We seldom think about the impact of a simple smile, but it’s amazing to consider that the involuntary act of curving the corners of your mouth upward and flashing your teeth can say so much without speaking a word.
A smile can say, “I’m friendly,” “Everything is going to be okay,” “I’m happy!” “You can trust me,” “I’m confident,” or “I’m relieved.”
Whereas, not smiling when you’re expected to, for example, when meeting someone new, sends a completely different message: “I’m nervous,” “I’m unfriendly,” “I don’t feel well,” “I’m insecure,” or “I’m in a bad mood.” Even combined with a handshake and “It’s nice to meet you,” without a smile, you’re unlikely to be believed.
Imagine going on a job interview or a networking event and not smiling. You surely wouldn’t get very far! For millions of Americans, this may be the situation they find themselves in. In fact, a recent survey revealed that up to 28% of adults age 18-49 said the appearance of their mouth and teeth affected their ability to interview for a job.
If you have missing or chipped teeth, visible cavities or overall poor oral health, you’re unlikely to smile or may cover your smile instead of looking confident, trustworthy, and friendly. Considering that most employers make snap judgements about a job candidate based on their appearance, anyone with poor oral health has good reason to be anxious about their smile. It could have a profound effect on their employability–especially for a high-paying job.
More often than not, proper oral health habits are formed during childhood and can make a real difference on the child’s ability to excel at school and gain employment as an adult. 13% of kids in the United States have untreated decay, contributing to 51 million hours of missed school each year, struggling to concentrate, suffering from low self-esteem and, most likely, not smiling. It’s difficult to form friendships and develop essential social skills when you’re too embarrassed–or in too much pain‒to smile.
Saddest of all, most broken smiles are largely preventable with proper hygiene habits and annual trips to the dentist. That’s why America’s ToothFairy and our sponsors are so committed to supporting oral health education and preventive services like school-based sealant and fluoride varnish application.
In addition, our awesome Smile Drive volunteers and donors have helped distribute more than two million oral hygiene products to kids in need in the last five years! For homes that lack necessities like toothbrushes and toothpaste, these donations are a game-changer.
While helping kids access treatment when problems arise is commendable, it is essential to support initiatives that help prevent oral disease in the first place. Since our founding in 2006, America’s ToothFairy has provided support and resources to educate more than nine million kids and their caregivers about how to keep their smiles healthy.