Looking for Mr. or Mrs. Right?
Your best bet is to put your money where your mouth is, literally.
Turns out, bad teeth can be a major turn off for anyone who is looking for love. In fact, a not-quite-so-killer smile is second only to bad grammar when it comes to dater’s list of deal breakers, according to a national poll of almost 5,500 unattached adults aged 21 and older. The survey was conducted by MarketTools Inc. for the Internet dating site Match.com.
Nancy Rosen, DMD, a cosmetic dentist in New York City, says that many a lonely heart will seek her services so that they can get back out there and find their ideal mate. “One of the first things people notice in the opposite sex is their smile,” she says. “I have had many patients have cosmetic work done ‘to land a spouse’.”
The fix can be easy-breezy or complicated based on the person’s current smile, oral health status, and aesthetic goals.“The quickest and easiest way to fix a smile is to whiten the teeth,” she says. “If someone wants to straighten their teeth, I would suggest Invisalign.” These clear custom-made trays gradually help align crooked teeth. Clear braces or traditional rail road track ones are also growing in popularity among the adult sect.
Other options include veneers or thin shells that cover the front side of teeth. They can mask stains, fill gaps between teeth, and gloss over chips. “Implants are for people who are missing teeth,” she says.
Saul Pressner, DMD, says you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression—and first impressions are all about the smile. He is a dentist in private practice in New York City.
“Yellow teeth are a huge turn off,” he says. “Bleaching is a nice quick-fix for teeth that are no longer pearly white.“
The good news is that these treatments don’t have to cost tens of thousands of dollars. At-home bleaching kits cost about $100 to $400 and over-the-counter teeth whitening products range from $20 to $100, according to information on the Consumer Guide to Dentistry.
But bad teeth and rancid, nasty breath may be a sign of an even bigger problem—poor hygiene in other body parts, he says. Plus “they can also be a sign of health problems elsewhere in the body, and should be taken seriously,” he says. Gum disease has been linked to a host of diseases including heart disease and diabetes.
“Make sure you see your dentist for cleanings regularly,” Pressner says. These appointments are also a good time to review your brushing and flossing skills and style. “It may do more than find you a mate, it can save your life.”