Social Judgements Size You Up in Seconds

Woman smiling in the mirror

Living in modern society has brought the idea of ‘the face you wear matters’ to the fore which is probably why an increasing number of individuals are turning to cosmetic dental treatments such as Invisalign St Albans and other facial aesthetic procedures (non-surgical) to enhance the looks that Mother Nature gave them.

In the case of straightening the case of crooked teeth, there is much more to this worthwhile endeavour than just improving dental appearance (and thereby one’s attractiveness). This highly-approved dental goal also answers to improved oral hygiene and optimal dental health. Of equal importance to these desirable outcomes, is a boost in confidence and self-esteem and the patient reaps the rewards of a metaphorically rich and fulfilling life.

Why the preoccupation with first impressions

No matter on which side of the for-or-against side of the fence you sit, the fact remains that in this image-obsessed modern world, we are judged according to our looks. It is interesting to note that this judgement does not only come from external sources but also from within ourselves. In an enlightening report on self-perceptions on body image, results from an online survey showed that 34 percent of adults in the UK experienced feelings of shame due to dissatisfaction over how they looked.

It takes only a split second for others to make inferences about our personality and character with a first glance. The potential of a human being is narrowed down to whether they are friendly, intelligent, confident and capable – all in a blink of an eye. Provided you have an attractive smile, others are more predisposed to allocate positive personality traits to you along with a greater likelihood to succeed in life. While it may take about a second to make social inferences, these can have weighty and life-long consequences.

The appearance-bias that is often seen in practice in the workplace, prejudices against individuals who are deemed unattractive, and therefore, incapable. Individuals can be looked over when it comes to being hired or looked over for promotion opportunities. Outside the workplace, this prejudice can filter into the playground in the form of bullying and into one’s personal life when one experiences difficulty in forming friendships and finding love and acceptance.

The answer to the question, from where do we learn to evaluate facial appearance and facial expressions may lie in a research study that looked at how babies gain meaning from facial signals. It seems that it is human instinct to study faces for information for we have been responding to faces from the time we were born. Only a few days after being born, babies are able to tell the difference between facial expressions, a happy face, sad face and surprised face.

The British Orthodontic Society together with the Oral Health Foundation have expressed concern about individuals seeking to straighten their teeth without the supervision of a professionally qualified dental practitioner. The Safe Brace campaign is the result of this partnership that aims to inform and educate anyone interested in braces to fix their teeth about how to go about this in a safe and effective way.

It is only a practising dentist that can provide trusted advice and oversee a proper teeth-straightening treatment for safe and reliable results. For more trustworthy information on orthodontic treatments from experienced dental practitioners, contact UK Dental Specialists.

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