkwardness. It's not the 1800's anymore: having a good-looking set of teeth has become a standard in today's social circles.
In addition, having a set of healthy, white teeth exudes an air of confidence, makes a great first impression, and has been proven in studies to increase a person's chance of success with the opposite sex. Basic things such as brushing and flossing, and even avoiding things such as smoking and keeping coffee to a minimum can go a long way in helping one score.
Hey, there is always a chance for romance as long as people take care of themselves. With a little bit of prevention, and being proactive when a problem does arise, hooking up with that dream date is just a smile away.
Follow Thomas P. Connelly, D.D.S. on Twitter: www.twitter.com/dr_connelly