Anthony Lam


Everybody knows that making a first impression counts for a lot, particularly when interviewing for a new job. So you iron your best clothes, shine your best shoes and get your hair looking pristine, but your longtime insecurity about your teeth stops you from feeling that you look your very best, and you even wonder if you should try not to smile when you’re in the hot seat.

Studies* have found that up to a quarter of people refrain from smiling because they don’t like their teeth. Freddie Mercury even suffered from this same insecurity. This can affect your confidence when chasing your dream job, or in your day to day employment. Another study offers a glimpse into how people feel about their teeth, and how people’s teeth impact the impressions they make in the workplace.

Research has found that the state of your teeth can have a bearing on your employability, and even the likelihood of salary raises and promotions. A study conducted by Bupa found that 67% of respondents thought of good teeth as an important asset in the workplace, with 24% believing that the appearance of their teeth had a bearing over who was selected for promotions. 37% worried that good teeth were required in order to be considered for jobs, and that a less-than-pristine smile would have a detrimental effect on their employability. The study found what people think of both bosses and colleagues with bad teeth too.

Anthony Lam

42% of respondents were of the opinion that managers with good teeth were more authoritative than those without, while 54% found that their boss’s smile was one of the highest motivational factors in their workplace. Meanwhile, 42% found working alongside colleagues with bad teeth was a ‘distracting’ experience. These insightful statistics suggest that a considerable proportion of employees attach negative connotations to smiles that are less than photo-ready.

Tellingly, 27% of people have considered having cosmetic dental treatment in order to further their careers. This goes to show the impact of both the opinions of others and just how significant people consider their teeth to be in regard to their appearance as a whole. If you have given thought to what cosmetic dentistry could do for you, ensure you go to a reputable dentist whose work and credentials can be verified.

About the author: Anthony Lam is an internationally recognised Specialist Orthodontist. He is a clinical teacher in Orthodontics at Guy’s Hospital, London, and a member of a number of local and international Orthodontic Societies.